The Republican Party launched a redesigned website Tuesday with a heavy emphasis on the social media tools that Democrat Barack Obama used so effectively to win the last presidential election.
Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele said GOP.com, which stands for “Grand Old Party,” the party’s nickname, will “help Republicans compete in any race, in any state, at any time.”
However, the new Web portal is not without its share of problems.
“Flying around Twitter this morning is a link to the new site’s ‘Future GOP leaders‘ page,” Talking Points Memo noted. “Instead of fresh faces, it the page lists ‘404 Error: This page could not be found.'”
A placeholder page that went up after the site’s launch called for users to send an e-mail nominating future leaders.
One of the site’s key features includes a list of so-called Republican heroes. “But the GOP may have muddled is message by including individuals who would scoff at today’s Republican Party,” Huffington Post reporter Sam Stein opined.
“As pointed out by a Democratic source, the inclusion of baseball star Jackie Robinson on the list seems particularly egregious,” Stein continued. “The former Dodger, who broke baseball’s color barrier, was far from a die-in-the-wool conservative. Robinson’s ties to the GOP seemed more driven by a personal admiration for Nelson Rockefeller — the New Yorker who would end up being vice president under Gerald Ford — then it was core ideological convictions. In his biography, Robinson said that as the Republican Party leadership tilted towards Barry Goldwater conservatives, he began to have ‘a better understanding of how it must have felt to be a Jew in Hitler’s Germany.'”
Another one of the GOP “heroes” the site lists is Hiram Rhodes Revels, a black man who in 1870 became a Republican U.S. Senator from Mississippi. However, the new GOP.com neglects to add Revels’ last name, simply labeling him “Hiram Rhodes.”
“Even when the GOP tries to do something relatively docile, they can’t help but screw it up,” scoffed the Florida Progressive blog, which caught the error. “They’re not just the ‘Party of No,’ they’re the Party of No Competence.”
The Democratic National Committee was quick to pounce on the new site noting that the “Accomplishments” page on GOP.com does not list any accomplishments since 2004.
The Republican National Committee, in a statement, said the website will serve as a tool to mobilize grassroots supporters.
“It will enable our supporters to communicate with each other and organize events both through GOP.com and various social media applications such as Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace,” it said.
At time of this writing, GOP.com was completely offline.