TPM DC

As you might imagine, movement and the ability to tote a computer bag are greatly limited here in Washington, DC at present, so blogging has been, and likely will continue to be for the next day and a half, a bit sporadic from those of us in the MyDD community in for the inauguration.

That said, there continue to be things happening in the world, and one that I'd like to mention now is the launch of TPM DC, which will be a must-read site moving forward. With Matt Cooper, formerly of Time and Newsweek (as well as Washington Monthly and The New Republic) signed on as Editor-at-Large, as well as Elana Schor, whom I knew from my brief stint as an intern at The Hill newspaper -- not to mention a whole host of others who have been doing great work for the site for a longer period of time -- TPM DC will be an important site to add to your bookmark list (as I have just done). Yet another sign that Josh Marshall is coming to dominate our world...

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Netroots Rising

I have just finished reading Lowell Feld's and Nate Wilcox's new book "Netroots Rising" describing the growth in importance of the netroots and the blogosphere in the our democracy.  It is a fascinating read.  I was especially fascinated at the description of the contribution of the blogging community in causing the downfall of Tom Delay and the description of the Jim Webb phenomenon.  

Lowell Feld was one of the leaders of the draft Jim Webb movement.  Using his blog Raising Kaine Lowell and his band of merry bloggers built a groundswell of support that convinced Jim Webb to enter the race.  This groundswell of support translated into a "ragtag army" of committed volunteers that enabled Webb to win both the primary and the general election despite being outspent over 2 to 1.  Lowell was in the middle of all this from the beginning and the account in the book is a fascinating read.

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Netroots: Do they Matter?

(cross posted at kickin it with cg and motley moose)

As a marketer I have noticed some interesting trends in recent months.  Namely that traditional media (print, radio, TV) has started to decline in both consumption and advertising revenue.  Here in Canada, budgets are being slashed by international accounts and belts are being tightened.

What is interesting is that not 5 years ago, media outlets were 'throwing in' internet advertising as a bonus with a traditional media buy.  Well those days are long over. As a medium, the internet has exploded bringing with it much good and bad - especially in the political scene.  

Which naturally leads us to the effect of the Netroots, which is described as follows:

Netroots is a recent term coined to describe political activism organized through blogs and other online media, including wikis and social network services. The word is a portmanteau of Internet and grassroots, reflecting the technological innovations that set netroots techniques apart from other forms of political participation. In the United States, the term is used mainly in left-leaning circles.

Further - the origin of the term is suggested to be traced to:

In a December 2005 interview with Newsweek magazine [4], Markos Moulitsas Zúniga, founder of Daily Kos, described the netroots as "the crazy political junkies that hang out in blogs." He is also the co-author (with Jerome Armstrong) of the book Crashing the Gate: Netroots, Grassroots and the Rise of People-Powered Politics (ISBN 1-931498-99-7).

William Safire explained the term's origin in the New York Times Magazine on November 19, 2006:
"    ... the Nation's Web site [5] cited the unabashedly liberal Jerome Armstrong's praise of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee "for reading blogs and being ready to work with the netroots." From these citations and a few of the million and a half others in a Google search, the word netroots has a left-of-center connotation. The earliest use I can find is in a Jan. 15, 1993, message on an e-mail list of the Electronic Frontier Foundation from an "rmcdon[ell]" at the University of California at San Diego, apparently complaining about an internal shake-up: "Too bad there's no netroots organization that can demand more than keyboard accountability from those who claim to be acting on behalf of the 'greater good.'" ... Popularizer of the term -- unaware of the obscure, earlier citation when he used it -- was the aforementioned (great old word) Armstrong on his blog, MyDD, on Dec. 18, 2002, as he went to work on the presidential campaign of Gov. Howard Dean of Vermont.... headlined his entry "Netroots for Dean in 2004" and told Internet readers where to get the first inkling of a groundswell: "O.K., so Dean is still polling 1 to 4 percent nationally, so what. Look at the netroots."[1]

Whatever its origin, the Netroots most certainly has had an effect on the media.

Clearly, bloggers aren't a monolithic group. But it's fair to say that liberal bloggers -- and the more activist-oriented members of the Netroots within that group -- have been calling out the media's campaign coverage with far more regularity than just four years ago. And it's not simply because there are more activists who know how Moveable Type works.

Pushback against the media has been aided by the growth of more sophisticated liberal news sites, such as Talking Points Memo and The Huffington Post. In 2004, TPM founder Josh Marshall didn't have any paid staffers; this year he has nine. And Arianna Huffington's arsenal of nearly 2,000 bloggers didn't exist until President Bush was already six months into his second term. Not to mention, liberal watchdog group Media Matters -- which provides ammo to many bloggers -- has grown in that time from about 20 staffers to near 100, according to a source familiar with the organization.

This effect can be seen in driving MSM stories.  Be that as it may, a particularly inflammatory article by James Kirchick entitled Barack Obama doesn't fear the enraged, impotent Netroots contends that:

Indeed, the only people who seemed to give a fig about Lieberman were the "Netroots." Along with abandoning Iraq to Iran and Al Qaeda, punishing the "traitor" Joe Lieberman was their paramount concern (know that in the minds of Netroots, Lieberman hasn't only committed treason against the Democratic Party; a quick perusal of the more popular liberal blogs will also find the words "Zionist" and "Likudnik" attached to his name). Most Americans probably recognize Lieberman as the guy who ran with Al Gore in 2000. But to the Netroots, Lieberman is an obsession, an individual who inspires mania. He is the worst thing possible: not only someone who disagrees with them about foreign policy, but a liberal who disagrees with them on foreign policy.

"No matter what Joe Lieberman does," wrote Jane Hamsher, proprietor of the popular liberal blog Firedoglake, "the people who are protecting him hate you much more than they hate him." The Netroots are all about hate; its denizens are incapable of seeing shades of gray. (And Ms. Hamsher knows a thing or two about hate, having doctored a photo of Joe Lieberman in blackface during his primary battle against Netroots favorite Ned Lamont two years ago.)

Good for the Democrats for ignoring these people. Allowed to exercise more influence over the party than they already do, the Netroots would have the same disastrous effect that the presidential nomination of George McGovern did in 1972.

While the article reeks of disdain for 'liberal bloggers' Kirchick does raise a point worth examining...

The Netroots:  Do they Matter?

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On the 4th We Voted, On the 5th We Celebrated,...

...on the 6th, We Went Back to Work

I realize that this diary is a bit tardy, but the point remains rather germane: only a brief victory celebration is in order. We may not be fighting conservatives, but rest assured, conservatives are already fighting us.

We may have taken time out to celebrate an outstanding triumph of progressivism over conservative ideals. It could be argued that, despite Bill Clinton's victory in a conservative era, the country has been center right since the time of Ronald Regan. The election of Barack Obama is a huge triumph for liberalism. Celebration clearly is in order.

And conservatism is in shambles. What is left of conservatism besides anger, fear, and hatred? Name one virtuous position (something, say, Jesus Christ or Ghandi or Buddha would agree with that) conservatism stands for? Yet beneath the surface of a sullen and defeated conservative movement, the roots are very much still alive, already fighting us. It could be argued they started preparing even before the election.

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I Heart Digby.

(cross posted at kickin it with cg)

Video from the Gala Dinner at Take Back America 2007 in Washington, DC - June 19, 2007

That is all.

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