The Republicans are easing Americans into the idea that it's OK to report their neighbors political beliefs to a central authority.
But don't worry! The central authority is only the Republican Party! Phew! For a minute there, I was worried!
The party has asked 60,000 supporters from across [Minnesota] to figure out what issues animate their neighbors and where they stand in the political spectrum, and report that information back to the party -- with or, possibly, without their neighbors' permission.
The site and the party's reliance on neighborly connections, [Larry Colson, a Minnesota entrepreneur who helped develop the site] said, are ways of filling those gaps. "You're more likely to tell your neighbor what your party preference is when they ask than you are to some stranger on the phone," he said. Those who seem persuadable will receive campaign literature from Republican candidates -- including President Bush -- with whom the party plans to share its data. Those deemed incorrigible Democrats will be struck from the list.
I can think of another name for the GOP "Team Leaders" who will be populating the Republican database with their neighbors's names and affiliations: informer.
Of course, the real nightmare scenario would be a national Republican "enemies list," constructed by winger activists. I mean, who really believes "incorrigible Democrats" will be "struck from the list"? After all, when the time comes to round up the traitors, the list of "incorrgible Democrats" will be a very good starting point. And please refer all comments containing the words "tinfoil hat" to the Department of "No! They would never to that!"
Laugh if you will, but I don't put anything past Bush and his cronies anymore.
Update 13:50: Lambert has more:
And just in case you didn't think the Minnesota Republican Party's effort to have informers collect information about the political affiliations of their neighbors (back) wasn't really all about intimidation, here are some comments from the designer of the system, Larry Colson:
[Minnesota Republicans realize] that with Minnesota now "in play", the Cowards will be forced to spend time and money in a state that they formerly took for granted. ...
Minnesota eCampaign Chair
Nice, huh? For "coward," of course, read "traitor."
Nice words from the party whose candidate can't prove He did his duty in the military (even though He did collect a paycheck).