Moving Forward

I love these late spring weekends, it's been so different this year compared with last year, when I was ramping up campaigns and Warner while doing the book tour. Just hanging out with the kids, now 7 & 2, on the trampoline and in the backyard. I tend to turn down pretty much all travel nowadays, just to hang out on the weekends. But it's Monday, back to work.

An eventful few days around here, huh? I want to again thank both Chris and Matt for the leadership and guidance they've shown on this site over the past three years, and I view their new venture as a further partnership. The progressive blogosphere is a movement, one that now comprises about 8-10 million readers. The rightwingers can dream all they want about the netroots having peaked-- it's still just beginning.

Speaking of movements. I want to follow-up with more about the movement and Obama post that I made last week. I would point toward Paul Rosenberg, who fleshed out a number of the issues in his comments on the "Obama: What a Movement Looks Like" post on DailyKos, as a good point for further discussion. I'll be at the TBA confo all day tomorrow, and hope to get some blogging done there during the candidates speeches.

About the future of MyDD.

First, I want to welcome Todd Beeton on as a regular contributor. Todd has been a blogger over on RightsField and on Calitics, and has been directing content and blogging for the Courage Campaign. He has been enaged with the blogosphere since becoming a Clark netroots supporter in '03, is a professional writer currently, and is soon going to be jumping in full-fledged on MyDD.

I would get back in the swing as a full-time blogger, but my life is just not as uncomplicated with other responsibilities as the '01-02 years when I was blogging here 3-6 posts a day, or during the mid-04 to mid-05 years when Chris and I were quite a election-focused tandem. I think my blogging will be ramping up here more, especially since I am not planning on doing another '08 campaign, but not full-time.

What I would like to do is see this blog jump into the middle of the '08 fray in a real participatory way. Here's what I have in mind (and I'd like some feedback):

I do not mind the site becoming more crowded with candidate-partisans that are 100% behind a certain candidate. I think back to '02 to early '03, before I shut down the blog to go work on Dean's campaign. Back then, first myself, then with Matt Gross as the main bloggers of the site, it was a pro-Dean blog and anti any of the others. Call it partisan hackery if you must, but feeling the urge to back a candidate 100% is where political junkies earn their stripes of activism. So, I'd like to channel some of that energy into the frontpage of the blog for the remainder of the nomination. I'm working on fleshing out an idea that I'll put up here as a draft, in the extended entry.

It all revolves around the race for the Democratic nomination. What I have in mind is topics and candidates, covered by writers. Each week, we'll pick a topic, it could be an issue, or it could be some nuts and bolts feature of a campaign operation, or it could be a particular state. I'm wide open as far as the topics go. The commenters and frontpage regulars will make the choices.

As for the writers, what I would like to see is the community of each candidate nominate who they would like to see blogging on the frontpage of MyDD. There are a number of terrific bloggers making comments and diaries for their candidates, now they will get frontpaged. And as for the candidates, we know who the top three are, then there's Richardson, and the other 4 long shots.

So, for example, next week, the topic is _ (Iowa, the campaigns Rapid Response effectiveness, their You Tube videos...) and on Monday, two Clinton bloggers get to make their case of Hillary's prominence on the topic; on Tuesday, Obama supporters take a turn; Wed is for Edwards people; Thursday for Richarson's. On Friday, since we really don't have many diaries being written about the other four candidates, we'll call it 'darkhorse Friday' and I'll promote any outstanding diaries about the other candidates on the topic to the frontpage.

These are not going to be candidate spokespersons, but MyDD bloggers that will have frontpage posting ability for the specific days chosen for each candidate they represent. We'll get beyond the issue of just looking at the latest polls, and dive into topics that are not covered by the mainstream news, but are topics that political junkies like us know intensely.

I'd like some feedback on this, the feasibility and mechanics, and then will follow-up more later.

Tags: MyDD (all tags)



Re: Moving Forward

Count me in for Thursday. I get everything interesting in my week done by Thursday afternoon.

by Trey Rentz 2007-06-18 09:57AM | 0 recs
Interesting idea

Edwards partisan here. I'd like to nominate myself for some front-page exposure. Not for next week, though, I don't know much about Iowa. How bout Desmoines Dem--s/he is one of the few Edwards supporters who doesn't piss people off, and s/he's a good writer, and something tells me s/he's from Des Moines.

by david mizner 2007-06-18 12:34PM | 0 recs
I second

Demsmoines Dem.

She understands how the caucus work, which few  outside the state due.  

by ManfromMiddletown 2007-06-18 12:52PM | 0 recs
MFM, you

should blog when the topic is trade, or something along those lines.

by david mizner 2007-06-18 01:02PM | 0 recs
Re: MFM, you

I second that.

by Englishlefty 2007-06-19 06:19AM | 0 recs
Re: I second

agreed, desmoinesdem could do something on the workings of the Iowa caucus, how it unfolds that night along with the mechanics of the buildup.

