there's another dimension here - to what degree does your voting record reflect your constituency?
there is a feeling that we shuold excuse Ben Nelson's voting record, since we need to elect Democrats in solid red states like Nebraska, but we can be less lax of people like Lieberman, from lean-Dem states like Connecticut.
that also seems like a reasonable adjustment of the test: it's 7 parts partisanship and 3 parts ideology, adjusted to the official's constituency.
Lieberman fails pretty significant parts of that test.
i believe kos laid out a "partisan purity" test, or something like it, a while ago, which distinguishes Lieberman from, let's say, Ben Nelson or Joe Biden. the test is, are you a partisan Democrat who will not, on the whole, criticize other Democrats, even though you may not vote with them?
the distinction being that while Nelson may not vote the majority Democratic position as much as we'd like, he does not stab other Democrats in the back.
so while the Sierra Club is an "environmental" group, we are really a "whip" group - we go after people who are weakening the Democratic party. seems like a worthwhile goal to me.
A few months ago, a group of wealthy K-R stockholders insisted that the company look into putting itself on the block in order to increase its stock value.
Communications Workers of America, making lemons out of lemonade, offered to buy 8 of the K-R papers. The ostensible goal of the effort was to secure union jobs at those papers. I suspect there may be a bit of an attempt to create a union based media machine beneath the surface.
While I agree that blog content is not well suited to radio and TV (and vice versa), blog content is very well suited to book publishing, as Jerome and Markos are about to find out.
I think we could use a lot more bloggers-as-book-writers, and I think a lot of bloggers would make great book writers. Books are not only a great way to raise money for the blogosphere; as David Brock points out in the Right Wing Noise Machine, they are also a great way to spread one's ideology, since they can examine a major social issue from a particular angle in a complex way.
As Peter Daou pointed out in his "triangle" post last September, blogs will not be able to push a story into the traditional news media unless they have the support of Democratic officials and candidates.
Before the poll gets underway, it's important to get the support of these Democratic candidates, as well as key elected Democrats, like John Murtha, Nancy Pelosi, and Russ Feingold. A commitment from even a handful of these to talk about the poll in the days following its release is as necessary to the poll's ultimate success as any fundraising or poll-drafting efforts.
Moreover, it wouldn't hurt to bring the progressive magazine circuit, including the Nation, Mother Jones, and The American Prospect, online in this effort.
hmm.. you're right. maybe we shouldn't have a "send" feature. we could feed the press releases to the Institute for Public Accuracy or some similar group and they could do the sending - serving as a sort of quality-control mechanism, too.
however i think a significant quality control mechanism would be the fact that most people wouldn't bother to turn it into a press release. the press-released diaries would be those which got a lot of attention and excitement - sort of a de facto "superrecommended" list. a diary with ~50-100 comments could probably get 2-3 press release writers, but the typical diary would get few or any writers.
yes - i really enjoyed the discussion yesterday about breaking into the msm.
perhaps there could be a feature automatically attached to each blog post, something like, "Write a Press Release for this Post". you would go to that link and it would bring up a wiki (or whatever) where you collaboratively write the press release; there would also be a mechanism for sending the press release to various news outlets.
so far as i know, this feature would be completely revolutionary in the blogging world, and would probably rapidly spread to other lefty blogs, like kos, booman and political cortex.
better yet, i doubt the conservatives would pick up on it - they hardly trust their readers to make comments or post diaries, can you imagine letting them write press releases?
there's a lot of anti-McCain info collected here and elsewhere (such as cedwyn's website). perhaps we could bundle this into a wiki and start a little anti-McCain virtual think tank? this guy is well positioned for 2008.
yes, labor does all of those tangible things very well.
what it does much better, especially over a long period of time, is create liberals. Chris Bowers has waxed poetic about this point again and again, but union familes are liberal families, by and large. this fact is no coincidence or accident of our times: being in a union means that you are led to believe (correctly) that your interests are best pursued by sticking together with others in roughly the same economic position as you, and that wealthy interests will undermine your well-being unless you are constantly vigilant. that makes union workers liberals, and it makes their families liberal, hopefully for generations to come.
one of my favorite articles along these lines was published about a year ago at In These Times: http://www.inthesetimes.com/site/main/article/2034/. in addition to extolling the significance of labor as a social movement, the piece points out other ways for us to build new social movements the create yet more liberals.
.. and it hardly needs to be said, but liberals are among the most reliable constituency of votes that Democrats can have.
excellent post all around.. very helpful. some day i think we lefties need to get serious about helping new bloggers "break through"; we need to work on localized blogsprawl, and "how-to" or "dummies" guides like this post will go a long way in achieving that goal.
and i found that it had none of the hot prospects at the city council level. in boston, cambridge, and somerville alone there are scores of bona fide hot progressive prospects in city council and school committe: Felix Arroyo, Sam Yoon, Gibran Riviera, Jesse Gordon, Sam Seidel, Denise Simmons, Rebekah Gewirtz, Marty Martinez, Herby Duverne. all are first-term or challenger candidates with extremely good street cred among progressives. but where are they on this page? i couldn't find them.
so then i thought, aha, maybe i should add one. i went to refer a candidate and referred a candidate (Jesse Gordon). went back to the MA page. nada. not even an indication that there was a candidate who had been referred but not yet posted.
all of this is a long way of saying, who made it on to this page (http://www.dembench.org/states/mass.php)? what was the criteria? who is waiting to be promoted, and what can i do to help them get on the page? some simple text to explain the process, right on the MA page, would go a long way. another thing that would help tremendously is if outside visitors could vote for candidates they wanted to be listed as "endorsed" candidates. (the referral of gordon was sincere by the way. he's certainly a rising star in cambridge progressive politics, and he has a real shot at winning this year.)
another thing that would help - further localization. in other words, i don't want the page for just MA, i want the page for Eastern MA, or even better, the page for Boston, the page for Cambridge, etc. as I mentioned, Cambridge has three hot prospects at the city council level; i'd like to see them by themselves, without cluttering up the page with candidates from central or western ma. i'm sure my fellow users from western or central ma would agree.
finally, it would be nice if we could view hte candidates not just by geographic region, but by office sought as well. for example, who are the hot progressive prospects in the MA state senate?
overall, a great effort. a bit more oomph along these lines would go a long way.
for a long time i was caught in the trap of helplessness in the face of the religious assault on science. it all seemed completely unchangeable - if that's what "those people" will believe, who am i to change it? but the fact is there is a lot we can do to bridge the gap between religion and science, and history is rife with example of such bridges being built and standing the test of time.
the key is that we have to be vigilant in defending science.