The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Barney Frank Channels The Onion

Posted on | November 19, 2015 | 15 Comments

by Smitty

Barney Frank epitomizes the basic religious belief in government that has led to the success of large scale endeavors throughout human history such as the Tower of Babel and the United Nations.

But there’s another, perhaps deeper reason, one that’s both a cause and an effect of the political dysfunction from which we now suffer: a sharp decline in the public’s belief that government works.

If you’ll permit me a scatalogical reference, Frank is merely echoing a 1998 article from the Onion, with a steamingly prophetic faux-quote from then-Senatorial knob John Kerry:

Calling the American people’s enormous s**t-belief capacity “one of the cornerstones of our democracy,” U.S. Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) stressed that it is the patriotic duty of all citizens to grant our leaders the benefit of the doubt with regard to their s**t.
“If the American people are no longer willing to believe this s**t, who will?” Kerry said. “Somebody’s got to take this s**t at face value. Otherwise, why are we even doing all this s**t in the first place? I am truly saddened by the lack of faith that the citizens of this country are willing to put in my s**t, as well as that of my esteemed colleagues. We must repair our society’s fraying trust in the s**t of our elected officials, or you would not believe the kind of hardcore, heavy-duty s**t that will come down.”

Sorry, Barney. There is nothing ennobling about politics. No amount of wishful thinking on your part can turn the anything we do together into an instrument of human redemption. Quite to the contrary: the virtue of the government, as a whole, and akin to the resistance in a parallel circuit, is just a little less than the worst example among them. But why mention Her Majesty?

So, should we be buying Frank’s nonsense? Why, no: no, we should not. Instead, we need to let the Information Age revolution transform government as much as it has the private sector. In some glorious future, all legislation will be done in the style of GitHub, and every paying customer (that’s YOU) should have read-only access to be able to track the pedigree and detail of every piece of legislation of interest.

Put all the scoring work for the legislation out there, too.

Fundamentally, the Barney Franks of the world forget that American Exceptionalism means the government works for us, not the reverse.

That sort of practical transparency would imply that all of the non-enumerated power hooey that the federal government engages in would suddenly become hard to pass, once it becomes easy to track who put what riders in the legislation when during the process. A relatively more participatory democracy would likely be relatively less corrupt.

Or so I theorize. Are we ready for the next step in our experiment in self-government? As a jolly side-effect, we’ll probably enjoy some precious Barney Frank tears.

via HotAir headlines


15 Responses to “Barney Frank Channels The Onion

  1. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    November 19th, 2015 @ 10:36 pm

    Not everything government is bad. Patton’s 3rd Army, Apollo Missions, and the USMC come to mind.

    But most of it is over rated.

  2. Daniel Freeman
    November 20th, 2015 @ 2:04 am

    Check out the Sunlight Foundation.

  3. Neo
    November 20th, 2015 @ 2:45 am

    I point to the rollout of as the best example of “unforced errors” by the government in recent memory.

    Yes, there were stories about how the rollout wasn’t going well almost a year before it “crashed and burned” but few understood what was happening to generate those claims. Expectations were high that the rollout was pretty much exclusively a Democrat operation and after the elections of 2008 and 2012, where the Democrats appeared to be the “betters” in terms of tech saviness, most figured this rollout wouldn’t register on the political Richter scale. The Republican ‘opposition” was relegated to observer status and had no direct effect one way of the other on the final outcome.

    Then, after years of planning and billions of dollars, it crashed and burned.

  4. Arthur hembree
    November 20th, 2015 @ 3:14 am

    You’re right about that. His comments on open government are right on

  5. NeoWayland
    November 20th, 2015 @ 6:50 am

    It’s the difference between the institution and people. Good people at the right time can be trusted.

    The institution, not so much.

    People who put the institution above other people, not at all.

  6. daialanye
    November 20th, 2015 @ 9:15 am

    In fairness, shouldn’t we give credit where credit is due? Give credit, that is, to people who chose to vote for politicians like Barney Frank?

    Democrats, in other words.

  7. Finrod Felagund
    November 20th, 2015 @ 10:10 am

    About the only things the government has done right is the interstate highway system and the National Weather Service.

  8. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    November 20th, 2015 @ 10:21 am

    I sorta like the Coast Guard.

  9. Finrod Felagund
    November 20th, 2015 @ 1:03 pm

    I can agree with that.

  10. Mark Reardon
    November 20th, 2015 @ 1:39 pm

    ” a sharp decline in the public’s belief that government works.”
    Soo… are you gonna believe Barney Frank or your Lyin’ Eyes?

  11. Greg
    November 20th, 2015 @ 2:05 pm

    I’m a big fan of the USS Ronald Reagan, as well.

  12. DeadMessenger
    November 20th, 2015 @ 3:34 pm

    “…the success of large scale endeavors throughout human history such as the Tower of Babel and the United Nations.”

    BWAHAHAHA! That was a good one, and I needed a LOL moment today. Thanks, Smitty.

  13. Matt_SE
    November 20th, 2015 @ 9:14 pm

    Notice again the progressive fascination with the power of belief. It isn’t that government doesn’t work, it’s the fact that people don’t BELIEVE it works. As if this was all a problem with messaging instead of empirical reality.
    The problem with progs is that they talk too much. And when talk is the only tool you have, actions are devalued.

  14. Daniel Freeman
    November 20th, 2015 @ 10:26 pm

    They protect our fisheries from foreign poachers. Very necessary, especially off of Alaska.

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