Open Left Is, Um, Open

So, three weeks ago, Matt and I announced we were leaving MyDD to start a new project. Today, I am pleased to announce, that after a period that feels much longer than three weeks, a $250,000,000 budget that included the construction of a full-size replica of the Titanic, dozens of script re-writes from modern super-writer Stephen Bosco, a long-awaited soundtrack by Toto that precisely captures the mood of the galaxy eight thousand years in the future, a thirteen episode reality television show hosted by Tim Gunn to find our graphic designer, twelve simulations monitored by Gary Kaspaov and Deep Blue to work out the strategic kinks, an accelerated citizenship process for our ringer, Freddy Adu, and a worldwide race to find the Ark of the Covenant before Belloch and the Nazis, the new website from executive producers Chris Bowers, Matt Stoller and Mike Lux, the Open Left, is making its public launch today!

What can you expect on Open Left? Well, overall, we are dedicated to building a sustainable, progressive governing majority, not just a Democratic one. In some ways we are quite familiar, in that you know our names and in that we run on Soapblox. In other ways, we are an experiment, trying to bring progressive activists and professionals from "inside" and "outside" the political establishment into regular, thoughtful, and active connection with one another. There will be a wide variety of progressive people and organizations posting content, some of whom will introduce themselves as we roll out many of our soon-to-be regular features this week. We have innovative new posting protocol, epitomized by the "Right To Respond", where, in the interests of openness and a desire to foster more conversation among progressives, any progressive individual or organization we blog about in a front-page post will have the opportunity to respond with a front page post of their own. With both Matt Stoller and myself, you can expect much of what we provided at MyDD, only expanded into other areas. Mike Lux will be able to provide a wealth of professional political experience and an inside viewpoint rarely seen in our previous work. Also, there will be more topics we write about both for an extended period of time and in great detail, rather than relying on singular posts and off-the-cuff analysis. We will write more about legislative policy, as well as strategy on how to pass progressive policy. Further, there will also a lot of talk about progressive culture and lifestyle, since there will never be a sustainable progressive governing majority in America unless that governing majority is accurately representing a more progressive America.

Anyway, enough talk about what we are going to do, since it is by our fruits that ye shall know us. Rather than gradually rolling out our first few articles this morning, we have instead loaded up the site of with lots of new content so you have plenty to dig through right away. Already, with much more on the way for this afternoon, you can check out the following articles and permanent pages:
  • The Birth of a Movement, where Mike Lux gives an inside view of what it was like to be part of the Clinton impeachment fight. Spoiler alert: the Democratic and progressive advocacy group establishment was not very helpful.

  • What Is, where Matt Stoller offers some perspective on why we chose the name Open Left for our new website, and on where our contemporary movement of left-wing activism fits into a broader historical picture of American politics. This article will be permanently linked in our About section.

  • New Establishment Rising? The End of the Flat Blogosphere, is my opening, lengthy theoretical piece for Open Left. If I may be so bold to say so, it is one of the best, if not the very best, piece I have ever written on the progressive, political blogosphere. It is also the first step in a collaborative project with JONI: Journal of Netroots ideas, which will take place over the next weeks and months on Open Left.

  • Towards A Universal Neutral Internet, where Matt Stoller offers a broad perspective on the progress of the fight for Net Neutrality. It ties directly into, among other things, the primary challenge Donna Edwards is running against Al Wynn in MD-04, and to the political interplay between labor unions and the Democratic Congress.

  • The Self-Identified Progressive Candidate, where I look at how often each of the eight Democratic campaigns for President use the ideological term "progressive." Content warning: this post might cause you to conjure up images of me dancing at home in my underwear.

  • In the Nomination at a glance page, you can find the latest national and early state polling averages, along with fundraising numbers, primary calendar info, and general analysis, for both the Democratic and Republican nominations.
And that is just for starters--if you sign up now, you can still secure a low user ID! Not a day goes by when I don't derive a smug sense of satisfied, superiority from having user ID of 217 on MyDD, and 123 on Dailykos (I'm #9 on Open Left). Now, you too can be one of the user ID elite!

