Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“Democracy is based on the assumption that a million men are wiser than one man. How's that again? I missed something. Autocracy is based on the assumption that one man is wiser than a million men. Let's play that over again too. Who decides?”     Robert A. Heinlein

March 7, 2009

The RNC’s New RFP to Fix Their “Series of Tubes”

by Stephen Gordon

Here’s a copy of the RFP the Republican National Committee just released for a redesign of their website. It’s obvious to this political web developer that GOP leadership still has absolutely no clue about this newfangled thang called the Internets.

Dale Franks writes:

Surely this is all some sort of elaborate joke. Perhaps on Monday the RNC will tell us that they were just having us on. Then, once we’ve all had a good laugh, they’ll release the real RFP.

Because whatever this document is, it’s not an RFP. At best, this is some sort of marketing-related statement of intent. It’s nothing more than a series of barely-related bullet points that say:

  • We want a cool web site.
  • We want neat external applications to run on it.
  • Flash is fun.
  • We want it to be easy to use, ’cause we ain’t got us much of that compooter learnin’.
  • Make it pretty.
  • We have data. We’d like to use it.

This the new, high-tech-savvy GOP? This is the kind of in-depth attention to leveraging technology that the refurbished, Michel Steele RNC has planned?

Erik Erickson didn’t hold back words, either.

Friends, either the RNC has no freakin’ clue what the hell it is doing or else all the rumors about certain consultants having an inside track at RNC contracts is true.

Why? Because there is no way any competent person would put together an RFP like this. It’s crap. It is not legitimate. It is unprofessional. It is illusory.

Either they don’t know what they are doing, or they’ve already picked their consultant and are going through the motions. If it is the former, well, the RNC is screwed. If it is the latter, Michael Steele’s claims about bidding out work was B.S.

Whether the RNC hasn’t a clue about technical issues (as Franks suggests) or their motivations are indeed more sinister (as Erickson suggests), I’m sure the Democrats aren’t quaking in their boots at the moment.  Quaking with laughter, perhaps.

UPDATE: On a somewhat related note, ThinkProgress is reporting that RNC chairman Michael Steele has taken down his blog because he’s “been ‘getting ripped apart‘ by conservative commenters on his blog.”

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  1. Whether Franks or Erickson are right about this, it’s clear that the GOP still hasn’t learned from the success that Obama and Ron Paul both had using the Internet during the `08 campaign.

    They’d better learn soon, for their own sakes

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — March 7, 2009 @ 11:47 am
  2. Damn, I can’t even comprehend how quickly I’d be fired if I ever submitted something that amateurish as an RFP.

    Seriously, the entire thing can be boiled down to “give us a really cool Web 2.0 thingy!”

    Comment by Quincy — March 7, 2009 @ 9:51 pm

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