Be careful what you put on the Internet, Republicans. The Internet just might use it.
Yesterday, the GOP unveiled America Speaking Out, a Web site that promises to "change the way Congress works by proposing ideas for a new policy agenda." Visitors, presumably of the Republican persuasion, are invited to make their own suggestions in four broad categories: American prosperity, fiscal accountability, American values, and national security. The idea is that citizens can speak up on these topics, vote up or down on each others' proposals, and the best thoughts will bubble to the top—maybe even becoming part of the Republican platform come November.
Visitors haven't exactly been playing by the rules.
As Dana Milbank writes in today's Washington Post: "House Republicans, meet the World Wide Web." Though the architects of America Speaking Out, including Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R.-Calif.) and Rep. Peter Roskam (R.-Ill.), are touting its technical sophistication, by midafternoon Wednesday the site had been overrun by prankish submissions. The few high-minded ideas about the federal budget and terrorism have been drowned out by submissions that are inane, racist, absurd, physically impossible, and other qualities that aren't what the GOP hoped to hear.
While many are obviously jokes, some walk a hard-to-detect line between satire and slightly unhinged. The site is almost too bogged down to load currently ("A very high volume of Americans are speaking out right now," an error message reads), but if you can click through, here are 10 of the silliest submissions hijacking the service:
- "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, many more than the typical human life (being one). They are also excellent at hiding themselves and would be ideal for sneaking into countries and assassinating communist leaders to lessen the ever growing threat of communism, finding key terrorist leaders and shattering the global terrorist network. In fact they could be potentially useful in the current Korean crisis. Loyal to their trainers, the cats could rain destruction and fear throughout the world, and if ever captured would never tell who they are serving. Finally, after they have solved the worlds problems, they could serve as border patrol and show unflinching resolve at keeping illegals where they belong, anywhere but here."
- "Sometimes when I get to the bottom of the yogurt cup, the shape makes it harder to get the last bites. I tried using both a spoon and a fork, with some luck. I think Yoplait should redesign their package so it's easier to get to the bottom of the yogurt."
- "I know this guy in Nigeria he says he's going to inherit a lot of money, but he needs our help to get it. All we have to do is wire him some cash and in return he'll give us part of the money that he will be inheriting. This would be a good way to balance the national budget deficit."
- "STOP STEALING OUR WATER! I was watering my plant the other day and I noticed all the water disappeared! WHAT has the state of LIBERAL politics gotten to when your water is vanishing from everywhere!! Sometimes I go to the bathroom and there's no toilet paper either, they should FIX that!"
- "Make iPhones available through Verizon! AT&T has fairly poor service and coverage, and a lot of Americans would love to own an iPhone but would not sign up with AT&T." [Ed.--Actually, this is a very reasonable suggestion.]
- "Give a pair of truck nutz to all americans! Because there's nothing more manly and american than a pair of balls hanging from your pickup truck. Take THAT Al Qaeda!"
- "Require all Muslims in the U.S. to wear ankle bracelet transponders so we know where the terrorists are at all times."
- "End the LYBERAL MITH OF EVOLUSION. My granddaddy wasnt no monkey."
- "We're wasting our time protecting the sanctity of marriage by merely targeting gay marriage. We should immediately criminalize divorce."
- "A ‘teacher' told my child in class that dolphins were mammals and not fish! 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."