The Netroots Era?

The netroots era begins February 15th.

Or so says the front (and only) page at Well, it's February 15th, and I'm ready for a new era. What's the Scoop?

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Netroots Preferred Candidate Qualities Can Energize Base AND Appeal To Independents

I was talking with Mark Blumenthal of Mystery Pollster about an hour ago, and he told me about a polling memo that he had just completed for Paul Hackett last week. Before Hackett dropped out yesterday, the memo had been set for release today.

At the end of a lengthy post about Hackett, The Fix has a round-up of the polling memo. While I may be over-extrapolating, I think the memo shows that what the netroots likes, the electorate likes:

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The Activist Class War Continues

I tried to make this shorter, I really did. Still, I think it is important, and I ask you to read it anyway--Chris

I have stayed almost completely silent about the Hackett-Brown primary on MyDD. I am not going to offer a candidate preference in this post, but I am going to try and offer an explanation for why the netroots and the blogosphere gave more support to Hackett than Brown, and why there is so much anger over how the primary came to an end.

Two weeks ago, in a post about Hillary Clinton, I posited a class-based view of the progressive movement that I feel strongly applies to what has happened in the Ohio Senate race. My general theory is that if the world of progressive activists is understood as a discrete entity, one can look inside of that entity and see massive class stratifications based upon the greatly differing levels of power over that entity. My theory goes on to postulate that almost the entire audience of the progressive political blogosphere is drawn from the world of progressive activists. While progressive activists of all classes of power use the blogosphere, those with comparatively little power over the direction of the progressive movement greatly outnumber those with moderate or high level of power. It is from this perspective that one can understand why the blogosphere is so regularly angry at what it calls "the establishment" of the Democratic Party and the progressive movement:

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Netroots Actblue Page

We've created a netroots Actblue page.  Here's who's on it, and why.

Ciro Rodriguez - progressive in a primary

Francine Busby - special election Democrat in a Republican district

Ned Lamont - progressive in a primary

Jon Tester - progressive in a primary

I smell an ideological/pragmatic combination.

Anyway, if you have thoughts on this page, let me know in the comments.  In your comment, indicate whether you've given through an Actblue page in the past few years.  Or send me an email at stoller at if you don't feel comfortable commenting publicly.

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James Webb & Netroots

James Webb's surprise announcement that he will challenge George Allen for the US Senate in VA is a shocker given that most of the Netroots activists who were seeking to draft Webb had thought he had decided against running.  The story I heard was that he wanted to run but that personal and business commitments were a major issue.

Webb will be a strong candidate and a primary will be a good thing in Virginia.  Even the strongest supporters of Harris Miller (and Webb) must admit the fact that thier candidate has never run for anything before (unless I'm missing a school board or class president race).  Hopefully, competition will strengthen both candidates.

Aside from the personalities, this is a victory for Netroots activism and "Draft" movements in general.  The Washington Post article from today spotlighted the efforts of and quoted from the site.  Webb was moved by the draft movement.

Not everyone on the blogosphere is going to like everything about James Webb -- I predict more than a few flame wars -- but everyone should be glad that George Allen is going to get some serious competition.  

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