Otherwise, I hope we continue the numbers-based focus of MyDD, which was a Bowers strength. David Kowalski has some excellent input along those lines, particularly from a historical perspective.

by Gary Kilbride 2007-06-18 05:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Interesting idea

I think DesMoinesDem would be great for this.

by IowansforEdwards 2007-06-18 01:12PM | 0 recs
David Mizner and

Desmoines Dem both would be excellent Edwards frontpagers.

DesMoinesDem has excelleent insight into Iowa politics.  David has written on a number of topics both here and on Daily Kos.

Both would be great.

by littafi 2007-06-18 01:56PM | 0 recs
thanks for the vote of confidence

Just let me know when "Iowa week" is, and I'll come up with something specific related to the Edwards campaign in Iowa for Wednesday.

Saw John and Elizabeth Edwards at a fundraiser near Des Moines last Friday--we Edwards supporters are fired up and feeling good about the state of the race in Iowa!

by desmoinesdem 2007-06-18 04:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Moving Forward

As an Obama supporter, I have to admit I was a little hurt/angered by the comments you made in the "Movement" post. While I can see the points about movements happening outside of campaigns, I think that is something that is in fact happening, though it is hard for many to see since it is not occurring in the "netroots" blogs.

One place it is happening is on campuses. The hundreds "Students for Barack Obama" groups popping up across the nation seem to be relatively sophisticated, at least at this early stage. Each group has its own President, communications director, and several other organizational officers. I guess time will tell what kind of impact these groups will have as far as getting out the vote in the primaries, but I can tell you that Obama is the only candidate that's generating palpable excitement on college campuses across the nation.

Another place Obama's candidacy is really taking movement form is within minority communities, particularly black communities. Many of the canvassing events were held in urban areas, and Obama volunteer events are incredibly diverse gatherings. The (lack of) poll evidence Rosenberg speaks of may indeed be coming to fruition within these communities, as evidenced by Obama's recent movement in South Carolina and among black voters nationally.

Obama's campaign is not a movement in the form of the Dean campaign. But I think he is actually learning from the Dean mistakes--he has incorporated online organizing onto his website, folding it into the campaign while allowing it to grow organically. This will hopefully help to avoid the organizational mistakes that sunk Dean in Iowa last time around. But just because Obama isn't Dean doesn't mean that he doesn't have a movement--movements are often times hard to spot when you are outside of them, and his may be no exception. The test of its mettle will come in the  primaries.

by Max Fletcher 2007-06-18 10:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Moving Forward

Sorry for double-posting, but I wanted to finish my thoughts.

Another aspect in which Obama is different from Dean is the content to his movement. Whereas Dean was seeking to expose the outrages of the Bush Administration, I think its pretty clear that those outrages have been laid bare at this point in time. The Obama campaign is kind of a post-Bush "unity" movement, seeking to build consensus around Obama's progressive agenda while not alienating independents and moderates. The message is much more focused on unity and optimism, as would be expected since there is no incumbent to run against in 2008.

by Max Fletcher 2007-06-18 10:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Moving Forward

What "progressive agenda"?  No, I am not being snarky, I just would like to know what progressive aganda is he leading on?  WHAT is it?  That's a serious question, not snark.

by jgarcia 2007-06-18 11:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Moving Forward

Ending the Iraq war, getting everyone covered with affordable healthcare, closing the gap in Medicare D and allowing reimportation of prescription drugs, limiting greenhouse emissions.

He's a progressive, and his voting record shows it (it's more progressive than Hillary's or Edwards' for one thing). The issues he's addressing in his campaign are too, he's just not framing them in the combative manner typically employed.

I honestly don't think a lot of the people criticizing Obama have read his policy statements--for example, a lot of people I talk to about his health plan don't know about his public program, his stance on prescription drugs, or his watchdog agency for insurance companies

by Max Fletcher 2007-06-18 12:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Moving Forward

Maybe there is a "unity" movement, but I'm not yet convinced as what I'm seeing thus far is enthusiasm for the idea of Barack Obama, rather than what Barack Obama stands for (because I'm not sure what he stands for aside from liberal gradualism that isn't a million miles away from previous campaigns.)

But I'd argue that if this movement is real, it's no surprise that Obama's relationship to the progressive left isn't all that strong. If this is his movement, then he stands for the exact opposite of what we do, strategically. I've always viewed the progressive netroots as holding the view that before a new governing consensus can be formed, we have to bodily destroy the old status quo, in which the right wing dominates. An attempt to interact with it risks being co-opted and ultimately is no more than a repeat of the old New Dem practices.

by Englishlefty 2007-06-18 12:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Moving Forward

Progressive Left / Netroots

I think it is important to distinguish between the two. Though Barack Obama has a lot of support on the mainline liberal blogs, the unity message is designed to appeal to a wider audience, and he is tapping into nontraditional constituencies that our other candidates really aren't energizing, particularly young people and minorities.

