Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Embrace the blogs?
I've been following some of the "inside-baseball" like discussions about the role of the blogosphere in politics. There are some interesting things going on.
First most liberal/progressive blogs are hopping mad that a legislative aid to a powerful Democratic Congressman has characterized the blogs and the bloggers who write them in some terms of "unwashed masses". In official Washington-dom...there is a terrible mistrust of bloggers. The only thing Washington politicians HAVE come to understand about blogs is that they are incredibly efficient money makers and can turn big bucks for a candidate or cause very quickly. One aid suggested that he would like to find a way of capturing the blogs ability to raise money without buying into their activist agenda. They want the money and they want it now. And boy-oh-boy can they turn money quickly.
I have personal experience with a blog which discovered one of its members had a rare form of cancer and no health insurance. The hospital demanded $50,000 UP FRONT. The blog went to work immediately and raised $55,000 in less than a weekend.
MoveOn.org has on several occassions raised in excess of $250,000 to finance production and playing of TV commercials.
firedoglake, atrios, Kos, Digby and several others put their faith behind a candidate named Rodreguez against Vichy Democrat Henry Cuellar and damn near pulled it off except for the open primary cross voting.
But even so, the blogs have yet to pull off an electoral victory.
The most inspired partisans, the most dedicated party activists all reside on the blogs. We communicate with one another regularly we pass information we coordinate events and people and share talking points. Almost every ingredient is present to become an effective political force but there is something missing. The blogs are lacking at least one more element and I have yet to define what it is. At the moment there are much brighter people than me trying to figure this out and put the pieces in place.
By the way, the most current call for activist work involves trying to get as many Senators as possible to back Russ Feingold's censure resolution. It's a long shot but worth the effort.