Gaming the Company


I’ve always thought you could tell a dying company by how the executives compete with each other.  If they compete to have the best results for their department or division, the company is on the way up.  If they compete to look better than the other guys by cutting the legs out from under them, then you know the company is going to die.  So when Chevy management sabotaged Saturn rather than compete,  it was the beginning of the end.  We have an odd situation in the US congress though: the Republicans, as a unit, are intent on gaming the system, while the Democrats, individually seem to want to bring the country forward.

If you find yourself trapped in a “gaming the system”  group” being the lone voice of reason doesn’t help, because the others will pull you down and rip you to shreds.  And for the 80’s and 90’s and on into the 00’s this has been the state of the Republican party.  After all, look at what happened to the moderate Republicans since Reagan.  Heck, it wasn’t even just moderate Republicans – it was any reasonable Republican, anyone who was interested in helping America rather than just help their party.  The most concise iteration of this precept was Tom Delay’s “50% + 1 vote” philosophy: he knew the Republicans memebers would do as they were told, so if he found too many Democrats in favor of a bill he would push more and more extreme measures into it, until they had virtually all the Republicans and a few token Democrats.  Never mind if the extreme measures were bad for the country; he felt they were good for his party because they assured no Democrat could take credit for the rest of the bill.  And   by the way, if a Democrat was voting with the Republicans with any kind of regularity? Then he would attack with all his might, because that Democrat was showing weakness.  The very rare coalition was just a ruse to seek out such injured prey.

And indeed, when the Republicans controlled the country over the past 8 years, and in reality, longer, the US has suffered terribly.  What is so odd about the situation is that the Democrats haven’t responded in kind.  Oh, there are certainly more than a few idiots and brigands in the Donkey Brigade, but what saves the Democrats is their voters don’t really go for people who just blindly follow the leader.  It makes for ugly sausage-making, but it keeps them from marching the country off a cliff.

It is simply astounding that the Republicans can still keep iron fisted control over their members even after the slaughter at the polls.  The GOP members fear their leadership, both inside and outside the official party structure, much more than they fear the voters.  So Obama’s stimulus package passes with ZERO Republican votes.  There is nothing he could have done to change their minds.  Boehner reportly felt that Obama would get credit for it no matter what, so their only “hope” is that it doesn’t work so he will get the blame and they can say I told you so.  Think about it: the Republican Party as  a whole is hoping that the stimulus package doesn’t work, that the economy does worse than it is now, so they can claim ‘victory’.


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