I don't think there is the same appetite for destruction in the general pool of progressive Americans (not to mention the entire American electorate) that exists in the netroots. People are definitely angry at the Bush Administration, and they are definitely looking for change, but I think the nation wants to come together--while I think that the Howard Dean organizing style empowers people and strengthens the party, I don't think the Howard Dean campaign messaging and style wins over Americans to our agenda in the wake of the Bush years

by Max Fletcher 2007-06-18 12:35PM | 0 recs
I have also noticed a strong urge for

revenge. Many netroots wants a Democratic version of Bush who does nothing but play to the own base. While I too want to see the Republican party ripped to shreds I don't believe that the Democratic president should do the dirty work. There should be surrogates, activists, lower level politicans, spokespeople...

by Populism2008 2007-06-19 12:27AM | 0 recs
Re: I have also noticed a strong urge for

The president shouldn't be the one who goes nasty, no. But he shouldn't undercut his surrogates by going out of his way to stress unity. Civility, yes, but more than that and it makes it harder to shift the discourse to the left.

by Englishlefty 2007-06-19 06:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Moving Forward

I don't think I would regard online organizing that grows organically as an improvement by Obama over Dean through the website. Meetup? Probably you mean that Dean didn't use Meetup in IA, and that as a limiting factor eventually, which I'd agree with, but I don't see all that much happening through decentralized activity on the Obama website, in fact it's been less each month that I've been tracking it.

In Iowa, there's only two user-generated event over the next month listed on the Obama website. One, and event (that no one has signed up for), second, a fundraising effort that has 2 sign ups; and where's the organizing  local organizing being done on Obama's website, I don't see it. My sense of Obama's field crew in Iowa is that they won't be depending on the web much at all for organizing.  

Contrast that with  Edwards, and One Corps. Look at the chapter strength, Johnson, Polk, Linn, you can see right there with those numbers that something is happening, and they are using the scoop-based community OneCorps tool to do something in Iowa that is even better than Meetup.

I don't doubt for a minute that Obama has the strongest support among 18-28 year-olds and among black communities throughout the states. He's got widespread appeal, and a strong national campaign. But the movement talk is all silly to me; I read ten different things about what "the movement" is from ten different Obama supporters.

The biggest difference between Obama and Dean is that the Deaniacs never talked about "Howard Dean's movement". If, when we talked about a movement, it was in the sense that there was something bigger than the candidacy of Dean, that the Dean campaign was tapping into. And maybe there's something bigger that Obama is tapping into, and I don't see it, but if that's the case, I don't see it being articulated by any Obama supporters (in any form of consensus) either.

by Jerome Armstrong 2007-06-18 11:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Moving Forward

Like I said, not all movements have to happen online through specific websites. A lot of the people who Barack Obama's message appeals to aren't necessarily going to be the same people on DailyKos or MyDD (though obviously he does have a lot of supporters on these websites, given the recent polls).

Also, you're pretty selective with the way you're comparing Edwards' website to Obama's. Here is a link to a group I am a part of on Obama's website with more than 60 members. There are many groups with a lot more than that. Are these groups planning meetups with as much frequency as Edwards' supporters? I don't know. I think Obama's message touches groups that aren't as politically experienced as Edwards supporters, which I see as one of the biggest strengths of his candidacy.

I do know that about 30 of the 1,000 canvasses that took place two weekends ago were organized by the campaign itself--where do you think the rest of the organizing efforts came from? I'm guessing the campaign machinery's not exactly active in Alaska or South Central LA at this point.

That to me suggests a movement. It's okay that you're an Edwards supporter--I don't fault you for it ;) (especially since I was last time around). But I think you're ignoring the strength of what he's inspiring, maybe because it's unfamiliar territory for you.

by Max Fletcher 2007-06-18 12:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Moving Forward

Max, it doesn't gain you any points to try and tell me I'm an Edwards supporter when I'm not. Again, what you are pointing to is not a movement, but a campaign-- something that's only semantics to someone that's not understood what movements are about historically.

by Jerome Armstrong 2007-06-18 01:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Moving Forward

sorry, I was under the impression you were at least a "leaner." Maybe that was Matt. Please accept my apologies.

by Max Fletcher 2007-06-18 02:31PM | 0 recs
Chris was the Edwards leaner

Matt doesn't like Edwards.

by desmoinesdem 2007-06-18 04:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Chris was the Edwards leaner

Yep, I've officially got egg on my face. I should've done my research.

by Max Fletcher 2007-06-18 08:32PM | 0 recs
Not true

A quick look at the Obama websites finds 24 organized events within a 200 mile radius of Iowa City. Your comments really come down to as simple and as childish a comment as "my movement is better than your movement".  Grow up and stop trying to insult the 10,000 or more people who actually hit the streets to talk about Obama, listen to people's concerns, and register voters.

by Doug Dilg 2007-06-18 12:07PM | 0 recs
Yes, True

Here's what I got with the quick look.

There are 6 events, 4 offical events, only 2 of them done by supporters, in all of Iowa.

You are right, there are 24 events within a 200 mile radius of Iowa City. 18 of them outside of Iowa. There are 6 events, 4 offical events, only 2 of them done by supporters, in all of Iowa.

