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21 June 2010 @ 09:54 am
The Illusion Of Listening  
An example of why it's sometimes a bad idea to even ask the question if the answer is going to be something you don't want to hear:

Last month, House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio and his lieutenants launched "America Speaking Out," a public outreach campaign involving an interactive website and town hall meetings with GOP lawmakers. Its stated purpose is to provide people with "a new platform to share their priorities and ideas for a national policy agenda."

Thousands of people posted ideas or voted on their favorite suggestions. But the project's usefulness in shaping a Republican agenda is questionable.

Last week, the top five entries in the "Liberty and Freedom" category were: ban handguns, "drop the idea that we're a 'Christian' country," declare abortion "none of the government's business," allow gays to serve openly in the military and legalize marijuana.

Imagine my surprise at the next statement in the article:

Republican leaders mentioned none of these when they began highlighting proposals from the project.
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Robautographedcat on June 21st, 2010 03:03 pm (UTC)
While those positions are antithetical to the traditional GOP agenda, it's an improvement over some of the stuff they were getting at first.

As I commented at the time, "GOP, meet 4chan. 4chan, the GOP."
Steve Brinich: Keyboard Guy (XKCD)stevemb on June 21st, 2010 03:13 pm (UTC)
Well, that, too. I have a feeling that the people who came up with the plan didn't have much personal experience with the Internet.

Ultimately, the strategy of soliciting public comments and cherry-picking the ones that agree with what they want to do anyway is so ridiculously transparent that they might as well have not bothered.
Robautographedcat on June 21st, 2010 03:19 pm (UTC)
Being ridiculously transparent in their hypocrisy is a recurring theme of the current Republican leadership, unfortunately. It's like they're not even trying any more.
madfilkentist: votemadfilkentist on June 21st, 2010 04:41 pm (UTC)
Further demonstration of the uselessness of Internet polls. Whatever we think of the desirability of the suggestions, it´s a safe bet it wasn´t Republicans who provided the bulk of the votes for those particular ones.
Cat Sitting Stillcatsittingstill on June 21st, 2010 10:49 pm (UTC)
Republican leaders mentioned none of these when they began highlighting proposals from the project.

Which is kind of a pity because these are far and away the best ideas I've heard of from America Speaking Out.