A Waste of Resources: The GOP’s New “Republican for a Reason” Site

“Republican for a Reason” – Just look at it and you’ll see my main complaint. Does anything about that site’s garish design, needing to make an account, and focus on utterly worthless issues (candidates don’t read the party platforms) appeal to you? Do you really want to go there and post in the forums and be heard by people you don’t know and don’t really care to know?

If the GOP wants to hear from the grassroots, they’ll tear down that site, and just put up a blog where they link to various blogposts they agree with or think are thoughtful from around the web. The grassroots is saying plenty already, and the GOP can issue disclaimers saying that they only consider the various posts thoughtful, and they don’t necessarily agree with the content or all of the author’s other work.

Imagine how much buzz that blog would create in a matter of seconds. It would bring together a lot of right-wing bloggers that are a very loose network right now, and get their audiences to meet each other in earnest. Then activism could begin with a scope hitherto unrealized: remember, there were 47 million votes for McCain.

19 Comments

  1. What a pos website. It looks horrid and the interface is garbage- It took 5 clicks to get to where there should have been a forum, but instead I kept getting a message that there were no comments today. Why would anybody set up their message board like this?

    That is not even to mention how can you possibly have a grassroots anything started by the party chair?? This guy’s name has been on annoying emails in my inbox for years. It’s just… impersonal and useless.

  2. Yet another glaring example of how the GOP just doesn’t “get it” when it comes to harnessing the power of the web. A complete waste of time (and it brings me no pleasure to say that).

    They had better start getting themselves together pronto and addressing why 66% of voters under 30 voted Democratic. The GOP can’t afford to lose an entire generation.

    RHM

  3. @ RHM – I know what they’re trying to do, which is avoid negative publicity at all costs.

    Problem: if you go look at who’s talking in the forums, it’s wingnuts ruling the fray.

    @ Amanda: I really think there should be a weekly e-mail newsletter at MOST. Anything more is spam, and the point of the newsletter is just to let you know what’s going on at the site.

    I do think it’s a good thing the party chair said something. That statement had some class – a lot of the people I’m dealing with online want to argue the election was stolen blah blah and it helps to have a chair be accessible but at the same time fairly firm. I liked that little opening statement.

    But yeah. This is an awful web strategy. If I did what they’re doing with my blog, I’d have no hits.

  4. I didn’t know whether to sign up or buy a stamp… complete waste of time agreed. Right wingers are too “individualist” in their thinking, stuff like this will never work. My opinion only…

    The groupthink works for leftist because they are wired that way… Our simpe solution is to get rid of those RINO’s who stumble over themselves to appear bi=partisan and like the catch phrase “reached across the aisle”

    its always us expected to compromise….. any one else sick of it?

    our solution is to simply talk to those we know, make sure they are aware of the truth behind the issues and the long term effects of them and replace the entire republican party machine with somehting else… I don’t know what, but in the meantime, daily emails and faxes to your reps threateniung their job is a good start…. you don’t need a stupid webbsite to do that…..

  5. @ Clickfire: You’re more immersed in web strategy and design than I. I’m arguing from a principle that you want things as open as possible, and that “link love” drives the net.

    What could they do with what they have now that would improve it?

    I think it should just be torn down. We’re having a better conversation on this blog about how the GOP could attract voters right now.

    @ Buffoon – like the blog! Am linking back to you pronto.

  6. @ ashok
    little hint about blog rolls, they’re cool and all but are not Technorati rank friendly, you leak a lot of rankage..

    I recently did away with mine, but thanks..

    back to the point,,, your exactly right, and I don’t have to sup[ply you with six addresses and four phone numbers etc just to say hello…sheesh… its an email collector to solicit money from us all that’s it…

    I’ve net a few of the guys behind some of these “new media: type things,,,a bunch of holier than though college asshats…

    thanks for the ning tip clickfire……I’ll check it out later, I’ve been looking for a “discussion panel type thingy to use…

  7. Ashok on point again…I could not agree more. Talk, talk talk, and no listening, and they are decades behind. New blood is needed at the RNC.

    I have seen a few conservative shows…Huckabee…can’t hack it!

  8. hahahahahaha

    the one thing i have to say about republicans…you guys suck at trying to be/look cool and that site is a good example. it just isn’t working. but you are right…they need to cut the crap and get to the point. which is what politicians don’t do…ever…

  9. as i read everyone else’s comments…i’ll add something else.

    it’s not that the republican party has wrong ideas (ok well…maybe…but i’ll give you the benefit of the doubt for now), it’s that they, in general, cannot appeal to the younger generation. the republican party needs to step up like the democratic party just did. youthful leadership is not always a bad thing in either party. while experience is a plus, the younger generation has become increasingly apathetic about politics due to the sharp divide between generations at this point. the republican party simply doesn’t speak to many young people. their lack of know-how about how this age group uses the internet is one huge aspect. hopefully they’ll realize this before they do lose a whole generation of voters.

    i’m all for republicans (though i prefer democrats) as long as they let me keep my basic freedoms. i include the right to choose and the right to marry the one you love. in traditional republican thought of less government and more freedom would ultimately support these ideals. your religion can condemn it but the government should not unless they place some sort of threat to democracy and other people’s freedom.

    ok…done rambling.

