Dan Lyons has an epic piece on the failure of Microsoft’s paid lobbyists and fake grass roots campaigns in their quest to kneecap Google at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

Microsoft has spent the past 10 years missing out on every big new trend — search, social, mobile. Instead of looking inward and trying to fix its own problems, Microsoft has become ever more obsessed with Google…

…Going negative might work in politics, but when you’re selling products it’s probably wiser to tout the virtues of your own product. The risk Microsoft is taking is that by howling about Google, Microsoft starts to look like a company that can no longer compete, a desperate dinosaur that has toppled into the tar pit.

Worse, Microsoft starts to seem a little unhinged. Nevertheless, don’t expect this freak show to end anytime soon. Supposedly Penn has been going around Washington trying to recruit consultants, telling them that Microsoft has armed him with a $50 million budget to go after Google.

Today’s FTC decision shows that innovation trumps litigation.