Barack Obama has larger problems than blogs in selling cave
by Bob Brigham, Sat Dec 19, 2009 at 11:50:04 AM EST
Bloggers may make for an effective bogeyman for the administration: people misunderstood enough to be marginalized. But bloggers aren't the biggest problem for Rahm Emanuel's strategy of passing something...anything, in fact they aren't even the biggest problem online.
If anything, progressive blogs have been overly accommodating by creating a discussion-heavy atmosphere over the disagreements between Democrats. The administration should be relived that bloggers opposing the bill have largely taken such an approach. Because the bloggers opposing the bill have by and large shown far more of a willingness to get their hands dirty and fight with every tool available. From fundraising to message to organizing, I can't imagine anyone would rather go into a political fight with the bloggers supporting anything than the bloggers fighting to make the bill better. I mean, Fred Hiatt didn't bring on Ezra Klein because of all he'd done to elect Democrats.
But bloggers aren't the main problem, not even online.
If there is anything keeping up at night administration online folks like Macon Phillips and Jesse Lee, it is email...
Moveon has a list about the size of the population of Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson's states -- combined. And they're using their giant list with a call to block the bill.
Democracy for America founder Howard Dean may be all over the teevee (including Meet the Press tomorrow morning), but DFA is using their huge list for a Dr. Dean Speaks for Me campaign to solidify support behind the former DNC Chair.
Credo Action has a new campaign saying Bernie Sanders can be a progressive hero by stopping the sellout.
Fire Dog Lake is a new triple threat, with constant blog messaging plus a large email list plus Jane Hamsher rocking on teevee.
Progressive Change Campaign Committee also has a growing list (and impressive fundraising track record) and used some of their money with DFA for the first research on the cave, showing devastating poll numbers for the new senate bill.
All five of these organizations are successful, broad-based, movement organizations. And all five are sending emails with very convincing messaging to very large lists.
In addition, soon we will have silo organizations using their lists against the senate cave. It appears the National Organization for Women (NOW), NARAL Pro-Choice America, and Planned Parenthood will all be going into over-drive to stop Democrats from dismantling choice in a way Republicans have only dreamed.
Next up, could be the organizations who had hoped to pass legislation under Obama. The ownership of the senate by Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson bodes very poorly for unions hoping to pass the Employee Free Choice Act. Even worse if it can't even get a calendar date until after Democrats lose a bunch of seats due to passing the senate bill.
Environmental organizations hopefully weren't exclusively focused on Copenhagen last week otherwise they would have seen the failure to stand up to conservatives likewise bodes poorly for any climate legislation and they'll be under the gun to pass something before the midterm retribution for this bill.
Sure, the blogs may be a good leading indicator of the shift in public opinion among the base, but they are far from the problem when it comes to Obama's health care mistakes.