So, please, keep reading MyDD every day, but also visit Open Left. Bookmark Open Left. Tell your friends, family and co-workers about Open Left. Purchase billboard space on behalf of Open Left. Start another blog to triangulate against Open Left. Whatever you do, please stop by. I miss you guys, and it would be nice to see you all again.

Tags: Blogosphere, meta, Open Left (all tags)



Re: Open Left Is, Um, Open

Number 95...  Woo Hoo... What do I win?  ;-)

by yitbos96bb 2007-07-09 07:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Open Left Is, Um, Open
Eternal satisfaction.
by Chris Bowers 2007-07-09 08:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Open Left Is, Um, Open

Moving fast (mine is in the 300s)

by Bob Brigham 2007-07-09 08:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Open Left Is, Um, Open

Mine was 216   ;-)

by Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle 2007-07-09 09:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Open Left Is, Um, Open


you've lost a step.

by Tim Tagaris 2007-07-09 09:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Open Left Is, Um, Open

Kick Ass... I could use some of that :-)  Love the new sight BTW!

by yitbos96bb 2007-07-09 11:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Open Left Is, Um, Open
Either there's trouble w. the comment-posting feture over there, or I've been banned already. Which is mean!
 Seriously, I LOVE the name- one of those names that seems obviously right the minute you hear it; but I'm not a fan of the tiny-teeny font personally.
by sb 2007-07-09 08:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Open Left Is, Um, Open
I banned you. I missed everyone here except you.

Anyway, you have no idea what a struggle it actually was to come up with the name. We thought it a little bland at first, and pursued other options. But I'm glad you like it. I do too!
by Chris Bowers 2007-07-09 08:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Open Left Is, Um, Open

firefox users make font bigger: control +

by aiko 2007-07-09 09:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Open Left Is, Um, Open

bravo and good luck!  it'll be very interesting to see what you three come up with.

by Shai Sachs 2007-07-09 08:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Open Left Is, Um, Open

I was wondering where Stoller came up with the idea that the whole meme of making Moveon first campaign as the "birth of the movement" as Lux calls it, which I think has a lot of revisionist history in it. As someone that was actually around at the time online, I found Moveon was decidingly non-partisan in its in "Censure and Moveon" campaign, and was very interested in presenting the effort as one of a bipartisan with "moderate Republcians" support it. Moveon in the late '90's to '00 became a PAC that supported Dem candidates like a lot of other PAC's; is decidingly different than the Moveon of today.

by Jerome Armstrong 2007-07-09 08:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Open Left Is, Um, Open
That's a reading entirely based on their messaging at the time and ignoring their innovative email based membership structure which was revolutionary at the time.
That ability to communicate with their members at "Internet speed" helped MoveOn quickly evolve into what they are today.
by Texas Nate 2007-07-09 09:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Open Left Is, Um, Open

The language part is what Lux was arguing though.

by Jerome Armstrong 2007-07-09 09:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Open Left Is, Um, Open

That wasn't my take away, the commonality between the impeachment opposition and the current movement vs establishment Dems is a willingness to fight as opposed to a selfish refusal to help out a friend.

by Texas Nate 2007-07-09 10:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Open Left Is, Um, Open
Well, Lux was around back then too, and he agrees with Stoller. Even beyond them, it is a lineage I have seen reported in numerous outlets.

It was also a different time. The movement wasn't born whole cloth, and of course it didn't have every aspect that we now recognize in its earliest, formative moments.
by Chris Bowers 2007-07-09 09:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Open Left Is, Um, Open

Why don't you try doing some research and finding out for yourself, rather than just listening to the version Lux thinks happened.

by Jerome Armstrong 2007-07-09 09:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Open Left Is, Um, Open

Wow, was that snarky or bitter?  

by yitbos96bb 2007-07-09 11:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Open Left Is, Um, Open

it was rude.

by aiko 2007-07-09 11:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Open Left Is, Um, Open

Not meant to be personal Jerome, just seemed like you were mad at Chris in you response.

by yitbos96bb 2007-07-09 11:12AM | 0 recs

Does this leave MyDD solely in the hands of Jerome?

