by alipi, Wed Nov 19, 2008 at 11:06:34 AM EST
cross posted on DKos:
There is an interesting diary on the rec list right now, posing the question, "what should be the future of DKos?" I think their take is interesting, and I support it, but I also wanted to suggest a different variety of change - specifically, what if DKos and the netroots in general were to link up with like-minded communities, and create a different arm of the website devoted to political organization?
-use DKos as a hub for a political organization in parallel with Obama's, including fundraising, targeted advertising, targeting crappy democrats in primaries, voter outreach and registration, policy creation
-hire the people laid off by the abandonment of the 50 state strategy, to coordinate a national grassroots power base (they know how to do this, and they are not even that expensive!!)
-have a public discussion about which Democrats we are going to scalp (STENY HOYER PLS)
-build a decentralized grassroots political organization which answers to the grassroots and pursues goals decided upon by the grassroots.
In other words: BUILD PROGRESSIVE MUSCLE. More below.
I think that the unnamed "Democrat" who claimed that we have no pull on the hill because we have no scalps in our pocket hit the nail on the head. Tragically, this is how the idiots on the hill think, and because we (I would hope) are not quite as brain-dead, we assume that grassroots organization and enthusiasm for the party, coupled with demonstrably good ideas would be enough to convince our "representatives" (I prefer to think of them as leeches). Not so. Solution?
Well, lets take a page from Obama's book. After all, he went up against those same people, and although he is now doing a balancing act which I believe is misguided, he DID beat them, and he did it by organizing. Given that DKos and related communities (OpenLeft, Thinkprogress, Mydd) are among the most politically engaged in the country, it seems like it shouldn't be all that difficult to turn these fundamentally news-based sites into hubs for a larger, **grassroots controlled** political power base, that acts on the interests of the grassroots.
We have 2 years to put this together, if we so choose, and I think it would be EASY. The 50 state people are looking for work, their work is not that expensive, and we are quite capable of raising the necessary amounts of money. Furthermore, we could have a public discussion about which 2-3 shitty democrats we want to defeat in a primary in the Senate and in the House (2-3 in EACH, and I think Steny Hoyer is a lock for target #1).
Also, a little bit of bloodletting on an off year would be mostly harmless, as it would not damage us in a presidential election. We have a wave of political engagement post-Obama, and all we have to do is channel it. Experienced hands are available and out of work, and the fundraising capacity is there. Why can't we do this? I see no reason.