Republicans Embrace Listicles as Key to 21st Century Success

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Republican Party chairman Reince Priebus released an “autopsy” a couple of weeks ago that suggested the party’s woes were mostly due to poor optics and weak use of technology. Apparently the NRCC, the committee that funds Republican House races, agrees.

Yep: they’re doing the thing that every flailing organization does when they can’t think of anything actually constructive to do: redesigning their website. In this case, they’ve decided that cat videos and mindless listicles are the key to political success:

“BuzzFeed’s eating everyone’s lunch,” said NRCC spokesman Gerrit Lansing. “They’re making people want to read and be cognizant of politics in a different way.”….The NRCC’s redesign includes a list of recent and popular posts. Other changes include shorter posts, fewer menu items and a heavy helping of what now passes for social currency on the Web: snark.

The new site comes a few months into the beginning of a broader strategy to capture more of the social Web’s attention. To that end, the NRCC has begun dropping blog posts with headlines like “13 Animals That Are Really Bummed on Obamacare’s Third Birthday.” A recent image macro the NRCC posted on Facebook featured a photo of President Obama laughing below a caption mocking voters for believing his claims about health insurance premiums.

Well, who knows? It might work. They suckered me into writing about it, after all. Still, I have to say that the screenshots of the new site don’t really look all that BuzzFeedy to my professionally trained eye. In honor of the new site, then, I think we should come up with a list of listicles for the NRCC to try out. I’ll get us started:

  • 12 Ways That A Capital Gains Cut Will Benefit You
  • 10 Best Tea Party Costumes From CPAC
  • VIDEO: Republicans Promote Cat, Dog Adoption as “Antidote to Partisan Bickering”
  • 7 Heartbreaking Letters To Obama From Schoolchildren Asking Him Not To Destroy Their Future
  • GALLERY: Five Gruesome Abortion Photos
  • 17 Ways That Obama Has Made America Less Safe

Your turn. Give the NRCC your best ideas.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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