Your insults are your own.

by Jerome Armstrong 2007-06-18 01:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Yes, True

Clicking on your link pulls up 9 events now. And I don't quite get the point, are you saying Official Events don't count?  He has an Official Campaign Headquaters in Iowa staffed by supporters many of them volunteers.   Of course many of the events are official. There's 24 events 50 miles from my house in LA, none of them official because there is no official headquarters.  So what?

by Doug Dilg 2007-06-18 04:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Yes, True

His point is that a movement shouldn't exist within the campaign structure, so it shouldn't have to be prodded by official events. I have to give Edwards credit on keeping his Iowa organization from 2004 intact--he's got a lot of supporters here, and he's looking tough. However, my point is that the Obama excitement (or movement or whatever you want to call it) is building a group of volunteers amongst people who aren't traditionally politically active. My feeling is that many of Edwards' supporters would have been involved in the process anyway: if it wasn't gonna be Edwards, it was gonna be Gephardt, or Kerry, etc. etc. That doesn't discount the job he's been doing with his OneCorps., but I don't think it's fair to downplay the enthusiasm (and resulting level of real political activity/voter contacts) surrounding Obama.

by Max Fletcher 2007-06-18 08:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Moving Forward

I think that there is probably one common thread in the descriptions of all the people with whom you've talked.  That has got to be change.  I might be wrong, but it seems every Obama supporter I talk to is interested in change.  I think that demonstrates the central theme of his campaign and something which is striking a nerve in America.  

Hope. Action. Change.

I believe that is the campaign slogan and something you hear expressed in nearly everything they do.  The canvasses that were organized across America were called "Walks for Change."  You are right, I don't think that it necessarily fits the common definition of a movement, but it is something big.  

On the website I am in several of my local groups and many of them organize monthly or even weekly meetings using the listservs that are associated with the groups.  These groups created their own canvasses as part of the nationwide Walk for Change.

So I do agree with you that this might not be classifiable as a movement, but when you have over 10,000 individuals give up a Saturday when they could be doing something more fun to walk for a candidate it is a big deal.  When that happens with 6 months left before the primary it is huge.

Another thing I find interesting is that though he leads most strongly among the youth I find a lot of people in every demographic that are energized.  I spoke with a woman who must have been 70 years old the other day who told me he reminded her of President Kennedy.  She hadn't been involved politically for many years, but she was getting involved again and it was because of Obama.

by Obama08 2007-06-18 12:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Moving Forward

After reading back over this it seems more than anything to be a random compilation of ideas rather than a cohesive post.  Take it for what it is.

by Obama08 2007-06-18 12:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Moving Forward

The biggest difference between Obama and Dean is that the Deaniacs never talked about "Howard Dean's movement". If, when we talked about a movement, it was in the sense that there was something bigger than the candidacy of Dean, that the Dean campaign was tapping into. And maybe there's something bigger that Obama is tapping into, and I don't see it, but if that's the case, I don't see it being articulated by any Obama supporters (in any form of consensus) either.

I think that this is a big difference between Obama supporters and Edwards supporters as well.  

For Obama supporters I don't think it's a stretch to say that campaign is about Obama, and that the simple act of electing a black man to office is what transformative change is about. These aren't long time Democrats you're talking about, they're latecomers to the game largely on the Iraq issue.

For Edwards supporters, I think that the Senator is almost an afterthought.  The campaign is anything about him personally, it's about a political seashift that pushes the discussion in the country back to bold, social solutions to problems instead of the neo-liberal options currently offered. Edwards supporters on the whole have much deeper roots in the Democratic party, and have a much wider range of issues that motivate them that extend far beyond the Iraq War.

I think that from the perspective of building up the party for the day that we've withdrawn from Iraq, and we have to have out own idea to compete with instead of capitalizing how digusting the GOP has become, Edwards base is more meaningful for the party than Obama's.  Frankly, I think that Obama's campaign does more to damage the party by legitimizing the GOP and offering no ideas to compete with than it helps by providing diversity in the primary.

by ManfromMiddletown 2007-06-18 01:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Moving Forward

It has been my experience (and I've called hundreds of voters) that the two issues people care about most are Iraq and health care, regardless of the campaign they support. It's also my experience that nearly everyone votes on the personality of the candidate in the election. Should it be that way? I don't know, but it is. I don't think Edwards supporters are any more likely to know a lot about their candidate's specific positions on policy issues than Obama supporters or supporters of any other candidate (and, actually, people who self-identify as closely following the election and issues surrounding it are more likely to be Obama supporters). I think there is something about Edwards that personally appeals to a lot of people, and there is something about Obama that personally appeals to a lot of people. They're both great candidates, but I don't think either one's supporters are smarter or more serious than the other's.

by Max Fletcher 2007-06-18 08:44PM | 0 recs
Speaking for myself

I see a mapchanger in Obama, a person who will alter the political landscape simply because of who he is. I don't see that in Edwards. I like his positions and stands on almost every issue, but I am not sure that he can push them through a hostile Senate and House, and I am even less sure if he can get the American people on board.

