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Michael Steele's New Domain

Tuesday morning, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele unveiled the new GOP.com, “a forward-looking, open platform for the party of new ideas,” as the chairman himself puts it as he walks across the homepage when you first access the site. But, as usual with Steele, the slick presentation doesn’t make up for his cluelessness.

Which new ideas, exactly? This, after all, is the same Michael Steele whom GOP leaders rebuked last month for rolling out an unwelcome new policy on health care that was dissonant with past party positions, particularly on Medicare. (For a thorough takedown of Steele’s “record,” see my colleague Lee Hockstader’s post from last week.) Not that congressional Republicans are doing much better, considering that, among other things, they are now casting themselves as the defenders of Medicare, of which they have long been more than skeptical, out of political convenience. Indeed, Michael Gerson makes a good case that neither party is exactly intellectually ascendant at the moment.

Of course, despite the sloganeering, the site isn’t supposed to be a policy hub. It’s a rallying point, devoting much of its real estate to blogs and social networking. Just when you thought party leaders had succeeded in shutting him up, Steele is starting his own blog, apparently titled “What Up?” in the condescending approximation of street speak he regularly adopts. Keep your eyes peeled. The inaugural post is pretty innocuous -- though it makes Steele sound like he arrived in the Internet age a half-decade after everyone else. But if the blog title’s painful act of self-parody is any indication, Steele watchers are in for new rounds of dopey misstatements from the hapless chairman (Colby King wrote a great column on those, here). GOP leaders, no doubt, hope he has hired a good editor.

By Stephen Stromberg  | October 13, 2009; 12:33 PM ET
Categories:  Stromberg  | Tags:  Stephen Stromberg  
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Next: The Chief Justice's "Nobel Prize"

Comments

A blank page reads:

Database Error: Unable to connect to your database. Your database appears to be turned off or the database connection settings in your config file are not correct. Please contact your hosting provider if the problem persists.

On refresh:
This webpage is not available.

The webpage at http://www.gop.com/ might be temporarily down or it may have moved permanently to a new web address.

==

Hilariously fail.

Posted by: Crucialitis | October 13, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Hahahaha,,a party of new ideas??? And the new ideas issss.... a big NO. It is a big change for a Party of New ideas. Congratulation for President Obama for winning the Nobel Peace Price. People are behind you and thankful you won the election.

Posted by: alvin1435 | October 13, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

So it finally loads properly... Steele interrupts the experience by overlaying a video of himself on the page, floating like an advertisement you'd typically close. He then goes on to explain that things are new and improved - but, he needs your help to spiffy up what seems to be a fairly blank and very boldly red blog until you get 'below the fold'. The actual meat of the site is something you have to scroll to see. Somewhere below all of this is a glittery disco ball of the american flag that leads to their Republican Heroes section where the glitter continues despite showcasing grayscale historic photos.

In the gallery there's account of historical Republican heroes like Octavius Catto who was murdered when "a crony of the city's Democratic Party boss gunned down Octavius Catto as he walked home from voting." despite it actually being a result of extreme racial tension.

Posted by: Crucialitis | October 13, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Steele is an excellent representative for the GOP ; he is consistently nonsensical. He does look good though, nice suits, well groomed actually a very neat looking package until like most of them, the mouth opens and either nothing comes out or if it were not so sad, the standard drivel would be comical. If the GOP were a Saturday cartoon show, the kids would laugh and then move on to something that makes more sense.

Posted by: hercster44 | October 13, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Michael Steele is proving as pathetic for the GOP as he did as Lt Gov for Maryland. He did nothing while holding that office yet proclaimed that he had accomplished much. I am still waiting to hear what he accomplished. Steele is out of his reach in his token position with the GOP. He doesn't exhibit an iota of confidence and is often cited for parroting someone else's writings or opinions. I think he knows he was put in his current position because of the color of his skin and that he is just another Alan Keyes only better looking. When the GOP starts filling their ranks in Congress with Black Americans, we might start believing their party represents the colors of America. Until then, Steele is out of his element, whatever that is.

Posted by: papafritz57 | October 13, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Republicans, the Token Party. What up? Nothing. Fear,Hatred, Distortion and Division is all they've got to offer.

