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Democrats waste opportunity

Monday, March 10, 2008 by Dave Winer.

A picture named bushBushClinton.jpgI listened to all the Sunday news shows on the major networks, Face The Nation, Meet the Press, This Week. I even did one myself. On all these shows, all that was talked about was the Democratic race for the nomination for President. Almost everyone on the shows were Democrats. The token Rep, Ed Rollins, was very polite and respectful of the Dems.  Permalink to this paragraph

You'd think the Dems could find some way to use this advantage. But all they can talk about is each other. None of them talk about us. What they can do for us, why we should support them. Permalink to this paragraph

This is just like the Browser Wars in the software biz. Two big companies fighting with each other, neither of them listening to users, making their products better, fixing bugs, improving performance, adding new features. None of that. All their energy was devoted to each other. It's simpler of course to focus your energy on a small target, but the job of a software developer isn't to depose another software developer, it's to make better products and services for users. Permalink to this paragraph

It happened again with the Java Wars. What was accomplished there? Not much. Maybe today Java would run better in more places. Maybe the dev tools would be better. I have no idea. But instead of talking about what we liked in software, they were talking about each other. Permalink to this paragraph

There's a lesson here. The Internet and politics are merging, just as the Internet and technology did. When it's all said and done, we will have the equivalent of User Generated Content in politics, although it will never be as tame as that "frame" implies. The founders of our country believed in the power of the people and set up a system that would be hard for a king to rule. Yet our political system today very much resembles a monarchy and the political spectacles are fights to the death that simply don't matter, they just determine which family is stealing from us. Permalink to this paragraph

A picture named mccain.gifI watched McCain on 60 Minutes last night and was astonished when he said that waterboarding is torture (this from a man who has been tortured himself). He said Japanese were convicted of war crimes after WWII for waterboarding. The interviewer asked how America got to this place, and McCain said the politicians stopped listening to the military. Okay that's a bit of a cop-out, but still, I was impressed. Not the usual humiliating lies we've come to expect from his party.  Permalink to this paragraph

Of the three candidates running now the only one I could never vote for is Hillary Clinton.  Permalink to this paragraph

I was seriously considering voting for Clinton in the Calif primary, but when they turned to race in South Carolina, that's when I remembered how miserable they were when he was President. That the Clintons will do anything to win was brought home when she said last week that she and McCain had crossed the "threshhold" and had the experience to be CINC, but Obama did not. From that moment on I thought of Clinton in the same way I think of Joe Lieberman, a pathetic little faux Democrat who would change parties if they had an ounce of honor or integrity. The idea of campaigning for the Republic candidate while running for the Democratic nomination -- there are few things more despicable. Permalink to this paragraph

A picture named sanMarzano.jpgMeanwhile, Obama was coasting. His first speeches were inspiring. But then as he took the lead in primaries, there were no more new ideas, not even new stories. I can recite them all by heart. This is a problem, because we're all wondering if he'll really be different when he becomes President. When he thought he had the nomination locked he started cruising, one wonders if his ambition stops at being President. Will he really put us all to work, pitching in to make American better, and a force for good in the world, living up to our hype? We tell everyone else that we're the leaders of the free world, but what kind of freedom do we offer? And what about long-term investment in the US? There are people on the Gulf Coast who feel like finding a new country, they're so forgotten by this one. How are we going to compete with growing economies on other continents. What about our education and health care systems. Getting elected is only the first step. It's like an entrepreneur getting funded. It's what you do after getting power that matters. I'd say based on what we've seen so far, there are at least some questions about whether Obama really means what he says. But he still has my endorsement. He's the only candidate this year that I want to vote for. Hell, he's the only candidate I've wanted to vote for since 1972, and I was too young to vote then. Permalink to this paragraph

A picture named warKittens.jpgObama, start communicating with your troops directly -- don't do all your communication through TV. Pour big bucks into commercials that run on YouTube. Involve your people here on the net. We like the idea of all of us pitching in to make America a force for good. And use the fact that you control the conversation re the Republics to move beyond their style of politics. Don't just say you want to do it -- do it.  Permalink to this paragraph

There's no doubt that Hillary wants to have a conversation with you about her and you. You have to change the subject, it's not enough to say she's wrong. Let's get beyond this. Permalink to this paragraph


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A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 53, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.

"The protoblogger." - NY Times.

"The father of modern-day content distribution." - PC World.

One of BusinessWeek's 25 Most Influential People on the Web.

"Helped popularize blogging, podcasting and RSS." - Time.

"The father of blogging and RSS." - BBC.

"RSS was born in 1997 out of the confluence of Dave Winer's 'Really Simple Syndication' technology, used to push out blog updates, and Netscape's 'Rich Site Summary', which allowed users to create custom Netscape home pages with regularly updated data flows." - Tim O'Reilly.

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