My take on the difference between E and O supporters is that E supporters believe very strongly in policy positions and O people are of the opinion that in the end elections are won (and legacys made) by persons with outstanding charisma and likeability. If Edwards is a Democratic Newt Gingrich (who is a total policy wonk) than Obama is a Democratic Ronald Reagan.

And that's why the Obama movement has got to be about Obama.

by Populism2008 2007-06-19 12:35AM | 0 recs
For good or bad,

Obama's "movement" is mostly about Obama and not as much about issues or fundamental change.  Obama is the change, in part, because of his ethnicity.  

On the other hand, Edwards is a lot about issues and change.  There are a lot of Dean supporters from 04 now supporting Edwards.  The Dean folks are more about ideas and less about persons, in my view.  

by littafi 2007-06-18 02:00PM | 0 recs

As I said above Obama's movement (or whatever you want to call it) is about Obama because Obama supporters believe that great change comes through charismatic and likeable politicians rather than policy wonks or experienced career politicians (not talking about Edwards here, just in general).

After 2004 I had sort of a crisis where I realise that Americans are even less intellectual than I previously thought. A Reagan and a Bill Clinton will always beat a Mondale, Dukakis and a Kerry - regardless of policy positions, intelligence and experience. That's just a fact, much like the fact that we have a two party system where Nader candidates can't compete.

by Populism2008 2007-06-19 12:39AM | 0 recs

I like the idea of putting "everyday" bloggers on the front page. Partisans are great, as long as they are respectful. I really appreciated the promotion to the front page during the 2006 IL-06 primary. It was a big help, and made this site something I felt at home on.

My suggestion for topics would be to chose hard ones for partisans to answer - specific liabilities of a candidate. For example, in the '06 primary I was a Cegelis partisan. One of the hardest questions to answer for me was how to respond to her fundraising issues. When forced to do this, it required that I really dig into the subject and work hard to address the issue, doing research and relevant comparisons. I'd like to see similarly difficult topics for partisans to answer, such as the discussions raised by bored now regarding Clinton. Basically, rather than just provide the free megaphone, require the partisan to provide the batteries.

by michael in chicago 2007-06-18 10:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Democratic

Good point on the IL-06. While I don't know if there is money available to send people (like with MyDD sending Tagaris to LA for the runoff), if some strong voices emerge in MD-04 I'd love to see them get some attention.

While continuous coverage is important, short bursts of attention to nationalized small elections (Herseth, Ginny, DNC chair, Pennacchio, Hackett, Kaine, IL-06, Webb, Lamont, etc) really do make for great reading.

by Bob Brigham 2007-06-18 11:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Democratic

I agree with the difficult topics one. I'd like to see as one of the weekly issues "What problems are there with your candidate's campaign? What should he or she be doing that he or she isn't now? What are other campaigns doing that you think your candidate should also be doing?"

by Englishlefty 2007-06-18 12:24PM | 0 recs
Thanks, Jerome

I'm thrilled to be a part of the team!

by Todd Beeton 2007-06-18 10:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Thanks, Jerome

Congratulations, neighbor!

I look forward to reading your work here!


by Reelpolitik 2007-06-18 10:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Thanks, Jerome

Congrats Todd!  Awesome to see someone come out of the growing California blogosphere to a national site.

by juls 2007-06-18 10:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Thanks, Jerome

Judging by the emails I've seen, I think it is safe to say that the entire California blogosphere is totally proud of you!

by Bob Brigham 2007-06-18 10:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Moving Forward

All for it. This sound a pretty cool way to let people make their case. And there are some excellent spokespersons here. I can't wait to see them on prime time.

by Ernst 2007-06-18 10:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Moving Forward

In addition to the community of each candidate getting a front page spot, could the Anyone But Hillary community get a spot?

It is obviously the largest, smartest, and most critical campaign in the 2008 primaries. And judging by the online polls, the community is so large that it could conceivably deserve a spot every single evening (I mean, it isn't like Penn isn't providing plenty of material to work with).

by Bob Brigham 2007-06-18 10:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Moving Forward

So should also include cuddly and humble... :)

by Ernst 2007-06-18 12:19PM | 0 recs

I'm not the most active participant on this site by any means, but have been an avid reader for the last four years.

I have to say though that I've stopped even reading the diaries since 90% of them appear to be Obama and Edwards partisans.  I would be extremely dissappointed if your front page devolved into the fracus that is the recommended list.

It doesn't make any sense to turn the front page into what you propose.  If I wanted to read cheerleading diaries for candidates then I would go directly to their sites.  


by areucrazy 2007-06-18 11:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Yikes

We are hoping to channel it into something that's a bit more developed and compelling.

by Jerome Armstrong 2007-06-18 11:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Yikes

I do hope so.

I would also hope that you give equal time to all the candidates on the front page.

I understand that Clinton is the frontrunner, yet she has virtually no online support compared to the other candidates.  The quality of Clinton supporters to choose from is definitely less than that of say Obama or Edwards or Richardson.

You would be giving free promotion to a campaign that has struggled to get out their message online.  Unless of course, you gave the same access to Dodd, Kucinich, and Gravel supporters.

