What's amazing to me isn't that there is a conservative bias in almost all fields of communication, it's that in spite of this bias progressives and Democrats can still win.
What would be interesting to know is whether the shift to the internet has led to a decline in the actual readership of conservative columnists. I find myself, like a lot of people I imagine, reading actual newspapers less and less. I am getting more and more of my information from the internet. That means that I am actually reading conservative columnists less because I don't read the newspaper where they are appearing. I very seldom seek out such columnists to read on the net.
As one person pointed out above, not everyone has to read columnists to get their views into circulation. Likewise, if an increasing number of people are getting their news from the net, then those people are talking to family, friends, co-workers, and others and spreading the ideas they read. What this may mean is that the conservative bais of publishers and the owners of electronic media outlets will have less and less impact.
The power of the gun lobby has never rested on their numbers, but rather on their committment. NRA types vote on this one issue. You can agree with them on 99 out of 100 issues, but if the one issue they don't agree with you on is gun control, then they will vote against you. There are very few proponents of gun laws that are as committed to their side of the issue.
There are several points that need to be kept in mind when discussing this matter. One is that the person who commented that Congresses rarely lead the way on change is correct. Congress almost never leads, rather groups put pressure on them by molding public opinion outside of Washington, which then influences what happens in Washington.
Second, the politics of this aren't that clear cut, imho. If funding is cut off, and there is a blood bath in Iraq between Shias and Sunnis, then the Democrats will get blamed. Also, you will have the right-wing attack media pointing out that never before in the history of the U.S. has a Congress cut off funds for troops in the field until now. Not necessarily a winning theme for Democrats in 2008.
Third, members of congress and senators are politicians who are in touch with their districts and states. I suspect that most of them feel that cutting off funding is not a good thing for them politically. If they thought it was, they would be doing it.
It is possible that a Dem Congressperson from say Illinois knows more about the sentiment of his or her constituents than people blogging on this website. If our hypothetical congressperson is not rushing out to adopt certain positions, maybe it is because they know more than a lot of people who comment on blogs give them credit for knowing.
The problem is that a political leader has not yet come along who can put a voice to a pro-worker, anti-interventionist foreign and domestic policy. If one does, then that person will find an incredible amount of support even while he/she is being demonized by the establishment press.
Actually in 1992, according to some polling data I read, Perot cost Clinton a clear majority of the popular vote. The idea that he helped Clinton in 1992 was and is a right wing talking point to discredit his election.
These people speaking to the media about House Dem leadership are really playing into the GOP's attempt to brand the Dems as suffering from hubris. America loves an underdog. Dems are the underdog. Stories like this do away with that image.
to read someone out of the Democratic Party who has run and been elected as a Democrat? I mean this is one arrogant rant. Do you live in her district? If you do, then run against her in a primary. If you don't, then your ranting and raving won't have any effect at all.
We are a coalition party, we are not always going to agree. I think you are reading way too much into the NYT article. Let's wait and see what happens if and when we take the House. I don't imagine that a lot of Dems from western and southern states are going to back gay rights and gun control, but they will probably work with us on trade agreements, tax policies, etc.
I am very ambivilent (?) about a Hillary race, but maybe someone was sending McCain a message to the effect that "we can play rough, too." Of course, it might have been better to have said something like, "We are not too concerned over the opinions of a man who ditched his wife to marry a heiress so he could use her money to run for office." It would make an excellent contrast to Hillary's standing by her man.
That said, though, I agree with your observations about politicians standing for something. One reason why Sherrod Brown is leading DeWine in the polls in Ohio is that he stands for helping middle class Americans and has shown it while in Congress.
According to a recent poll ran by a CT newspaper, Lieberman is getting 35% of the Democratic vote while also getting around 60% of the Republican vote. If Lamont is to win, he needs to change that figure. I wonder how those Dems who vote for Lieberman are going to feel if their vote keeps the Republicans in control of the Senate?
Take the representatives out of WAshington and have them stay in their districts. With the advent of modern communications there is no need to have them all go to D.C. Let them stay in their home districts. It would be very difficult to lobby them because they would be spread out all over the country. While we are at it, we could also spread out other branches of the government as well. I wouild keep the Supreme Court in D.C., and maybe the Senate, but the House and a lot of the departments should be sent out into the countryside. I would also make the districts much smaller and triple the size of the House of Representatives.