Thursday, May 27, 2010

Just beggin’ for it

Irritate my coworkers This week the Republican National Committee, in a desperate attempt to seem like it is with it and hip (Daddy-O) and once again proving that they just don’t get it, launched a website called AmericaSpeakingOut. In theory, they wanted to get ideas from average Joes (plumbers and such, doncha know...not to disparage any actual plumbers out there) about in which direction they should take the party. They wanted to know what people want from them, although they added the caveat that only ideas that jibe with the usual Republican principles will be considered. Isn't that sort of missing the whole point? Wouldn't it be better to sort of look at the general sentiment in the country and see if there are some issues they just might be out of touch on? Oh well. Not my party, not my committee, not my website. I'm also thinking logically, and that is just silly of me.

Naturally, when word got out about this site, it wasn't just Republicans who joined in on the fun. The prospect of a Republican website where we could make suggestions was impossible to resist for liberals. Moth to a flame, milk on cereal, mud on a pig, white on rice--pick your metaphor, sarcastic liberals were all over that thing. Hilarity ensued. I didn't register and leave a suggestion myself, but I spent some time looking through them all, endlessly fascinated and amused.

As PZ wrote on his entry about it, Poe's Law was writ large when the liberals converged upon the site. According to RationalWiki, "Poe's Law points out that it is hard to tell parodies of fundamentalism (or, more generally, any crackpot theory) from the real thing, since they both seem equally insane. Conversely, real fundamentalism can easily be mistaken for a parody of fundamentalism. For example, some conservatives consider noted homophobe Fred Phelps to be so over-the-top that they argue he's a 'deep cover liberal' trying to discredit more mainstream homophobes." (I consider the phrase "mainstream homophobes" to be an oxymoron. They don't swim in my stream.)

PZ gave a few examples in his entry; I found more. Here are a few silly ones, most of which get removed from the site fairly quickly.

We need to train an army of Ninja Cats. Cats are natural born hunters and predators, and it is known that they indeed have 9 lives.

We should invent and patent more colors. Like fuchsia, but not that because it's already been invented.

I've noticed lately that America's birds are getting a little on the small side. The North African Ostrich is the world's largest and therefore best bird.

Belgium looked at us funny. Let's bomb them.

Build the Star Wars missile defense system. Who cares if it works or not? It sounds super badass.

When we deport illegal aliens we should get rid of the street mimes as well. Also.

Then there are those concerned about the environment.

People are always worrying about deforesting trees and stuff. What they should do is attach an old coffee can full of seeds to the bottom of airplanes with some holes poked in the bottom. That way, when they fly across the country, they'll also be REFORESTING the nation for close to nothing.

There were many concerned about illegal immigrants.

They should send the Statue of "Liberty" back to France. We dont want your hungry tired poor, sorry! They should stay in France with you and your statue.

Some want us to get back to the ways of Paine and Jefferson (no mention of whether that includes slavery).

We need the re-establish this nation as a Christian nation, the way Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson intended!

Others felt the need to defend Sarah Palin.

Can we please make it illegal to make fun of Sarah Palin? It's just mean. Sure, she isn't that smart. But she raised five kids, and only one got knocked up in high school. That used to count for something in AMREICA!

A kindred spirit mentioned Star Trek.

On the popular television series Star Trek Deep Space Nine, many of the characters have freedoms such as holodeck privileges and visits to Quarks bar. They also don't get paid or really use any money at all, they all work for the betterment of society and in return get what they need from society. I think it sounds like a pretty good idea.

It does sound like a good idea, doesn't it?

There was a suggestion to help all us patriots who are vocally challenged.

I love my country as much as the next guy and I'll pistol whip anyone who says different but, sorry, the national anthem blows. I mean, who can sing that? I only watch it before a game to see someone's neck explode trying to hit high c. There are other songs which are prettier, a LOT easier to sing, and which, I've observed, people really seem to get behind. I humbly propose three songs for consideration: 1. America, Eff Yeah 2. Waltzing Matilda 3. O Canada

As I said during the recent winter Olympics, "O Canada" is certainly an inspiring and singable anthem. I think that commenter might be onto something. Maybe we could change the lyrics to "O 'Merica."

There were quite a few comments praising the GOP for creating this site.

I think we have proof here that our dear statesmen from the GOP are brain dead. Anyone with more than three active brain cells would have seen this coming a mile away. Brilliant idea.

I just wanna say this site is the best thing that house GOP have done in years. You have given me hours of entertainment.

I would like to thank the Republican Party for subsidizing literally hours of fun for all us Godless socialists. I don't know when I've had such a good time playing an online game. This site ROCKS! Uh, it is a game, right?

The forum even got rickrolled.

Never gonna give you up, Never gonna let you down, Never gonna run around and desert you, Never gonna make you cry, Never gonna say goodbye, Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you.

It wasn't all fun and games, as one person showed in a comment that I found somewhat poignant (and I think this one is completely real).

As a Republican since the 70s, a faithful voter for most of that time, and someone who worked in the defense industry for years, you guys have simply flown off the rails. The extremism and partisanship of the current GOP has taken you out of the mainstream, and put you into the realm of the American Independent Party. Nixon was a good President, so was Reagan. But what you are pushing now is unwise and unresponsive to the nation's needs. Get back to where Republicans had workable and useful solutions to our problems, instead of just calling our president a socialist and refusing to do anything at all. It's too extreme, and too partisan, and people such as me don't like it. You may call me a RINO, but I am what the party used to be, and you are forcing me to become independent because of the ugly partisan extremism that is now the hallmark of the GOP. Please stop this trend before it is too late.

