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The Battle for Silicon Valley

National Review Online

Robert Costa

September 26, 2011

When you stroll into Kevin McCarthy’s sprawling Capitol office, the first thing you notice — apart from the pop-art murals — is a basketball hoop fixed to a door. On any given night, after a round of votes, you’ll spot GOP lawmakers missing shots, foam balls bouncing between chairs and iPad-toting staffers. Down the hall, past walls dotted with flat-screen televisions, aides thumb BlackBerry devices. The bustle, the chatter, the pressure — it has the makings of a start-up firm.

And in a way it is. But that’s a recent development. Long skewered as the stuffy PC to the Democrats’ hip Macintosh, Republicans are gaining ground in the digital wars. Twitter, text messages, live chats — you name the social-media tool, and the House GOP is probably using it, not only to win votes, but to legislate.