May 6, 2013

Liberals debate whether Mark Zuckerberg is too weasely or just weasely enough

Mark Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg is becoming the face of the Gang of Eight's immigration bill.

From the hometown San Jose Mercury News:
Herhold: Mark Zuckerberg needs to take Politics 101 
By Scott Herhold 
Mark Zuckerberg is an extraordinary young man who at age 28 has achieved things that most people in Silicon Valley can only envy. He also has a lot to learn about politics. 
You may have read how Zuckerberg's political group is funding TV spots on behalf of Senators Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Mark Begich, D-Alaska, taking stands that many tech industry veterans would privately decry. 
The idea is to give the politicians political "cover" in exchange for supporting key immigration proposals that Facebook wants, primarily a loosening of H1B visas. 
The TV spots laud Graham for fighting Obamacare and commend Begich for working to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil drilling. 
Neither of those messages is central to the thinking of Silicon Valley. In fact, they would irritate a lot of Facebook users and managers. 
In adopting Machiavellian tactics, Zuckerberg has done more than upset his core constituency. In a real sense, the Facebook CEO has raised questions about what he and his company stand for.
Mustela silicona
"It's incredibly cynical," says Phil Trounstine, my former colleague and the co-founder of the political website Calbuzz. "It makes people believe that it's all just a game. And it's not a game. People are struggling for real stakes.' 
Here's the rule about politics that all Zuckerberg's billions have not taught him. Political opponents forgive self-interest. They don't understand the jab in the eye. 
A Midwestern politician critical of tech has no problem understanding why a Silicon Valley company would push hard for more favorable tax treatment. That's self-interest. 
If that same company wants to engage in hardball tactics over something that has little to do with its bottom line -- let's say, an oil pipeline -- then eyebrows are raised. 
You can fashion a short-term rationale for what Zuckerberg and his political group, FWD.US, are doing. But the people who practice politics most intelligently keep a long-term perspective. 
"From Zuckerberg's perspective, if he wants to get moderation out of a Republican, he has to help protect that Republican from a challenge from the right," says political consultant Rich Robinson. 
"But it's a hugely dangerous game. Ultimately, he wins the battle and loses the war." 

Meanwhile The New Republic, which is now owned by Chris Hughes, the WASP gay Facebook billionaire who managed one of Obama's social media campaigns, champions:
Mark Zuckerberg's Cynical, Necessary Washington Strategy 

Shorter version: Zuckerberg's ends justify his means!

One of the few effective freedoms of expression you are still allowed to have in the mainstream media is to not like Mark Zuckerberg, to make clear that Zuckerberg gets on your nerves. We're not being allowed to have a debate on about 90% of the likely effects of the immigration bill, but this flurry of respectable interest in whether or not Zuckerberg will triumph politically on immigration is a rare positive development for supporters of effective free speech and self-government.


Anonymous said...

Why is FB worth billions anyway?

It's a nice site, yeah, but it will also pass. It doesn't create much value like Amazon, google or wikipedia. Linkedin makes more sense.

I dig Zuck's inner Mach. Naked self-interest displayed.

wren said...

Zuckerberg once called his customers dumb fucks for trusting him.

Anonymous said...

Chris Hughes owns the New Republic. Chris Hedges is a radical leftist.

Anonymous said...

Its funny, the Democratics are breaking up, the Dems in recent years have pushed to the left like the Repubs the right, which will make the bill hard to do since the enviromentalists Dems are not as crazy about allying with the Republicans for legalization or guestworker programs.

Anonymous said...

Great photo, Steve. I laughed out loud.

Anonymous said...

Mustela silicona -- Ha!

Anonymous said...

Weasels, like hogs, get a bad rap.

They are extraordinary creatures.

Anonymous said...

"Don't discourage the boy. Weaseling out of things is important to learn. It's what separates us from the animals. Except the weasel."

Homer J. Simpson

Drunk Idiot said...

"In adopting Machiavellian tactics, Zuckerberg has done more than upset his core constituency. In a real sense, the Facebook CEO has raised questions about what he and his company stand for."

Interesting that journalists are just noting that Zuckerberg has "adopted" Machiavellian tactics.

The Winklevoss twins could probably have pointed out those Machiavellian tactics years ago.

Drunk Idiot said...

Heard one of Zuckerberg's "Americans for a Conservative Direction" ads featuring Marco Rube trying to con Cons over amnesty today. It was probably one of the most absurd things I've ever heard.

The ad read like it had been penned by smartass liberal comedy writers as a parody of what they think Conservative political ads sound like -- and of and what kinds of things rightwing teabagger types like to hear.

