Does anyone out there know why the DNC always lags the RNC by so much, even though the DSCC and DCCC are doing great? I know that traditionally the Republicans do more through the RNC, but does anyone have a more specific answer?
I've heard complaints about Dean's performance based on this - are those at all valid?
I'm really into the NLRA stuff, especially because it's probably the kind of thing that is fairly easy to pass relative to EFCA.
That said, I don't really understand how online union organizing would provide any value-added over traditional organizing. When is a MySpace relationship going to be more effective at overcoming workplace intimidation than a face-to-face one? I'd say never.
As for the "Join Us" sections being bad, that's because you need 50% in an NLRB election to join a union most times (excluding in a right-to-work state where your shop has a union). It's just not really an online thing.
The labor movement has a lot of work to do on rebranding itself. On The Waterfront and Jimmy Hoffa Sr. didn't do any favors there and that's what most people outside the union world think of first. The internet has a lot of potential for this, though really any branding work would be a step forward. For organizing, though... I'm very skeptical.
Similarly, when we talk about ending the loyalty-based system of hiring in city government, or the failure of the ward system in the local Democratic Party, many people think we are talking about removing key mechanisms that people in lower-income groups have long relied upon for advancement.
Can't my man Robert Dahl get a shoutout?
Honestly, though, you usually have to be wary of the reformer when it comes to urban politics. It's usually a way of reinforcing the urban trench system identified by Ira Katznelson that separates class concerns from the local.
On this one, you shouldn't take it personally, Chris. You're actually very good at distinguishing where MyDD fits into a whole.
What I meant to say, and should have been clearer, is that the larger MyDD community often talks about this. The language is often comparing us, the general progressives, with single-issue groups. That has the implication that we don't have a bias or that our issues are somehow privileged, which is obviously problematic.
I apologize for being unclear, but I would appreciate it if you assumed that commenters weren't being dishonest and tried to parse out the most generous interpretation (ie. the one in which I don't foolishly contradict myself in consecutive sentences). Thank you for responding, though. This has been a fantastic conversation on each of these threads.
This struggle over diversity of content is actually one of the main points of tension in discussions of demographic and cultural diversity in the blogosphere. Among progressives, discussions of content diversity can quickly translate into discussions of cultural diversity regarding the people producing the content. That is to say, progressives often consider the demographic and cultural groups of which a given person is a member to be a prime cause of the content that person produces. For example, the much of the progressive, political blogosphere is often criticized for not writing on labor issues because participants in the blogosphere are reasonably wealthy.
Chris, this isn't what we've been saying. It isn't the subject matter that we want changed and it isn't the demographic information of the person writing. It's the perspective on the same topics. The example I keep bringing up is that when we talk about the 2008 presidential race, I want to hear what women think about Clinton and what blacks think about Obama. Because it has to be a bit different.
I liked nonpartisan's suggestion of more links in FP posts to blogs beside the dKos and TAP pair of orbits.
My suggestion is that MyDD stop referring to itself as the progressive movement or worse, the general progressive movement. Though we haven't come to consensus on causality or remedy, we can all admit that there is no way that MyDD can be considered to represent the movement as a whole. I liked Chris' earlier formulation of "creative class progressivism" to describe the brand of politics practiced here and would urge everyone to think about the site's culture as such.
I think that the focus on bloggers' ethnicity is shorthand for the perspective that might be had by not being a well-educated white male. So it isn't that the topics that get written about should be different (your example of how to talk with AA activists) but that the same topics (eg Obama) get talked about from a different POV.
~Pet issues. I agree each of us has to make a convincing case for issues which are important to us. But when those issues are race- or sex-specific they can also become targets of racism or sexism. I think it is the luxury of white men that issues important to them are not called "pet" issues because they are "universal." That is, things that disproportionately DO NOT effect white men are demeaned with the label of "pet".
It is the same method by which women are segregated from political office or blacks are segregated from certain neighborhoods or queers are segregated from a high school prom. We have laws forbidding de jure segregation in these cases but there are strong cultural norms that say "you belong here" or "you don't belong here.
The reason we should look like the broader left demographically is that it means we can think like the broader left.
I'm not arguing MyDD should start to work on gender theory instead of election analysis.
But I remember a post on how the netroots seem to be friendlier to male candidates than female ones because of the whole Fighting Dems thing. I can't imagine that having more female voices going into that would yield a different result, either substantively or rhetorically.
Similarly, when I go register poor urban blacks to vote, I'm hearing different things about politics than when I go to a working-class white suburb. Having some diversity along race and class lines will give us different election analysis.
We have a presidential race with the two front-runners being a white woman and a black man, with a hispanic man in the running too. Is there any difference between how white, well-educated men view this race than some other demographic group? I have to imagine so.
Moreover, to say that election analysis is a "niche" and so it's OK that it is filled by a completely homogeneous group is a very dangerous statement. Chris says that MyDD needs diversity like the HRC needs to put out three newletters on polls - our non-diversity is part of a specialization of labor for him. That implies that white men are better at election analysis for some reason. I'm a white male college student, but I've got to be offended by that comparison.
Exactly right. In terms of understanding what problems need to be solved, how to solve them, how to talk about them and who to talk with, diversity is critical. Across every axis - race, gender, class, region, age, education level, occupation, sexuality and on and on - we are not good at escaping from who we are. Let's broaden ourselves.
So does he even need to announce he's a Democrat? I agree it's necessary in the general, but especially in Iowa it's a waste of five seconds because it offers no new information and does not distinguish him from his opponents.