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On Lady Gaga, Karl Rove, Buzzfeed, and Fracking

Special to SEGAZINE

By Robert Romano

Establishment Republicans are in the midst of what can only be described as an intellectual meltdown. They must be.

Whether it’s the revelation that American Action Network attempted to get the ever-controversial, exceptionally talented Lady Gaga to perform for $1 million at the Republican National Convention — an institution, to put it mildly, she shares almost nothing in common with.

Or Karl Rove’s American Crossroads push to defeat, not Democrats, but tea party candidates, the same movement that had helped the GOP to reclaim a majority in the House of Representatives in 2010.

To now the National Republican Congressional Committee’s (NRCC) hailing as a model for future Republican messaging Buzzfeed, a website that drives traffic with pictures of talking cats, celebrity gossip, sexual innuendo, and sci-fi. It’s hard not to ask what the heck is going on.

“BuzzFeed’s eating everyone’s lunch,” National Journal reports NRCC spokesman Gerrit Lansing as saying. “They’re making people want to read and be cognizant of politics in a different way.”

Yeah, by interspersing political stories amid pure trivial nonsense with headlines like “Floating Poop In Space — A Confidential Discussion,” “Which Kind Of Gamers Are The Best Lovers?” “The 28 Most Ironic Things That Have Ever Happened,” and “This Guy Is Obsessed With Becoming A Mermaid.”

Perhaps I am simply being obtuse. I’m certain the NRCC might respond that it was merely looking at Buzzfeed’s web layout as something to emulate to generate more clicks, something indicated in the National Journal story.

But Lansing went further than that, saying a site like Buzzfeed — which can only be defined as appealing to the lowest common denominator — was in fact some new way to talk about politics. Who knew floating poop in the void of space could be such an effective tool?

Here, the NRCC is acknowledging something that Barack Obama already knows and took full advantage of in 2008, which is that politics in America is dead.

Let’s face it. When a candidate’s appeal as a pop culture icon trumps any examination whatsoever of the issues facing the nation, when people are more driven by who’s advancing in Dancing with the Stars than what’s going on in their local community, then perhaps our society really has devolved into a lemming-like mob of sycophants.

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