This whole endeavor is just kind of sad. In an attempt to show that they really are listening, they set themselves up for a massive failure and endless ridicule. Do I feel bad about ridiculing them here? Not at all. If you're clueless enough to put up a site like this and not expect it to be set upon by the opposition and deluged with snark, you deserve everything you get. I could tell what most of the bogus suggestions were, but as Poe's Law states, there were plenty that I wasn't sure about. That's a little disturbing. If many of your constituents have such extreme opinions that they can't be discerned from those deliberately trying to make themselves sound as extreme as possible, then something is wrong. I know it goes both ways, but I'd say that the right wing extremists are quite a bit more "out there" than the left wing.

Maybe it's time to take it down a notch, or distance yourselves from the loonies. Or maybe hire a better Web coordinator who will advise you to not put up a site that's just asking for it. Because the rest of us are happy to speak out, too.Speak out


  1. As far as national anthem's go, I am partial to 'La Marseillaise'.

    Recently I was reading about how the conservative movement is being innudated by fearful people who feel that there is going to be such a tilting in favor of the disenfranchised because of their numerical superiority, that it causes many Republicans to fear without any rational or concrete reasons for their fear. It could be that guilt is driving their irrationality and many on the right worry that now that 'we got next', a leftist, minority fueled government will make them endure the kinds of disenfranchisement thru policy, in the way that they maintained their different illusions of superiority.

    Eventually the roar will quiet to a low growl, but that will take time and for more disagreements. A lot of what the politicos who are in Washington and conservative are having problems with is the uncertain base, who keep on talking about taking the country back and governing from a time where they didn't have to worry about a black president and illegal immigration taking jobs. It is the same kind of thing that happens when the bully finds himself having to deal with the person that he once picked on as equals.

    He feels diminshed and can't stand that there isn't a 'fix' in giving him the advantage. On a fair ground, he instead complains of when it used to be different and does not want to compete without the built in advantages he once enjoyed.

    What gets me is how the picked on and oppressed still manage to find Michelle Bachman's and Clarance Thomases to take self defeating sides in the conversation and allow themselves to be used so haphazardly. Also it is starting to get unnerving at how transparent the Tea Bag movement is becoming. Rand Paul and some lady in Idaho (please don't make me look up her name... please, please, oh pretty please!) both are unelectable extremist who any rational person can see straight through. Still there is a large segment of people on the right who remember that a 'good America was a white America', thinking and believing this despite the hypocrisy that this was someone elses country.

    whew... it is late. Have a nice holiday!!

  2. love the updated header :D

    i dont get the site myself. it's almost like a) they want people to make inappropriate comments (so they can turn around and misquote them no doubt) or b) illustrate the gumpism 'stupid is as stupid does'.

    at any rate they sound like 6th graders talking smack about the 7th and 8th graders in the lunchroom.


  3. I'd like to comment but I've booked a cross-country flight for a tin can full of seeds.


  4. I began reading the examples with a sense of snarky fun, then found myself stopped cold on that last one that you found "poignant." I found myself wondering what my mother would have written. She was an even stauncher Republican than I am a Democrat. She was so active in her state's party that, when she died, the local poobahs wrote an article for the front page of the local section of the city's newspaper, mourning the loss of a Great Republican.

    I was nearly paralytic with ambivalence (I feel a blog post of my own coming on). Mom was extreme on loyalty to her party and on active involvement, but she was no nutjob. I think she would have written a comment like the poignant one. I'm fascinated to find that I've never asked myself the question before: on this issue or that issue, what would Mom do?

    I'll be pondering this all day. You just never know how a blog post can affect your readers. Thanks so much!

  5. Some of these may actually be from cons who were being dead serious -- that's terrifying.

  6. Who ever would've thought that I would mourn the dearth of Nixonian Republicans? Reagan's another kettle of fish. He's the one that started this whole neo-con supply-side nightmare. What a stupid old man.
    I think the "Star Trek" suggestion may have been real. Which is not so much conservative as it is ignorant. There are a lot of people out there who have almost no sense of the real world, history, or geography.
    But some of these were delightful. Someone's bound to set up a permanent parody website.

  7. I like the one, "When we deport illegal aliens we should get rid of the street mimes as well". Great Metaphor But the fact of the matter is that I live in CT with the heights KKK patronage in the country per capital . And in my near town any one looking like me gets harass by the police. A woman got her leg bang with her car door by the police. And the Mayor looks the other way. I register Latino and Arab. Also my voice pitch is totally queer. So what do you think is going to happen to me when I get stop? That is what the extreme right is manufacturing right now. "Never gonna give you up, Never gonna let you down, Never gonna run around and desert you, Never gonna make you cry, Never gonna say goodbye, Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you. " lies

  8. Quite frankly, I can't stand O Canada. I find it decidedly unmusical; it grates on my ears when I hear it. I love the Star Spangled Banner. I think it's one of the best anthems anywhere.

  9. I found the poignant one the best of all. There is no way that they will internalize that type of perspective though, it is non-confrontational and inclusive.

  10. I laughed. I cried. I hummed O Canada the whole damn night. Thanks a bunch. :-)


I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you?