“If It Swims In The Water, It Is A FISH” And Other Delicacies Of The Internet

The new GOP website America Speaking Out

Mike Pence at Big Government:

The Democrat majority isn’t listening, but House Republicans will. That’s why we’re launching America Speaking Out; an unprecedented initiative of engagement with the American people that will lead to a governing policy agenda for America. Through the use of cutting-edge technology, town hall meetings, and old-fashioned conversation, America Speaking Out will surely become one of the largest online conversations ever about how to get back to a smaller, smarter, more accountable government. This initiative will lead to vital communication with the American people about the serious challenges that they’re waiting for Congress to address.

Jay Newton-Small at Swampland at Time:

Of course this has been done before. As has the website. But this time it’s a super cool website. No really: “I personally traveled to Washington State to see a Microsoft program that helped NASA map the moon,” said Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, Vice Chairman of the Republican Conference and the guy who headed up this effort.

They chose the Newseum, McCarthy said, because of the First Amendment scrawled on the front of the building. “Last summer in small groups and in large groups people spoke out. They spoke independently and the spoke individually but their message was the same: listen,” McCarthy said. “America Speaks Out will return to them their voice and we will listen.” Because speaking to the people means speaking to the national elite press in a building erected in their honor.

Some caveats: don’t bother writing in curse words, or insulting people personally or asking to raise taxes – those comments will be scrubbed. Also discouraged, suggestions on amnesty or a path to legalization for illegal immigrants and anything pro-choice. “We know what our principles are,” McCarthy said. Apparently not banned? Hitler.

The ideas will be gathered into legislation that Republicans could start introducing as early as next week, Boehner said. Or, they might bundle it all together in September as say a Contract With America, er, bundle of legislation that reflects the will of the people Republican base and introduce it as a blueprint for what they could do if reelected by some miracle they regained the majority in the last month before Congress leaves for the year at the end of October. Boehner and every other House GOP leader swore that elections are NOT, NOT, NOT why they’re doing this. “This effort has nothing to do with elections,” Boehner said. “People are angry and the Democrats are clearly not listening. Well, we are.” Also, this was paid for by taxpayers’ money so, legally, they can’t say it has anything to do with elections.

Dana Milbank at WaPo:

Republicans were very pleased with their technological sophistication as they introduced the Web site, America Speaking Out a ceremony at the Newseum. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who created the program, said that to get software for the site, “I personally traveled to Washington state and discovered a Microsoft program that helped NASA map the moon.”

Using lunar software is appropriate, because the early responses to the Republicans’ request for ideas are pretty far out:

“End Child Labor Laws,” suggests one helpful participant. “We coddle children too much. They need to spend their youth in the factories.”

“How about if Congress actually do thier job and VET or Usurper in Chief, Obama is NOT a Natural Born Citizen in any way,” recommends another. “That fake so called birth certificate is useless.”

“A ‘teacher’ told my child in class that dolphins were mammals and not fish!” a third complains. “And the same thing about whales! We need TRADITIONAL VALUES in all areas of education. If it swims in the water, it is a FISH. Period! End of Story.”

House Republicans, meet the World Wide Web.

GOP leaders seemed to have something else in mind as they rolled out their new site. “I would expect the ideas that come out of this Web site and the involvement of our members will lead to ideas that we can attempt to implement today,” House Minority Leader John Boehner (Ohio) proclaimed. “We want to continue to offer better solutions to address the problems that America is facing, and we see this as a giant step forward, directly engaging the American people in the development of those solutions.”

Such as?

“Build a castle-style wall along the border, there is plenty of stone laying around about there.” That was in the “national security” section of the new site.

“Legalize Marijuana, cause, like, alcohol is legal. Man. Also.” That was in the “traditional values” section.

Richard Lawson at Gawker:

Important lesson to Republicans: Nothing ever ended well that began with “Let’s ask the anonymous internet people.” Nothing. Well, maybe Team Coco and Betty White. But other than that, nothing.

Wonkette:

The Republicans were so proud of their shitty new website, “America Speaking Out.” They got the finest 1970s NASA computer technology to power the immediately broken & buggy webform — instead of letting the Free Market work by using Formspring or whatever — and then they were sad when a bunch of Wonkette readers filled it with dumb jokes.

But how could this happen, when some imbecile California wingnut congressman personally traveled to Microsoft, in the state of Washington, to physically retrieve some kind of old software because he has never heard of file transfers or the Internet or even FedEx?

Republicans were very pleased with their technological sophistication as they introduced the Web site, America Speaking Out a ceremony at the Newseum. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who created the program, said that to get software for the site, “I personally traveled to Washington state and discovered a Microsoft program that helped NASA map the moon.”

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