I just had to cheer up Greg at The Talent Show. Citing Daou's dour analysis, he was expressing his disappointment at how gutless the Dem leadership is in wasting the gifts corrupt and arrogant Republicans have handed them and how uncoordinated the Democratic leadership is with its would-be "netroots" support. Supposing that my particular life and thought are somehow anecdotal evidence of bigger themes I hope I see in the world may be a mistake. Nonetheless, what I commented there expresses a gratitude I feel toward all the liberal bloggers meek or mighty who won't let truth be trampled or facts forgotten.
I never registered any party affiliation, the workings of caucuses and conventions seem like the TV frosting on a cake made of cow poop. I have always hated crowds, distrusted populism and mob psychology and marketing as a political skills. Slowly, under the accidental tutelage of liberal bloggers, my own ideas of how-to-prioritize and how-to-solve social, economic and other shared ills of the world are merging with notions of how electorates are reached, re-educated and moved to vote. We may not be in control of much more than our own voices at this point but that is no reason to still those voices.
Ideal solutions will come faster when enough of us think substantial electoral reform is needed. New ideas in politics could enter the debate directly as new parties rather than waiting for an exhausted and failing member of the big two parties to pick up the idea, sterilize it and put it out with the old garbage. Those badly needed reforms are as distant as vacations on the moon.
Would you cheer up a bit if I told you that I came to blogging as a total naif but through reading blogs like yours, I have sharpened my arguments, found my political allies, got my facts and priorities straight? [OK, I ain't perfect but I am making PROGRESS!]. My point is that If Dem leadership is feckless and can't do what leaders must, i.e. change the mind of the crowd, then WE who are blogging against the corrupting nonsense are at least forming ourselves into a cadre that can preserve and strengthen a vision. WE will hone and hang on to pre-tested battle cries that will be ready when the leadership or a more energized candidate or two come around and squarely face their task.
As an older, financially comfortable, technology adapted blue state voter, I had always assumed I was a moderate.
You don't know who you are until you start talking back.
Blogs don't appear to reach the level of influencing whole political parties. That is changing. And blogs ARE changing minds one reader at a time.
WaPo, FWIW, is agreeing with me today:
Blogs Attack From Left as Democrats Reach for Center
By Jim VandeHeiWashington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, January 28, 2006; Page A06
Democrats are getting an early glimpse of an intraparty rift that could complicate efforts to win back the White House: fiery liberals raising their voices on Web sites and in interest groups vs. elected officials trying to appeal to a much broader audience.
These activists -- spearheaded by battle-ready bloggers and making their influence felt through relentless e-mail campaigns -- have denounced what they regard as a flaccid Democratic response to the Supreme Court fight, President Bush's upcoming State of the Union address and the Iraq war. In every case, they have portrayed party leaders as gutless sellouts.