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Nancy Pelosi pities Tim Cook for holding Republican fundraiser

Technically Incorrect: Suggesting that the Apple CEO probably doesn't think much about politics, the House minority leader is dismissive of Cook.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Is he to be pitied? Or is he to be admired for doing his job?

Josh Miller/CNET

One of the lovelier things about politicians is that they always know best.

Democrat, Republican or Libertarian, they believe they know the souls of the people and are the repositories of righteousness.

Until, that is, the people tell them to disappear.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi recently suggested, perhaps inelegantly, that the government -- and not Steve Jobs -- invented the iPhone.

Now she's decided to pity Apple CEO Tim Cook.

Recently, Apple has reportedly declined to offer any funding of next month's Republican Convention. The reason may well be presumptive candidate Donald Trump, who has even called for a boycott of Apple products.

Cook has, though, reportedly agreed to host a fundraiser for Paul Ryan -- someone who, depending on your perspective, represents the more moderate or the more inert faction of the Republican Party.

Pelosi is not impressed.

"Poor Tim," she told the San Francisco Chronicle. "What a nice guy he is, but somebody gave him bad advice," the Democrat mused.

Some might find this slightly patronizing. Could it be that Cook doesn't actually think for himself? Or could it be that he's really quite thoughtful about such twisted entities as politics?

"He probably doesn't think that much about politics," Pelosi said.

Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

I have a feeling, though, that Cook thinks about politics all the time. As he watches governments around the world lurch from seemingly inebriated insanity to crass mendacity to overt pocket-lining to nauseating rhetoric to stultifying incompetence, he tries to navigate a huge company and protect its interests.

It's long been the practice of many CEOs to offer support to both political parties in America. America has a system that allows for corporate donation, one that some find destructive.

What's the point, though, of completely alienating either side? You might have to do business with both. You might have to try to influence both.

Pelosi, though, accuses Cook (and other CEOs) of naivete.

"Everybody has the right to do whatever they want to do," she told the Chronicle. "But when they say, 'We don't like what Trump says, but we'll donate to his party,' they're either naive or they think we're naive."

I'm not sure if the "we" who Pelosi suggests are naive are all Americans, all Democrats, or just herself and her entourage.

It could be, however, that people in the outside world -- including those leading businesses -- aren't so unworldly about politics and its workings.

When Trump says that Hillary Clinton went to his wedding because he donated to her campaigns in the past, some might stop and wonder what sort of business politics is.

The politics of business and the business of politics are tightly entwined.

Could it be that Cook understands this, hears Pelosi's words and thinks: "Oh, politicians. They're all the same, aren't they?"