Posted by: thebobbob | October 13, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Let's face it...if Obama wasn't the President, The Republican Party would have absolutely NO use for this clown.

Posted by: bx700 | October 13, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

The bigger question is: What is the GOP's element? Some of them make it easy; Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, Palin, O'Reilly are all so venomous, we know what species they evolved from. Too many of the rest are in Steele's category; what my deceased father used to call "bozos". I'm starting to appreciate the relative stability of Lindsay Graham but he is soooo lonely for grownup company that it would be funny if it were not so sad for the Country.

Posted by: hercster44 | October 13, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

gop.com

=

Blue Screen Of Death

Posted by: seattle_wa | October 13, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Michael Steele is a black white supremacist:

http://www.metacafe.com/watch/291638/clayton_bigsby/

Posted by: hamishdad | October 13, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Both parties are hopeless. The GOP doesn't know how to build a website and the Democrats shamelessly use ACORN to get elected.

Both parties have exploited their public trust with their hands out for cash and contributions. The insurance industry should be nationalized. We should stop spending trillions in Iraq and Central Asia. We should use the savings to drill for domestic oil wherever it exists.

Posted by: alance | October 13, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Michael Steele is a moron. He states that "truly patriotic Americans" should be ashamed Obama was awarded the Nobel prize, like if you aren't a Republicant, you can't be a truly patriotic American. Please keep on talking Michael, because you're the best thing that's happened to Democrats since Palin.

Posted by: COLEBRACKETT | October 13, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

This web site simply does not work. Did they not test it before this "launch?" Speaks volumes to how clueless this party is. I am no fan of the Dems but seriously, the GOP can't get a web site right?

Posted by: alonzoQuijana | October 13, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

The party of new ideas? LOL. Where is your health plan? You don't have one. Where is your energy plan? You don't have one. What did you do about the N. Korea problem when you were in power? NOTHING. What did you do about Iraq? Nothing. What did you do with the budget surplus that Clinton left you? You squandered it and created record deficits. You are not the party of new ideas...you are the 25% party...the party of NO and NOTHING. You are the party of fundamentalists and wing nuts. LOL I can't stop laughing at this. This is hilarious.

Posted by: vintel7 | October 13, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

The problem for the GOP is that the "Republicans" I have seen on Web site screen shots (I wasn't able to load the site myself) are actors, except for Steele.

We all saw the GOP convention. I didn't see anything like the age, race or demographic diversity the site attempts to depict.

Far as I know, except for the selection of Steele, I don't see anything they're doing to reach out to the coming minority majority. And that's to say nothing of young people, who don't exactly dig a spirit of saying no to every idea.

Posted by: mypitts2 | October 13, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Limbaugh & his black shirts must have coached Michael Steele in the workings of the Republican party. First, click your heels in the Fuhrers presence and always say hate in every sentence. We don't like Jews, blacks, Catholics, Baptists, Methodists or any Spanish looking people. We only watch Fox news and the 3 Stooges. This is the future thinking of the Republican party.

Posted by: wasaUFO | October 13, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

The site is running really slow for me, and didn't load the style sheet.

Posted by: jeremyisett | October 13, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

The site is super slow and doesn't even show up after all the churn... Wait, this IS the new GOP. Well done Mr.Steele. A most appropriate site. It can't do even simple things right, just like the GOP.

Posted by: tktez | October 13, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

The Obama Administration has been wise so far not to stir up controversies on gay marriage or gun control. And most Americans want health care reform, even if they don't know exactly what features of the current system they would rather not change. Most Americans want out of military adventures overseas. So, it was natural that Republicans would attack Obama over the Nobel Peace Prize, and to use that as a rallying cry for their supporters while launching increased use of Internet technology. Tea parties are too unfocused; participants might actually start to recognize that Republican lawmakers spend just as much money in Washington as Democrats. Internet technology allows the message to be fine-tuned that America is endangered by wimpy, far-left pacificists.

Posted by: ripvanwinkleincollege | October 13, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

You can dress up a pig, but it's still a pig.

Posted by: gschultens | October 13, 2009 6:19 PM | Report abuse

The Republican Party gutted America over the last decade.

We will not forget.