It's no exaggeration to say that the ad was Onion TV type stuff.

It was narrated/voiced over by a grizzled, older white gentleman whose voice had an almost comically gravelly, Nick Nolte-after-a-three-day-bender tenor and delivery.

He sounded like the kind of guy who's spent the last 30 years as an On Air talent at classic rock stations from coast to coast, and who would normally be introducing a "triple play Tuesday" set from Todd Rundgren by telling the audience about the time he saw Rundren join Mountain onstage for a 25 minute rendition of "Mississippi Queen" at the Filmore back in '71.

He introduced the esteemed Conservative Senator from Florida, Senator Rubeio, who then rattled off all the usual talking points about how our present immigration system is "broken", and how it's "immoral" to keep children separated from their families, etc.

Then Senator Rube promised tough border enforcement, and the gravel-voiced Narrator took a break from his Jack Daniels and Marlboros in order to instruct the audience that the proposed legislation was so Hard Core Conservative that it would would feature "BORDER ENFORCEMENT ON STEROIDS!"

They apparently expect the target audience to eat it up:

F**k yeah!!! What's more hard core Conservative than that!?! Commonsense immigration reform that promotes Conservative values and that keeps all them other dirty wetbacks out!!!

This bill is so hard core Conservative that Uncle Adolf and Dr. Mengele would be on board!!!

Woo hoo!!! Sieg Heil!!!

Hard core Conservatives: Kickin' ass and takin' names!!!

It was really just about that absurd.

Had to be heard to be believed.

Anonymous said...

"Why is FB worth billions"...because it allows companies/marketers to micro-target like never before given how much of your personal data and likes/dislikes and friendship network is on there if you use it.

LinkedIn's revenue model is pretty easy to understand and it'll never make the gross rev FB does (only talking about top line here, not anything else) because it only deals with a subset of ones life (professional networking). FB is someones WHOLE life pretty much caught on a network.

FB will pass when a new network can supplant it but that'll be extremely hard as the biggest barrier to a new social network is the switching costs a user faces when moving over. FB is too entrenched.

Anonymous said...

Sure all of that is true but the internet will give rise to new things. To think FB will be the endstage for ecommerce customization is closeminded to the max. Once there were monopolies by IBM and Microsoft, they lost their monopolies. Netscape & Altavista were big once too.

Linkedin actually provides useful services; teaches useful stuff gor effective resumes, job tips. FB is pretty juvenile.

Also, FB is big all over the world, not just US, but non-Americand would be open to other similar services.

Anonymous said...

The fact is that, used wisely and tactfully, Facebook is a good way to convince friends and acquaintances that we need to control our borders and reduce immigration.

You could deactivate or delete your Facebook account to spite Mark Zuckerberg, or you could use it to try to educate people that opposing open borders is not racist. It would be hilarious if Zuckerberg's own website were used to defeat his open borders ideology.

Harry Baldwin said...

The creepy photo you use of Zuckerberg reminds me of the creepy photo of Putin TIME put on its cover a few years ago.

Anonymous said...

David said...

Is there a single famous person pushing amnesty who isn't annoying to people on the opposite side of the political fence, or to people in general? None of them seem universally innocuous (Rubio was close, but he's getting chipped away at).

We should identify the biggest non-fans or haters of each and every amnesty-pusher, and pair 'em up. "Look who supports this bill! Mel f-ing Gibson! [NB: pretend example]" "Look who supports this bill! Keith f-ing Olbermann!"

Tailor the message to each different audience.

The viral meme should be: Everyone you fear and hate supports this bill.

Superman said...

the weasel has better fWHR than Zuck

Anonymous said...

Shop goes the weasel.

Anonymous said...

You could deactivate or delete your Facebook account to spite Mark Zuckerberg, or you could use it to try to educate people that opposing open borders is not racist.

Educate people that immigration control is wise and prudent.

Mr. Anon said...

"Harry Baldwin said...

The creepy photo you use of Zuckerberg reminds me of the creepy photo of Putin TIME put on its cover a few years ago."

Just how DID Charlie Watts end up as President of Russia?

Maxwell Power said...

It got mentioned already in the last post but did you look up the prospectus on Max Marty yet? Local news here in N. Cal. did something about him the other day--he is spearheading a floating programmers' plantation in int'l waters (project's going nowhere AFAIK). Surreally funny, like something a VDare article would concoct as parody, even down to the guy's name & cliche TED persona

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I think that's due to it being the same photographer. He did the Clinton crotch-level shot too, and that weirdly serene Gadhaffi cover.