Have you got a few ideas about how this country ought to be run? Maybe a notion as to what “American values” really means, or how the government can work toward American prosperity?
The Republicans would like to hear from you. Just as soon as they can get their website sorted out. At the moment, it tells me that many Americans are speaking out. Can I wait a moment, then try again?
You bet I can. Because America is speaking out, and it has a sense of humor.
Republicans want to take over the House in the fall, but there’s a problem: They don’t have an agenda.
So on Tuesday, they set out to resolve that shortcoming. They announced that they would solicit suggestions on the Internet, then have members of the public give the ideas a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down. Call it the “Dancing With the Stars” model of public policy.
Later in Millbank’s piece — which you really should read; his carefully sustained tone is a thing of sly beauty — Rep. Peter Roskam (Ill.) explains that his party’s shiny new site “has cutting-edge technology” and “a winsome design that is easy for people to interact with.” And sure, some of those folks interacting with the site are very sincere in their suggestions. Make Congress have the same health care as the rest of us. Don’t let politicians vote to give themselves raises. Stop bickering. “I have two words for you: Palin/Beck 2012.”
I’m still not sure whether to take that one seriously. But what do the less predictable posters want from this great country?
“Pomegranates are a trend whose time has past,” says a poster whose suggestion is currently getting more thumbs-up than thumbs-down votes.
“TAX EXCLAMATION MARKS!!! AND CAPITAL LETTERS!!! AND SENTENCE FRAGMENTS!!!” suggests a person with a creative idea about how to deal with budget issues. Some posters get down to truly pressing questions (“Jelly or jam? I like jelly cause of no seeds”) and important details (“Make it illegal for your friend to send you a Facebook message about that brown cow, holy clap, I’ve seen that thing like fifty times, no exaggeration, no one cares about your farm, Jennifer”).
America Speaking Out is currently crashing again, meaning I can’t pull more choice quotes for you — but the thing is, fellow Americans, I trust you can find some beauts yourself. Do tell us what you turn up. But let me leave you with one last pearl of wisdom:
“Dolphins are not good role models because they live in groups, just like communists.”