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Monday, March 9, 2009

Michael Steele's misadventures continue:
Michael Steele has already said that he's going to implement communications strategies at the RNC that are "off the hook" and "beyond cutting edge." But is he now taking things to a whole new level?

Check out this RNC Request-for-Proposal that's been circulating on the internet, soliciting bids for redesigning the group's website.

It begins with a general (very general) statement of principles:

Chairman Steele made his tech priorities clear at the [RNC Tech Summit]: "...bottom line is if we haven't done it - let's do it. If we haven't thought of it - think about it. If it hasn't been tried - why not? If it's going to be 'outside the box' - then not only keep it outside the box, but take it to someplace the box hasn't even reached yet."

And it doesn't get a whole lot more specific after that. In fact, the two-page document is so light on the kind of details you might expect an RFP of this sort to have, that it's already being slammed on conservative blogs.

A pro tells us why this is so bad:
"It's really hard to write a proposal for that vague of a request," Jennifer Kyrnin, who has been designing web sites since 1995, and teaching web design since 1997, and who frequently responds to RFP's for web design work, told TPMmuckraker.

Kyrnin allowed that she had received RFP's as vague as this one, but never from a company or organization as prominent as the GOP. "Most are from new small businesses who've never put up a site before," she said.

Kyrnin flagged several obvious weak spots in the RFP.

Citing the RNC's view that "an aesthetically pleasing site that is intuitive and fun to use should be the overall goal," she said: "Well, yeah. I mean, that's what everybody wants."

As for the RNC's advice that it want someone with "experience in building social networks," Kyrnin said: "That, I look at and I go, 'what the heck do you mean?' If I were writing a proposal that would make me nervous."

The first TPM page I linked has a decent criticism, even it is from a nut like Erick Erickson. I don't really care if Michael Steele lives up to his promises given to a party populated by many who likely consider him an affirmative-action baby. Those are the folks he's decided to lay down with. But even this seems to stretch the bounds of credulity.

I care more about this country than I do about Democrats beating Republicans. But the Republican Party as it now stands is an impediment to progress. I mean, a spending freeze in the middle of a recession? Paging Herbert Hoover:

In today's economic climate, I find the Republicans' clown act less funny and more troubling by the day. And for that reason, I hope Michael Steele stops making brothers look worse by the day, steps away from the mic and resigns his post.


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