Posted by: vigor | October 13, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Michael Steele is doing a better job with the RNC than he did in any of his prior positions in Maryland.

Maybe a Palin / Steele ticket in 2012 would be good for Republicans. A dream team of sorts. It would show that they have a bigger tent than most of us think they have.

Posted by: esch | October 13, 2009 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Why should we be surprised by this. They couldn't run a nation either. As we attempt to recover from their last failed attempt at leadership this appears to be a website built by the Palin campaign. Since it isn't working it just quit. When will some people learn? Even Limbaugh could've gotten it reasonably right with the half a brain he attempts to use on occasion.

Posted by: anOPINIONATEDsob | October 13, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Steele's new domain.....let me guess. Hip-hop healthcare? he may as well change his name to Mikhail Stalin (Michael Steele, get it?). At least it's more original.

Posted by: gce1356 | October 13, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

the problem with the GOP is all their members are Republicans

Posted by: tniederberger | October 13, 2009 9:34 PM | Report abuse

for the voters of maryland who threw oreo cookies at this house________ says it all.
to think that this buffoon could be used as a alternative to the president, who is an articulate, intelligent and cultural gentleman is truly an insult to any real american.

Posted by: ninnafaye | October 13, 2009 9:38 PM | Report abuse

ninnafaye -- The citizens of Maryland NEVER threw Oreo cookies at Steele. That was a lie he put forth and couldn't prove because not one reporter from either political party witnessed what Steele claimed, nor did anyone who attended his press conference, What else can he do? He couldn't even manage his household, having to file for bankruptcy. The ONLY reason that Robert Ehrlich picked Steele to be his running mate in Maryland was because of his skin color. Ehrlich knew we are a Democrat state and he needed some creds with our Black brethren here in Md.
Ehrlich and Steele got elected because we were transitioning from a very unpopular Governor, but they lasted only one term, that's how bad they were. This is a Republikkklan problem, they simply cannot govern. Never could and that is why the Democrats held on to Congress for over forty years. Every Republican administration in power has become corrupt and survived by using the dirtiest of tricks and smears. When they are finished with Michael Steele, they'll throw him aside like they do all of their members who don't cleave to the party line.

Posted by: papafritz57 | October 14, 2009 12:44 AM | Report abuse

Not to long ago liberal democrats would lynch a black man wile republican.

Steele is making inroads not among the confederate snipers but with African Americans wile Christian conservatives. He is also gaining ground with the conservative base. If not the beltway. Because of this, the Washington post decided to throw a lynching party for him and this blog looks like the the beginning.

Posted by: workingclassslave | October 14, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

GOP.com is full of badly-formed javascript and runs on a Windows server. This is an insanely expensive and hard-to-maintain, bandwidth-intensive method of building a web presence.

In other words, it's wasteful as hell. You might even call it stupid. I could have put together a LAMP site that loads twice as fast for half the cost.

There is nothing on that site that couldn't be done with WordPress or Drupal, both of which are wildly popular, 100% proven open source content management systems, and there is no reason other than ignorance to run a site on a Windows server when Apache is free, more reliable, more secure, and makes better use of hardware resources.

Forget political views. The people who put that website together are not technically competent to run a web-dependent small business, let alone a government.

Posted by: roblimo | October 14, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

The site is a joke - badly designed, badly implemented, with no meaningful ideas or message.

On the other hand it IS representative of today's GOP, so you have to give it to them this one time for being honest.

Posted by: sambam | October 14, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Hilarious web site. This party is a joke.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | October 14, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

What a joke! Not an "idea" in sight.

Richad "Your Momma's Calling You" Steele is an embarassment to his race and to his Momma!

Only a fool would let themselves be used to such an obviously blatant degree, just so the GOP would have a black man to oppose the First Black President.

Richard! Your Momma's Calling You!!!


Posted by: lindalovejones | October 14, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

I'm amused to see that the "faces of the GOP" in their banner are all women or minorities--conspicuously NOT the folks who seem to be running the party these days.

Unintentional, I'm sure...but hilarious.

Posted by: dbitt | October 15, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

I don't care for him either and I agree with you but you probably shouldn't call your prez a clown.

Posted by: tjmlrc | October 15, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

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