Hell, you might as well give Clark and Gore supporters more air time than Clinton ones.  Even without even declaring, they have more online support.

by areucrazy 2007-06-18 11:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Yikes

I think there's some pretty strong Clinton supporters that have been blogging in the comments and diaries here over the past couple of months.

For Gore, part of Thursday or Friday is good.

by Jerome Armstrong 2007-06-18 11:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Yikes

With all due respect.

The current atmosphere in the diaries precludes other supporters from engaging this community.  But by promoting those (IMO), you are sealing in an echo chamber of candidates.  Many of those recommended diaries are just reposts of a speech or article with a lone line of commentary or some agressive hit piece on an opposing candidates.  

Why would I take the time to diary a well written piece about say Richardson when I know that its gonna have to be some damn fine writing to even get noticed?  

I don't say this in a "woe is me" way, but to give you an outsiders prospective.

by areucrazy 2007-06-18 11:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Yikes

I'd love to see more highlighted about the other candidates, particularly Richardson.  It seems to me this is a great opportunity to do just that.  You might be surprised that even though some of us may be supporting a different candidate, we can still be supportive of Richardson or someone else on particular issues.

The test will come in the quality of the diaries.  And what's the harm in giving it a go?

by edgery 2007-06-18 12:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Yikes

Exactly. Diaries about, say, Richardson don't get much traffic now. This largely because there are only 5 recommended diary slots and pro/anti-Edwards/Obama/Clinton diaries have enough supporters to monopolise the list.

Hopefully the debate will be a little more substantive, but almost certainly it will involve a greater range of voices.

by Englishlefty 2007-06-18 12:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Yikes

I like the idea, but I'd hate for the front page and recommended list to crowd out diaries that aren't about  a particular candidate.

by misscee 2007-06-18 12:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Yikes

Well the recommended list shows that there is a huge appetite for these dairies. So introducing some of those on a schedule on the front page is probably not a bad move. But you're right that it should be balanced. They was some talking somewhere about splitting the recommended sections in a general and a 2008 section. Perhaps that would work.

by Ernst 2007-06-18 12:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Yikes

The recommended list most certainly does not show a huge appetite for these diaries.  All it takes to get a diary on the recommended list is half a dozen recommends.  If it's the same half a dozen Edwards supporters or Obama supporters or whoever recommending their own partisan diaries, that doesn't show an appetite for those diaries - it just shows that a few partisans want to recommend diaries that make their candidate look good.

by Fran for Dean 2007-06-19 11:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Yikes

Aah, learned something new, thanks. I never checked who recommends a dairy and though you needed more people to boost a dairy.

Another system certainly seems worth some contemplation then.

by Ernst 2007-06-19 12:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Yikes

hopefully, we can get past that aspect into some decent discussions/debates on the issues.  i may be a strong supporter of Edwards, but none of the candidates walk on water.  if we take this approach seriously, we can find common ground as well as help tighten the arguments for the general.  after all, in the end, it's the Repugs we want to defeat--hopefully more than each other.

by edgery 2007-06-18 12:21PM | 0 recs

I think it will keep us patisans honest. We won't be as able to get away with lazy-dishonest arguments.

by david mizner 2007-06-18 12:42PM | 0 recs

I would love to see debates without mudslinging.

by Populism2008 2007-06-19 12:43AM | 0 recs
I guess I'll be loving Thursdays at MyDD even more

:) What an amazing idea. As a usual reader of mydd, I am worried about the future of this site, so I welcome all new idea, but this idea in particular will keep me hooked on mydd for the forseeable future.

by theantidesi101 2007-06-18 11:02AM | 0 recs
Re: I guess I'll be loving Thursdays at MyDD even

I don't see much to worry about. The world didn't end with Gross left and while I kinda flipped out a little the second time Jerome left things seem to be just fine.

by Bob Brigham 2007-06-18 11:20AM | 0 recs
Re: I guess I'll be loving Thursdays at MyDD even

I guess I haven't been around as long as it feels like. I don't even remember Gross, guess I'm a newbiw mydder

by theantidesi101 2007-06-18 12:15PM | 0 recs
Re: I guess I'll be loving Thursdays at MyDD even

Mathew Gross blogged here from the time he returned from Vietnam through the McGovern campaign. Following the loss, he was so dejected he quit politics and moved to Duluth, MN where he owns a snowmobile dealership and is vice president of the local Rotary club.

by Bob Brigham 2007-06-18 12:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Moving Forward

I like the idea. Although I haven't seen that many diaries for Richardson, so I'm not necessarily sure his partisans could manage to keep it up for an entire day each week. Maybe they should share the day with another interest group. How about a slot for those who are uncommitted?

Of course, you'd have to do something to make sure that we don't have a situation where both the front page and the recommended diaries are full of presidential stuff. There needs to be a venue for material with a wider range. Otherwise the site will be awfully quiet come February 6th 2008.

