Netroots Rising

I have just finished reading Lowell Feld's and Nate Wilcox's new book "Netroots Rising" describing the growth in importance of the netroots and the blogosphere in the our democracy.  It is a fascinating read.  I was especially fascinated at the description of the contribution of the blogging community in causing the downfall of Tom Delay and the description of the Jim Webb phenomenon.  

Lowell Feld was one of the leaders of the draft Jim Webb movement.  Using his blog Raising Kaine Lowell and his band of merry bloggers built a groundswell of support that convinced Jim Webb to enter the race.  This groundswell of support translated into a "ragtag army" of committed volunteers that enabled Webb to win both the primary and the general election despite being outspent over 2 to 1.  Lowell was in the middle of all this from the beginning and the account in the book is a fascinating read.

Having worked in the Jim Webb campaign as a volunteer during the primary I can attest to the accuracy of the account.  I can also attest to the difficulty that the volunteers had with the paid staff that the book so accurately describes.  That difficulty was brought into sharp relief during the Obama campaign which handled volunteers in a uniformly outstanding fashion.  I heartly recommend the book to you.

Tags: Blogosphere, netroots (all tags)


1 Comment

More study needs to be done...

...while these are instances where the netroots has come up aces, look at the places where it hasn't:

1) MN '08-a blue state with an unpopular Rep/party switching Senate candidate and a center/right independent underperforms the national trend significantly.

2)  Gregoire/Rossi I-another blue state, another recount

3)Puma-one could write books on this.  I'm surprised no one has pitched one yet.

4)Pedersen/Kyl-this was supposed to be a signature moment but it was nobody's loss but the AZ Democrats'.

5) CT general election w/ Lamont in '06.

The reason I put these up isn't because I want to say the 'roots is constantly powerless, but because I think there needs to be a lot more systematic study of it (easily a poli-sci/soc/anthro/communications-sort of dissertation topic) before we know under what circumstances it is effective and what circumstances it isn't.

by AZphilosopher 2009-01-02 09:55AM | 0 recs


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