They don’t call Micro$oft “The Evil Empire” for nothing:
AMERICAblog.com has learned that Microsoft is currently paying a $20,000 a month retainer to former Christian Coalition head Ralph Reed’s consulting firm Century Strategies. Which now begs the question of whether Reed was in any way involved with Microsoft’s recent decision to abandon its decades long support for gay civil rights in order to curry favor with anti-gay bigots of the radical right.
I have to wonder if this is protection money. Oh, wait, as I read down, it appears that’s exactly what it’s for:
Now, just think a minute. Microsoft finds itself under criticism from the local evangelical leader, religious right shareholders, bigoted employees and who knows who else. They don’t know what to do. Who do they turn to? Well, if I’m in a religious right pickle, I’d turn to my $20,000 a month retainered religious right consultant, the former leader of the religious right, Ralph Reed.
Picture the scene:
The year is 1999. Ralph Reed and half a dozen guys with crooked teeth and no necks enter the office of Bill Gates.
Reed: Nice multi-billion dollar empire ya got here. (Reed steps between Gates and the screen of his laptop.) Be a shame if something happened to it.
Gates: (nervously) Whaddya mean? I run an honest, er, successful business here. We have 90% of the market share.
One of Reed’s minions, Cletus, knocks over a million dollar Armani end table and stomps it into kindling.
Gates: Hey, it took me ten minutes to raise the money to pay for that table!
Cletus grins, baring a tobacco-juice stained set of gnarled choppers.
Reed: Look, Bill. I have the ear of the next President of the United States. How do I know that? Let’s just say I have it on VERY reliable sources. SUPREME sources. (He chuckles, then looks around. The minions join in, braying and spraying tobacco juice all over the white carpet. Reed continues-) You got a little anti-trust problem? We can make it go away. Or not. You want 50 million Christians to boycott your little operating system? I can make that happen, too.
Gates: (stammering) But you people don’t use computers. You don’t even believe in evolution!
Reed: (shouting) WE CAN FIGURE OUT AOL, BITCH! Don’t make me pull out the NUCULAR OPTION!
Gates: Good lord, don’t you mean “nuclear”?
Reed: SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! Cletus, straighten Mr. Gates’ tie!
Cletus: He ain’t wearing no tie.
Cletus grabs Gates by the throat.
Reed: (shouting into Gates’ ear) Look, Pal, you may be the richest man in the world, but the Justice Department is going to belong to Us, soon, and we can make it easy for you or hard for you, GOT THAT?! You choose! We can make you squeal like a pig, Mr. Gates!!
Reed nods and Cletus releases Gates, who falls into his $40,000 chair, gasping.
Reed: (Turning to leave, then over his shoulder as he flicks specks of dust off of his brown suit-) Have a nice day, Mr. Gates. Jesus loves you.