The Republicans have not lately been known as the party of Internet savvy, as even their own party operatives will admit. But give them credit, at least, for making the best of a bad situation when something goes wrong on the party’s official website, GOP.com.
As of at least mid-September, the image above is what appears when you type in the wrong Web address or follow a link to a page that isn’t working. You can find it for yourself by mistyping the URL for any GOP.com page—e.g., https://www.gop.com/leaders/rational/ instead of https://www.gop.com/leaders/national/.
Granted, the joke—a reference to a comment Clinton made in a June interview with Diane Sawyer—is not exactly comic genius. But it’s probably good for at least a chuckle from the party faithful, which is a step up from the frustration that 404 notices typically engender. And it’s certainly better than the “page not found” that appeared in 2010 when visitors to the re-launched GOP.com clicked on a link to its “Future GOP leaders” page.
The Republican National Committee’s website is hardly the first to attempt some humor on its 404 error page. I collected some of my favorites from around the Web earlier this year in honor of 404 Day (yes, of course that’s a real holiday) (OK, no, it isn’t).
The Democrats, however, have yet to discover the joy of posting cheap jokes and unflattering photos of their political opponents on their website’s error pages. Misspell http://www.democrats.org/voterexpansion as http://www.democrats.org/voteearlyandoften and this generic 404 message is all you’ll get for your trouble:*
Surely the Dems can do better than this. The problem is it’s not immediately clear which polarizing GOP figure the party ought to be going after these days. Still, we came up with a few visual aids to get the brainstorming started:
Don't cry, it's just a 404 page!
Time for a water break: You've reached a 404 page.
Ouch. You've reached a 404 page.
Readers are encouraged to offer their own suggestions in the comments, which is a sentence we’re probably going to regret as soon as we see what you’ve come up with.
*Correction, Oct. 14, 2014: This post originally gave an example URL for the Democrats' website that led to a DNS lookup failure rather than a 404 "page not found" error.