AMERICA SPEAKING OUT, BUT NOT VERY WELL…. House Republicans launched their “America Speaking Out” project yesterday, an election-year gimmick intended to help give the GOP a policy platform to run on. One of the key problems, as we talked about yesterday, is that the party is asking taxpayers to foot the bill for this.

But there’s also the matter of the Republicans’ online discussion itself. As part of the initiative, the GOP is creating a forum for their supporters to discuss potential policy ideas. One of the first proposals, apparently promoted by a Rand Paul fan*, was to eliminate provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Republican officials monitoring the submissions removed it from their site.

But Dana Milbank highlighted some of “the early responses to the Republicans’ request for ideas.”

“End Child Labor Laws,” suggests one helpful participant. “We coddle children too much. They need to spend their youth in the factories.”

“How about if Congress actually do thier job and VET or Usurper in Chief, Obama is NOT a Natural Born Citizen in any way,” recommends another. “That fake so called birth certificate is useless.”

“A ‘teacher’ told my child in class that dolphins were mammals and not fish!” a third complains. “And the same thing about whales! We need TRADITIONAL VALUES in all areas of education. If it swims in the water, it is a FISH. Period! End of Story.”

That last one was my particular favorite.

In fairness, there’s no way to know if the participants are sincere. Some of the more ridiculous content may come from far-right nuts, or perhaps progressives who are trying to make Republican activists look stupid. Tragically, it’s surprisingly difficult to tell the difference lately.

Republicans might want to take a hard look at the suggestion that “we need to reframe the discussion” about the BP oil spill to counteract the “environmental whackos” worried about wildlife. Republicans, this person proposed, should argue that “BP is creating a new race of faster dolphins. These fish are unable to compete against the fish of other countries, but now their increased lubrication will allow them to fly through the water. Faster fish = good.”

I don’t think I fully appreciated the comedic possibilities “America Speaking Out” offers.

* Update: Apparently, this wasn’t a Rand Paul fan, but rather, was posted by a progressive who was testing to see how actual Tea Party ideas fared on the GOP’s website. Like I said, the distinction between right-wing activists and progressives making fun for right-wing activists is often blurred.

Our ideas can save democracy... But we need your help! Donate Now!

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.