There has been so much buzz about GOP.com that I had to check it out. And I am so, so, so glad I did. The site looks very nice. They almost managed to make a landing page without anything overtly crazy. But then they had to include the ham-fisted attempt at satire, “For what other awards should President Obama be nominated?” (Gold star for not ending your sentence in a preposition). To be fair, the list is not so much crazy as lame.

What really galls me about the site is the section called “Republican Heroes.” Most of the heroes are from the post-Civil War era and early twentieth century. In fact, all the photographs are black and white so that we don’t really notice how few were taken after 1920. Many of the heroes worked actively for civil rights and women’s suffrage. The list includes Mary Terrell, co-founder of the NAACP, a perennial object of Republican ire. It includes, of course, Lincoln. It also includes Frederick Douglass, the first really iconic civil rights figure. If you want to claim Frederick Douglass for the GOP, then I think it is only fair to claim Strom Thurmond as well. But wait, you say, wasn’t Strom Thurmond a Democrat? Why, yes, until 1964. It seems like something important happened that year… Oh yeah, the Civil Rights Act, which ended segregation. A Democratic president pushes through a major civil rights bill and Thurmond switches sides. Now there’s a Republican hero.

Curiously absent from the wall of Republican heroes is Theodore Roosevelt. Besides being a total bad ass, he did some great things for civil rights, including having Booker T. Washington over for dinner at the White House. But wait, he also ordered a study on healthcare reform because illness was a major cause of poverty—not bankruptcy, poverty. He decried the growing influence of big business in Washington and as president he busted forty-four trusts. I can see how those things would get you kicked off the wall of Republican heroes. And really, his massive defense spending could have been a little massiver.

Finally, there is a section called “Why Are You a Republican?” that features a matrix of smiling faces. There are arrows at each side, suggesting that there are oceans of faces and they won’t all fit on one page, but if you click the arrows a few times you see that all the faces are the same and the arrows just mix them around a little. If you hold your cursor over any of the pictures a little quote appears explaining why that person is a Republican. Most of these say something about freedom, the Revolution or hard work. I like all those things. I especially like the last one. And it’s fortunate too, because after eight years of Bush, those Americans who are lucky enough to still have work are having to do a lot more of it to pay for things like food and healthcare.

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