Apology. I realize I sound like I'm criticizing you and I apologize. It's not you and you are to be commended for suggesting the Goldman Prize idea.
I'm reacting to Maria's situation and also to this Digby post about bloggers giving it up. I've been writing for some time about the need for progressive funders to step up to the plate and help fund the progressive movement and growing weary of it.
"$40,000 would enable someone to live reasonably well in an urban area for a year"
This is the problem. Someone talented and skilled will be paid MUCH more than $40,000 in an urban area if they work in the private sector. Just for comparison, the average starting salary out of school for an MBA or lawyer is now over $90K not counting benefits.
Why should people who want to help out the progressive cause have to choose between doing that and having a car or a house or even a family? Not to mention health insurance and other benefits.
So we wind up with talented people forced to move on to "real" jobs.
If you look at many progressive organizations there are people who are really, really overwhelmed and burning out because they are a competent person willing to work for so little. I see this everywhere.
Calling for escalation accomplishes two things. It rechannels the debate away from whether we should leave -- now we're all discussing whether to escalate or not rather than whether to get out or not. And it places "stay the course" as the reasonable compromise between leave or escalate.
This isn't about the netroots. Edwards sent an e-mail to his supporters asking their advice on his decision. But his aides said the decision had already been made. The implication is that the request for "advice" was a gimmick.
What I hear Matt saying is that the country could use a dose of democracy right now and is wishing that candidates would start leveling with the public and start having honest conversations instead of pretend ones.
It occurs to me to add that the nature of business was changing rapidly in the 60's. Peter Barnes writes, at the beginning of Capitalism 3.0, about a shift from need-fulfillment economics to demand-creation economics, and in the late 50's and through the 60's this shift was in full swing. I remember a lot of the "counter-culture" of the 60's was a reaction to consumer marketing, which was pretty new and unrefined back then. The term "counter-culture" means counter to the marketing culture.
I think Air America is an important part of the communications environment for 2006. It has made progressive information and arguments available to the broad general public in an accessible format. Don't underestimate the value of this.
This persuasion tool is called "the actions of similar others" and is very powerful psychologically. People WILL do what they think other people are doing. This makes it seem not just OK but the trend to be a Democrat but vote for a Republican. "She's OK, she's like me, and she is doing this." If you are not paying much attention to the campaign this alone could swing your vote.
We also should be planning now for a filibuster fight. If the big corporations can block internet sites, that's the whole ballgame for us.
We should never forget what happened after Reagan pulled the Fairness Doctrine, and then, later, the rules on concentration of media ownership were also repealed. Today you can't turn on a radio without hearing that liberals are bad and conservastives are good. You will NOT EVER see or hear a union official (or anyone else) talking about the benefits of joining a union. These are just a few little examples of how the "marketplace of ideas" has been affected. Now ALL WE HAVE is the Internet, and that is what this is about.
Here's a strategic move -- Use this kind of buzz to shut down the Right's funding.
Suppose it started leaking that Dems plan to investigate corporations illegally putting money into Party activities, like the kind of phony organizations Abramoff was running to funnel money into "astroturf" operations. Suppose the "buzz" was that a new Democratic Congress will be holding the Boards accountable and fining the companies...
The insurance companies that insure these companies and their Boards would make them shut the funding of the Right down, or lose their policies.
It really wouldn't take much more than a few hints, a bit of "buzz" about it, to get the insurers and the Boards really worried.
Also, by the way, Clinton went up against the tobacco companies. I think linton was a great President and possibly the most Progressive President in many ways. Althoush I am also not supporting HRC in the primaries.
"Let's be honest: Lieberman is being targeted because of his moderate to conservative views."
Leiberman is being targeted because he betrays the democratic Party, and backs up right-wing strategic narratives intended to crush Democrats. His recent flirtations with leaving the Democratic Party demonstrate my point. It certainly is not about his views - in fact Leiberman's voting record is much more solidly Progressive than many netroots-favored Democrats. He is targeted by people who understand that the Right is playing a strategic game, and that we need to stand together to fight them and save democracy.
This stuff about the netroots being "the left wing of the party" is a marginalization/delegitimizing device, that means do not pay attention to netroots or bloggers. It's like calling someone a "protester."