GOP unveils new site to solicit policy ideas from public

This post is less a case of me offering an opinion than soliciting one. What do you guys think of America Speaking Out? I tend to look dimly on these grassroots-pandering “we care about your opinion!” gimmicks, but Sarahcuda is pretty excited about it so maybe I’ve misjudged. I do like this comment that’s currently trending in the “American Values” section:

Remove religious entities from tax-exempt status. The churches are using their amassed wealth to influence voters and campaign politically which is unacceptable for a tax exempt church to do. A great example of this is just how involved Utah’s mormon churches were in California’s Prop 8 vote. If they want to use the money they get for charity instead of taxes, it should go to charity — not politics.

I clicked the “Open Mic” section and saw a Birther comment at the top followed by this a few pegs down: “REPEAL ALL LAWS PASSED BY A NONCHRISTIAN PRESIDENT.” But in between them was this:

Stop doing nothing based on the “Principles” you long ago abandoned. Six years of a rubber stamp republican majority got us to where we are now. Stop the platitudes and slogans and do something.

This is their 2010 bottom-up version of drafting a “Contract With America,” although divisions remain within the caucus as to whether they should make any concrete pledges about passing specific promises or just espouse general principles so they’re not quite fully obliged to vote a certain way on legislation. If you contribute a bunch on the site, you can earn “badges,” which … er, no one’s quite sure about yet. Here’s my question: No one seriously thinks the administrators are looking to refer policy ideas from the public to the congressional GOP, so what’s the point? Why not just have the caucus read blogs instead?

While you ponder that, here’s another foray into social media from the RNC. Don’t scoff: #askgibbs was quite the hot hashtag this morning among conservative tweeters.