Learning from Bernie and Barney
Thursday, March 31, 2016 by Dave Winer

First I want to say I'm a voter, not a campaigner. 

So anyway, I read this great interview with Barney Frank about Bernie Sanders and other political animals, including the voters.

He says what I've been thinking but a lot more clearly. Of course, he's a professional politician. I know we're supposed to hate them, but the problem is we need them. And BF is one of the good ones. Smart guy.

First, if you want to know who to blame for why everything is so fucked (if you believe it is), if you're a voter and you only vote in Presidential election years, then look in the mirror. If we, who voted for Obama the last couple of times, also voted in the off-year elections, the House and Senate might be Democratic, and you would have gotten more what you want. 

If you're a college student with big loans, you might have gotten relief by now. Because the government serves people who vote. Remember that one.

If you elect President Sanders, you're going to have to vote every year, otherwise you'll be complaining about him too.

About Sanders, what did he get done in the 25 years he's been in Congress? Basically not very much because the guy didn't work with others. No compromise in him, I guess, or maybe he just isn't that social. But it's not going to get any better for him if he's President. We've elected Presidents before who thought Congress had to come to him, it doesn't work that way. 

The most effective presidents are pretty much assholes you wouldn't want to have a beer with. Look at some pictures of Lyndon Johnson relating to other DC politicos. He used to talk to people while he was taking a shit, with the door open! And when he got in your face he totally got in your face. Not a great pal, but boy did he get things done.

Carter is a great example of a Sanders-like President. He was a saint. And really smart, and a good campaigner, and after Watergate and Ford's pardon of Nixon exactly the punishment we all wanted and voted for ourselves. Carter is a great man, but not because he was President, rather because he was a great ex-President. 

Last night Rachel Maddow asked Sanders if he would use some of the money he was raising to support down-ticket candidates. He said no, over and over. I couldn't believe what he was saying. I don't think Maddow could believe it either. And he thinks he's going to get super-delegates to work with him to throw out HRC who is working on raising money for Congress and state offices. As a good top-of-ticket candidate must. It comes with the job. I don't think Bernie gets that.

Not only can't Sanders win with that approach, he clearly doesn't want to create a legacy even if he knows he can't win. Sanders could do a lot for his campaign finance goal right now, this minute, by helping elect people using his access to money. He can't effectively spend all he's raising. I don't understand what game he's playing. Certainly not trying to build some kind of revolution, that's baloney. A revolutionary would be seizing this moment, rather than complaining about the past. 

You want to change the way campaigns are financed Bernie, then fucking do it and stop talking about it. Carpe diem man. 

BTW, one of the reasons our most effective presidents are assholes is that the USA is an asshole country. You want to make it live up to the hype and be a bastion of freedom, where everyone gets a chance to win, and we don't do crazy shit to the world and ourselves? Well that's a big hill to climb. Maybe it's possible, I kind of doubt it is, but if it were to happen you'd have to do a lot more than elect one good President and expect somehow that's going to change hundreds of years of being an asshole country.