Signed up and wishing you the very best.

by pamelabrown 2007-07-09 09:31AM | 0 recs

Singer (a favorite of mine) is still here... and the new front pagers.

by yitbos96bb 2007-07-09 11:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Open Left Is, Um, Open

My disagreement with Jerome is about partisanship as a principle, namely, that I don't think it is one.  Partisanship doesn't represent anything in and of itself, it's only a symptom of an organized set of actors who disagree with another organized set of actors and are willing to work that disagreement out through the electoral system.  What was happening in 1998 was that the open left was beginning to self-identify, and that process created the networks that allowed us to take a much more partisan approach down the years.

I was around online at the time as well, and I saw a lot of different stuff going on.  I was posting on NYT message boards, and in researching 1998 politics, I've found a variety of political websites up at the time on impeachment.  There was a pretty strong anti-impeachment webring.

Only Moveon actually built an institution out of the energy.  The rhetoric they used at the time was strikingly similar to that of Common Cause, with a few key differences.  Common Cause emerged out of disgust with Nixon, but it was explicitly anti-partisan.  While Moveon sought votes from both Republicans and Democrats, the rhetoric embraced elections and participation in elections as a key organizing principle.

It's unquestionable that Moveon was a left-wing organization at the time, but it's also pretty clear that they have been radicalized by the last nine years and changed their rhetoric and strategy.  The core principles, though, were laid down in 1998.

For a lot of us, our first moment in discussing politics online revolved around that weird summer in 1998, when Clinton was shooting missiles into Afghanistan while facing impeachment.  Moveon came out of that moment as an institution.  It wasn't the only group, and it is not itself the birth of the movement.  It is just one part of the story, the institutional part.

by Matt Stoller 2007-07-09 09:47AM | 0 recs
Re: I took the site meter to 11 today.

The most impressive state was 44:00 minutes per visit. Not many readers yet, but the ones there are playing close attention.

by Rep Brad Miller 2007-07-09 09:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Okay, I misread it.

Better traffic today than the first two days. If the readership continues to grow by that percentage a day, you're in business.

by Rep Brad Miller 2007-07-09 09:04AM | 0 recs
Re: I took the site meter to 11 today.
Yeah, I think that might come down a bit, especially as our average of 11 visits per day hopefully goes up.

I was personally on the site for about fourteen hours yesterday, which might have upped the average visit a bit.
by Chris Bowers 2007-07-09 09:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Yeah, that's how averages work.

For a while in the mid-eighties, there was an explosion of students at the University of North Carolina signing up to major in geography. The university published average starting salaries by major. There were only about twenty geography majors graduating, and one of them was Michael Jordan.

Your median visit was probably shorter.

by Rep Brad Miller 2007-07-09 09:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Yeah, that's how averages work.

Good story.

Good luck in the re-elect, although I'd be lying if, well, you know ...

See you in Chicago?


by Tim Tagaris 2007-07-09 09:43AM | 0 recs
Re: I'll be there.

And about the other, yeah, I know, me too kinda.

by Rep Brad Miller 2007-07-09 09:45AM | 0 recs
Re: I'll be there.

I think it was a good decision.  There's a lot of leverage where you are, and you can create tremendous social change with your experience and capacity.

I would of course support you 200% with any decision you made.

by Matt Stoller 2007-07-09 09:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Open Left Is, Um, Open

345 - Not too shabby.


there will never be a sustainable progressive governing majority in America unless that governing majority is accurately representing a more progressive America.


by LandStander 2007-07-09 09:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Open Left Is, Um, Open

And I like how MyDD isn't on the blogroll :)

by LandStander 2007-07-09 09:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Open Left Is, Um, Open
It isn't? Let me go fix that...
by Chris Bowers 2007-07-09 09:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Open Left Is, Um, Open

There's a problem with the left margin of the blogroll on my system (using IE on a PC.)  Part of the text is cut off -- a little but for the links, apparently more so for the section headings.  Here's my screenshot in relevant part; let me know when you've seen it so I can delete it from Photobucket:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Of course, I'm getting an error message as I preview this so I don't know if the pic will post.  If not, then never mind.  (Or e-mail me and I'll mail it to you.)

by Major Danby 2007-07-09 10:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Open Left Is, Um, Open

I see it now, but its not linked...

Also, having the same issue with the blogroll cut off just a little bit on the left.

by LandStander 2007-07-09 10:59AM | 0 recs


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