I have a very pleasant relationship with a number of congressional staffers, elected officials, and political operatives, but my overall relationship with the parties themselves is, well, a bit strained.
I think that's because I can't resist mocking them. It's not just mocking the GOP or just mocking the Dems. Both parties do some amazingly dumb things, some amazingly short-sighted or self-entitled things, and, well, I need the material.
I mean, think about it. One party has Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum, not to mention Mitt Romney. The other party has Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid (who is easy to mock, even if he does or says nothing), and everyone's favorite former RIAA stooge, Hillary Rosen.
Some days, it's just too easy, and that's before you get to the career government employees who are just doing their best to embarrass everyone. Hey, Secret Service, I'm talking to you!
As a political commentator specializing in technology and mockology, it's particularly gratifying when new mock-worthy techno-political material just arrives in my inbox. On the one side was a mass email from Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, promoting a "hype and blame" bumper sticker.
Okay, wait, the man's name is "Reince Priebus". Need I mock more?
Anyway, while I got the mailing about the bumper sticker, Lynn Sweet, Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times, apparently gets the fancier invites. She was invited to a conference call blasting President Obama for unemployment figures.
Now, pay attention to that little detail. The GOP was complaining about unemployment in the U.S.
So, where were the operators located that conducted the conference call? Someplace where property is cheap in America's flyover territory? Nope. In one of the red states where jobs are sorely needed, like Mississippi? Nope.
No, the operators the GOP used to blast President Obama about the unemployment problem in the United States were located -- wait for it -- offshore, in the Philippines.
Now, to be fair, some GOP manager probably told some very underpaid assistant to set up a conference call. That conference call was managed by Verizon, who you'd normally think of as a very American company. But, apparently, Verizon is offshoring at least some of its operators to the Philippines because when Ms. Sweet asked, she was told said operator lived in Manila.
And, no, it wasn't Manila, Arkansas (a state with a 7.4% unemployment rate, as of March 2012).
Oh, the irony.
But before I leave you today, having had a good mocking at the expense of some poor GOP office worker, let me point out just how hard it is to tell what's made or supplied in the United States. I wrote about this a lot in How To Save Jobs (free download). It's not particularly easy to tell where something that you might think is American is actually supplied from.
For example, nothing is more American than the Chevy Camaro, right? Nope, it's made in Oshawa, Ontario, in Canada. And so it's understandable that a GOP office worker might have assumed Verizon's conference call would be managed in the United States.
It's understandable, but if you're going to mock a sitting President about his jobs performance, it might be useful to look who you're hiring to arrange the mocking.
One further, non-mocking note, and this is for both the GOP and the Dems. Where a service or product is made is very difficult for the average consumer to determine. I've put forth an America's Share strategy that might help us figure out what percentage of the services and products we use come from America. Consider adopting this, or a similar policy.
We want and need to buy American. That, and not just mocking the loyal opposition, is how you're going to really save jobs in America. We need to buy American goods and services.
I wonder where the GOP's bumper stickers were printed.
Shout out to ZDNet's Ed Bott for turning me on to this story.