Also, you'd need to establish a few conditions to having front page privileges. No criticising Democrats using Republican frames, no attacks for things which the candidate can't do anything about, no threatening to vote for a Republican instead, the usual caveats.

by Englishlefty 2007-06-18 12:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Moving Forward
No criticising Democrats using Republican frames, no attacks for things which the candidate can't do anything about, no threatening to vote for a Republican instead, the usual caveats.

Well, you just disqualified almost every candidate diary to date.
by LandStander 2007-06-18 12:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Moving Forward

I think this is a fantastic idea.  I'm not committed to any one Dem candidate yet (run Al, run!), but I really don't have a problem with any of them.  Years of listing to Biden talk isn't so appealing, but I can deal with it!

I really enjoyed a conversation a while ago about WHY everyone is supporting their candiate.  I came out of reading that believing that, no matter who the nominee is, we're going to have a good next President.  I want to see more of that.

My main hope is that the tone is positive.  I'm okay with any candidate, so I'd hate to see a months-long discussion about why Sen. Clinton sucks or why Richardson is stupid and hopeless.

The other thing I'd like to see is some policy analysis, and some contrasts with other candidates.  I'm a big dork, and I love that kind of stuff - and it's what I'll base my pick on.

by mlr701 2007-06-18 01:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Moving Forward

The things I value most from MyDD are:

  1. Analysis of local races where my small contributions can make an impact
  2. Holding ALL high profile Dems accountable on progressive Dem values
  3. Thoughtful pieces on progressive framing and movement history / sociology

In short, it is the presentation of new facts combined with context and reasoned analysis that makes MyDD valuable to me.

There is certainly a need to convert supporters into activists and get them motivated. But unlike 2003 there is no shortage of places on the web for partisans to be heard and meet like-minded individuals.

I could see setting up an area on MyDD for the chauvinists to tout their candidate -- and inevitably trade barbs -- if it takes some of the pressure off the comments, but front-paging them just seems like it will turn up the volume.

If MyDD goes to a candidate du jour format, I'll certainly give it a chance, but I suspect it will quickly segment the readership and reduce the proportion of information I find valuable.

Perhaps Bowers and Stoller will take the analytical role on their site and MyDD will evolve into the partisan hothouse.

by tentakles 2007-06-18 01:27PM | 0 recs

Not sure there really is a community of supporters that is in a position to nominate the writers for some of the candidates. I guess there could be a self nomination thread for each candidate where people could make the argument for themselves.

The Edwards people are the only consistent blog touters.

Just not sure how you envision it working.

by demondeac 2007-06-18 02:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Moving Forward

I've always loved MyDD. I started reading back in the early days with the Dean campaign and I would be dishonest to say that back in Texas with the Burnt Orange Report we clearly look to MyDD as a model of activism and writing for a state level blog. The past 2 days of stories have been fascinating on here and I'm glad to see that even with the departure and changing of the guard, that that focus will remain.

If you think that ActBlue should be a part of that discussion (though I imagine we are much more irregular) let me know ( I'm sure we could have some series or ideas that fit in very well with the site moving forward.

by KTatActBlue 2007-06-18 02:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Moving Forward

JEROME:"don't see all that much happening through decentralized activity on the Obama website, in fact it's been less each month that I've been tracking it."

Howie: Out here in Washington state, there is a lot of volunteer activity, several websites and a completely volunteer run and supported office in downtown Seattle that we just moved into today. Unlike the Dean campaign, I think there is less formal connection to the Obama campaign, at least in the non-critical primary states like Washington. I remember people saying "Don't wait for Burlington" to do something and this year people aren't waiting for Chicago, either. So much of this activity, here at least, is under the radar of the national campaign website.

JEROME: I don't doubt for a minute that Obama has the strongest support among 18-28 year-olds and among black communities throughout the states. He's got widespread appeal, and a strong national campaign. But the movement talk is all silly to me; I read ten different things about what "the movement" is from ten different Obama supporters.

Howie: Here in Seattle, Obama's support seems pretty much across the board, demographically. It's not a movment like the civil rights movement was, that's for sure. But there is a lot of connection, energy and activity that I haven't seen in many, many years.

JEROME: "The biggest difference between Obama and Dean is that the Deaniacs never talked about "Howard Dean's movement". If, when we talked about a movement, it was in the sense that there was something bigger than the candidacy of Dean, that the Dean campaign was tapping into. And maybe there's something bigger that Obama is tapping into, and I don't see it, but if that's the case, I don't see it being articulated by any Obama supporters (in any form of consensus) either."

Howie: I don't hear people talking about "Obama's movement" but rather he is functioning in some ways as a community organizer of US and helping us focus our efforts in the political arena. The one area where both the Dean and Obama campaigns found  consensus is the Iraq war and both campaigns also  
were infected with transformational thinking and a  
desire to change the direction of our country and change our political landscape.

by howieinseattle 2007-06-18 03:12PM | 0 recs
Thanks For the Mention, Jerome!

Though, being firmly undecided, I guess I'll be in the peanut gallery, spraying soda fizz in the months to come.

It would be really great if this sort of back-and-forth actually drew the candidates out to take more progressive positions.  I say that not just because I'm a progressive myself, but because I think--as the recent decline in Congressional support indicates--that the people now want a progressive alternative more than they want a mushy "can't we all get along" centrism.

