It’ll take more than just technology

IT’LL TAKE MORE THAN JUST TECHNOLOGY…. We’ve heard quite a bit in recent months about Republicans embracing modern technology to help get the party back on track. House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) told CNN this morning that it’s an area the party is beginning to take more seriously.

“President Obama is a great communicator. We understand that,” he said in an interview that aired on CNN’s State of the Union Sunday. “He’s also been very adept at adopting the technology of today to access the youth vote and the younger population of this country. That’s the future, and I believe we’ve got a lot to learn. The Republican Party can’t keep doing things the way it always has in terms of technology.”

If this sounds familiar, it’s because it’s become a principal talking point about the GOP’s future. We’ve been told the GOP will mount a comeback “with the Twittering.” We’ve seen candidates for the RNC chairmanship argue over who has more Facebook friends. The Republican Party, rumor has it, is going to go “beyond cutting edge.”

This all sounds perfectly nice, I suppose. Last year, the Republican presidential nominee described the vice presidential vetting process as “a google.” It certainly couldn’t hurt for the party to get up to speed.

But I continue to think GOP leaders misunderstand what’s possible with these applications. Yes, the left has generally been more adept at making use of technological advances, but it’s been effective, at least in part, because of the substance and vision behind it.

Listening to Republican leaders talk about technology is a bit like listening to an inept advertising agency promising a business that they’ll have a strong “online presence” because it’ll have a blog and its commercials will be on YouTube.

Let’s call it the Republicans’ Underpants Gnomes’ Innovation Agenda. It’s a three-part plan:

Step 1: Embrace blogs, twitter, and social networking websites
Step 2: (awkward silence)
Step 3: Electoral victory!

The Republican Party has deep and systemic problems. Its ideas are unpopular, its policies have failed, and its vision for the future is bankrupt. The GOP’s agenda and ideology are out of sync with the nation’s needs.

Eric Cantor can tweet the hell out of a proposed five-year spending freeze to address the economic crisis, but it won’t make the idea any less ridiculous.