Sunday, February 15, 2009

Republican Circle Jerk

In my early corporate days, I was a gerbil in the cage of the software development and release cycle, the timing of which was usually centered around trade shows like DAC (Design Automation Conference). In between shows, we'd gather requests from our customers and add those features to the software, along with other stuff we thought would be cool, hopefully in time to make a big announcement at the next major show. Then we'd take our barely released bug-filled code and go present it at the show and pray that nobody asked us to do anything outside of the demo. Otherwise, there'd be no telling what the code might do. Explode and eat the computer. Or something.

I was a "demo jock(ette)," demonstrating the software on the floor of our booth. If any of the demo jocks from our competitors happened to stop in during one of my demos, I was supposed to ask them to leave, but I never did. What was the point? If they were looking at our new features so they could copy us, then they'd have to run home after the show and spend the next 3-6 months writing that code. During that time, we would be innovating with new features, and they'd be playing copycat catch-up. It never ceased to amaze me how limited this short-term thinking was on the part of our competitors. But I was just a blonde girl who could say words like substrate, blind & buried vias, and surface mount components. 

Horny yet? Good for you.

So, I grew up and moved on but everywhere I went there were good marketers who kept an eye on their competition, while focused on product innovation. Or lazy marketers, who spied on and copied their competition. The ones that innovate (iPod), win. The ones that copy (Zune), die.

Now I'm seeing the same damn stupidity and pure laziness in the Republican party. You would think that after getting their asses kicked in 2006 and in the recent presidential election, they might sit back and take a toke off their hashless pipes, and, well, innovate.


First, they get the black guy to be the head of the RNC. "Inclusion" is the concept. They want to reach out to all the non-white people that they've shit on for, well, forever. Including (there's that word again), them thar Mexicans they hate so much (except when they can get their corporate  buddies some meaty contracts in The War On Drugs Gold Rush. Then they love 'em some [dead] Mexicans.) But, actually, they just thought to themselves, "That one...Obama...he's black, and he won. We need a black guy! Can somebody bring me a black guy? Come on! WHO DO I HAVE TO FUCK TO GET A BLACK GUY AROUND HERE?"

They DIDN'T say, "According to the US census projections, minorities will be the majority by 2042. And there were enough minority votes in 2008 to tip the balance in Obama's favor. Maybe we should stop being so darn xenophobic. Maybe we should actually reach out and touch a few of them, and not clean up with hand sanitizer afterwards. Maybe we should help minorities be successful?"

Ya think?

Now I hear about another copycat scheme - Eric Cantor, Republican whip, is modeling himself after Newt Gingrich: (And yes, he is the same guy who said his spokesperson's obscenity-laden video was just a joke. Of course, I should talk. ahem.)
Mr. Cantor said he had studied Mr. Gingrich’s years in power and had been in regular touch with him as he sought to help his party find the right tone and message. Indeed, one of Mr. Gingrich’s leading victories in unifying his caucus against Mr. Clinton’s package of tax increases to balance the budget in 1993 has been echoed in the events of the last few weeks.
So, again. Nobody's innovating here. And according to Matt Yglesias, Gingrich's obstructionist "success" in the Clinton era doesn't even apply to our current situation. (I'm so surprised!) Nor are the Republicans even thinking, for one half of a second, about their constituencies outside of the beltway. (Yoo-hoo! We're out here, boys!) They're just playing the same old obstructionist game, and pissing off the American people some more. It's like they're still in high school and doing the same old circle jerk they've always done. 

But the American public isn't impressed with their, um, performance...just like the girls that wouldn't date them in high school.

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