Versailles high-rollers like David Broder and Joe Klein may still believe in the tooth fairy magical moderation of the middle, but out in America, folks are might bit more skeptical, it seems to me.

If Edwards were to become less equivocal, or if Obama were to reinvent himself again as the true progressive he was before joining the Senate, I could certainly be won over.  Or if Gore were to jump in.

But for now, it's the peanut gallery for me.

by Paul Rosenberg 2007-06-18 04:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Mr. Rosenberg

I've read your blogs/comments here and at Salon.  In my opinion, if you have the time and inclination, that you would be a strong front-pager here.

I can see that Greenwald has gotten to you.  My question is:  What does progressive mean to you?
Your standards may be impossibly high for a Presidential candidate that has to get 65 million votes to win.  And I am starting to get ticked off that some people do not think that Obama is a progressive.  Where is your perspective? - ask some of your Republican friends.  

by mboehm 2007-06-19 01:49AM | 0 recs
My Standards

Without getting into essayland, here's a few points:

(1) Get us out of Iraq. Now.

(2) Forever destroy the myth that Republicans "support the troops" by actually (duh!) supporting the troops:

(a) Fix the military medical system. Now.
(b) End stop losses, arbitrary tour extensions and all similar gimmicks that break faith with the troops and their families. Now.
(c) End deceptive recruiting practices. Now.
(d) End punitive treatment of legitimate consciencious objectors--including those, like Ehren Watada, who make informed moral distinctions between just and unjust wars. Now.
(e) Forbid the use of National Guard troops overseas except in response to a war of aggression. Now.
(f) Establish a military reform commission to thoroughly examine and make recommendations for actions beyond those listed above. Now.

(3) Universal single-payer health care. Now.

(4) Establish a Department of Peace, as advocated by Dennis Kucinich. Now.

(5) Reverse GOP-driven process of reducing and/or eliminating taxes on capital, while maintaining taxes on labor. Reinstate estate tax. Raise capital gains tax levels back to Reagan-era levels, at least.

(6) Get serious about global warming.  Al Gore, relying heavily on analysis and practical experience of Amory Lovins, sets a pretty good standard on this.

(7) Reverse Bush-era restrictions on access to government information.

(8) Reverse media consolidation of past 20 years, and reinstate the fairness doctrine.

As for Obama's progressive credentials--he's the one who chose Lieberman as his Senate mentor. Not me.

I don't really have a lot of Republican friends.  The ones I do have, it's hard for me to understand why they still are Republicans. Most would probably support the vast majority of the above, without even any discussion, much less argument.

by Paul Rosenberg 2007-06-20 06:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Thanks For the Mention, Jerome!

Maybe I am capitulating, but I don't see this country electing a president with a "progressive" message, like you would want Obama to adopt.

by howieinseattle 2007-06-19 06:31AM | 0 recs

The key is to lead with economic populism.

Back in 1988, there was a perfect experimental test of this.

Running as a full-bore economic populist, Howard Metzenbaum--who was a GOP top-tier target that year, btw--was re-elected to the US Senate from Ohio, while Michael Dukakis lost to Bush I in Ohio.  

Metzenbaum won by 14 points while Dukakis lost by 11.

It's just that simple.

by Paul Rosenberg 2007-06-20 06:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Moving Forward

If this whole argument was about semantics then I think Jerome is right: there is no 'movement' per se.

What there is is a very diverse group of people who all see vision and hope in a man of color from Kansas.

Our politics and demographics aren't necessarily similar.  That's what makes it feel different than a campaign and more like a movement. His supporters are so diverse that we can't be defined easily--what we have in common is the man.

Some folks are anti-war.
Others want change.
Some want integrity restored to government.
Some want an intellectual.
Some want diversity.
Some see a bridge builder.
Some see a progressive.
Some see a moderate.
Some see a consensus builder.
Some see an agent of change.
Some are from the facebook generation. Some are not.
Some see a Kennedy.
Some want anybody but clinton.
Some think he can bring back decency in government.
etc. etc. etc.

by aiko 2007-06-18 05:12PM | 0 recs

Neither the Republican party or the Democratic party should not forget committment the U.S made towards the U.N. Millenium Goals in 2000. According to The Borgen Project, an annual $19 billion dollars is needed to end world hunger by the year 2025. To my sense, it is almost unnaceptable to have spent so far more than $340 billion in Iraq only, when we have more than war immunities to change the world and eliminate poverty.

by aileench 2007-06-18 06:33PM | 0 recs
Policy and legislation

I've been really enjoying the coverage of policy and legislation on topics like Net Neutrality and the Farm Bill.  If that content is de-emphasized here in favor of all-electoral-all-the-time, I hope the writers find a good place to blog and will follow along there. There's a need to get candidates elected, and to watch and influence what they do once they get elected.    It's of course up to the proprietors of this blog to choose what to focus on here.

by alevin 2007-06-19 01:23AM | 0 recs


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