  10. Okay, so I’m the sole voice in support of the effort. I don’t know about the site, but I joined the Facebook Group. Here’s why I don’t think it’s a waste of time. The GOP got it’s a** handed to us with the younger demos and those who get their information on line. Are there amazing conservative blogger voices, that are currently being ignored..YES. But how do you convey the solid ideas you have, if No one is listening? Or as in our case, you are always preaching to the choir? On the facebook group you can Post links, a perfect place for bloggers to promote their ideas and site to everyone in the group.
    Do I think it will solve all the problems? No. But you’ve got to start somewhere.

  11. @ Biased Girl – Like your site! Linking to you in the blogroll.

    The Facebook group I have no problem with. The argument here is directed at that site.

    I’m not arguing with the “effort,” except for the fact that I feel it was so poorly done it’s insulting. The site’s a pretty blatant attempt to grab your e-mail address.

  12. Thanks for the add! I understand your frustration at the clumsiness of the e-mail grab, but sometimes you have to be blatant. You can’t get more obvious than what Obama ran on his site, yet people joined and accepted those e-mails, and made (at least some) of the donations….

  13. @ Biased Girl – the argument isn’t just that the site is horrible. The whole strategy makes no sense. Let’s make the best case for it:

    – it gets people thinking like they’re insiders.

    – it gets them on a supervised forum where they can’t say insane things (this, btw, is already failing as a goal)

    – it gets their e-mails and phone numbers so they can be hit up for cash

    – it doesn’t say anything about the party that other people aren’t already saying. It is “grassroots” in the sense no direction is given.

    That’s the best case for this site. Here’s the case against it.

    1. The web doesn’t work like this: notice how any right-wing blogger or site of note took off. Michelle Malkin allows trackbacks – lesser known bloggers meet each other through her site all the time. People network through LGF. The Powerline guys reach out through print and webcasts and a million other things, as well as break stories. Instapundit gives tons of links to any and everything he finds interesting.

    This site fails to engage the web.

    2. It fails at educating the base. You know what? I’d like to learn from people like Sen. McCain what life was like in the Senate, and how his perceptions going in differ from his knowledge now. There’s no sense that anyone at this site has any credibility. Where’s the serious content, that tells me not just what the party’s about, but what it’s done? You can’t just disown the past of the party because you lost an election.

    3. It encourages the worst sort of populism. People are already on the site frothing at the mouth. No one needs to spell properly, let alone write anything coherent. If this site takes off, it’s more dangerous than if it fails: it would be screaming that the American people are nothing but a wallet to be tapped.

    Again, you’re not taking seriously just how much is already out there, and how good much of it is. An entire alternative conservative media exists – the grassroots have been vocal for years, and there are articulate voices among them.

    The GOP needs to be inviting by having a distinct voice of its own, not just by being a facilitator. The best thing about that crappy site is the welcome message, where the Chairman concedes the election. There are quite a few people online who are busy frothing at the mouth over that “birth certificate” nonsense, and if you don’t know what that issue is, great. Part of that distinct voice is reasonably engaging other voices, not just letting people shout. The GOP should show its aware of things like Malkin and LGF and Pajamas Media, and that it welcomes readers of those things to weigh in on candidates and be active in party building locally.

    Obama’s site isn’t what won him the web. Kos did that years before.

  14. If their going to go for the email grab….they should make you want to give the email. Something enticing, like want a smaller less intrusive government, find out how to create one here…..ya know??

  15. Hi,Im from Australia and from my perspective the GOP has become a holding tank and breeding ground for psycho-paths—as in neo-psychopath (“conservative”). Especially the sex paranoid “religious” crazies as per James Dobson.

    And try as you may there is nothing you can do to make a cess pool of ranting drooling crazies look attractive.

    Put in another way. Whatever virtue the GOP may have once had (which is of course debatable too),the GOP has BECOME the manifestation of all the inherently toxic aspects of the collective shadow of the collective USA psychic.

  16. Sue, Wow! What an open mind people in Australia must have!
    Your last sentence really gives credit to the Australian education system by the way.

    I love when people from another nation, usually a nation that is incredibly far along the path towards a full blown fascist state, try and lecture us AMericans, rather us CONSERVATIVE Americans, about how intolerant and arrogant we are. It’s as if they in no way share the guilt of the sins of their fathers.

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