RNC Launches New Tech ‘Startup’ to Beat Dems, Runs Afoul of Historical Allusions

Update: check out this clever parody site, ParaBellumLabs.org…well done! And why the hell didn’t someone at the RNC buy that domain?

More fruits of the Republican effort to catch up with Democrats on the technology front:

The RNC Tuesday is announcing the formation of Para Bellum Labs, an in-house technology incubator that combines the committee’s data-analytics arm with its digital-marketing unit. As part of that effort, the committee is on the prowl for programmers and other engineers to staff its latest venture.

Considering the stakes, their ambitions seem appropriately large:

“We will fully participate in the open source community and earn the respect of the people we need to hire,” chief data officer Azarias Reda said in a statement Tuesday. “When it comes to recruiting top talent, our competition isn’t the Democratic Party — it’s the Facebooks, LinkedIns, and Googles of the world. We’re pushing the envelope by building products to win elections while creating a young and engaged image for the Republican Party.”

Of course, as we’ve discussed before, while ambitions are one thing, success is another. One single party-driven organization does not a robust technology ecosystem make, and as always, time will tell. Still, Republicans need to do SOMETHING to start to catch up, so why not try to recruit tech talent and see what happens.

In the meantime, some on the Left are having fun with Para Bellum’s name, which as Gawker noted today, the new tech venture shares with 9 mm ammunition designed for the German Luger pistol often used by Nazis in war movies. Yes, it’s a reach, and Gawker’s version of history is loose with the details, but it’s still a good excuse to stir things up: witness the offer from Democratic data firm Clarity Labs to give Para Bellum a free image makeover. Even more of a reach: does anyone else hear a faint, surely unintentional audio echo of the historically charged word “Antebellum”? Yes, I’ll see your “Hitler” and raise you “slavery”….

Unseemly “humor” aside, what really matters is the results: it’s all fun and games until time to count the votes.


Written by
Colin Delany
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