Friday, January 21, 2011

What Republicans Can Learn From Google

Google’s announcement that CEO Eric Schmidt was planning to step down is not a surprise. The company was started by two young technologists, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who were prescient enough to recognize that the skills that they possessed  were exemplary for innovation, but they lacked the knowledge and experience to grow the enterprise.  Hundreds of high-tech companies with original ideas have failed due to their inability to recognize this fact. When Schmidt, an experienced businessman, was hired in 2001, he noted that Google would be successful with “adult supervision”, which he was able to provide. Now that he feels Larry Page has matured enough to provide that adult supervision, Schmidt is stepping aside.

Today, an institution badly in need of adult supervision is the Republican Party. In the short history of the 112th Congress, its most notable accomplishments have been the waste of taxpayer money by reading a redacted version of the Constitution on the House floor, and the waste of taxpayer money by voting to repeal the job-creating life-saving Affordable Care act, despite the certainty of a presidential veto in the unlikely event that the bill passes in the Senate.

No doubt, the need for adult supervision continues. GOP Oversight Committee chairman Darrel Issa has announced a series of witchhunts investigations that will pale in comparison to the GOP’s $50 milion investigation of Whitewater and the senseless impeachment of Bill Clinton  by equating sexual improprieties with “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

There’s room in our political system for social and fiscal conservatives who are willing to sit down and discuss issues without grandstanding and pontificating. Adults realize that you don’t always get what you want, and that compromise gets you more than intransigence does. (Democrats have the opposite problem - compromise before even coming to the negotiating table.) Is there anyone in the Republican hierarchy who doesn’t hate government so much that they are willing to make it work?

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