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This piece on Russ Feingold's netroots popularity is a fascinating interplay of tired D.C. conventional wisdown and, well, Russ Feingold and Chris Bowers.

We get the Institute for Politics, Democracy and the Internet's (IPDI) Carol Darr, fresh off her efforts to destroy the political blogosphere, labelling us as "extreme".

"Even though these people may tend to be more extreme and it's a tiny segment of the population . . . they tend to be opinion leaders and tend to be activists. So I think they have a disproportionate influence," Darr said of bloggers and blog readers.

And she loved that "extreme" talking point.

Darr, of George Washington University, said that if "you think of these blogs as little online tribes of like-minded people . . . they can feed off each other. So I think the blog activity is going to drive each party more toward its ideological extreme."

It's clear that'll be the talking point of the establishment class.

"It's great, because it creates a lot of energy and helps broaden a movement, but the downside is you can also get pulled in a more extreme direction," said Erik Smith, who worked in the 2004 race for both Dick Gephardt and a multimillion-dollar independent Democratic ad campaign.

But it's this idiotic theme that most infuriates me, this time courtesy of "internet strategist" Jonah Seiger (who heads up Carol Darr's IPDI board of advisors):

Referring to Dean and others, Seiger said, "The best success stories of Internet candidates on the national scene aren't president."

Um. There has been one -- count 'em -- ONE presidential election since the emergence of the netroots. People might want to wait for a larger sample size before they spew that sort of crap.

Or, better yet, perhaps it's best they keep thinking this way. Let the institutional players keep thinking that we're "extremists" and that "no internet candidate has been elected president" so that they stay away these parts.

There are too many good players who get this whole netroots thing -- like Feingold and Warner -- to worry about the rest.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 12:34 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  extreme is (4.00)
    calling hillary some of the shit we see here.

    it does feed on itself.

    and it is encouraged.

    •  In her own way she is an extremist (none)
      She's extremely careful. And extremely insincere.
      •  Insincerity (4.00)
        This is IMO one of the reasons we lose. We are so incredibly quick to criticize our own. Hillary is not my first choice for our candidate. It isn't because I believe her insincere though or that I've seen insincerity on her part. It's because I believe she is a "Washington insider" that knows how to get corporate interests attention. She is able to capture cash from corporate interests that think they can influence her with said cash. That said, she didn't vote for the bankruptcy bill(called it the abomination it was), she hesitantly supported voting no on cloture, and has stood on our side on many issues. I'm not quite ready to paint her with the same brush as GOP(the folks I believe truly believe our government away piece by piece for cash). I do want a leader this next time around though that isn't collecting big dollars from big business. It's time we get our government back and let it start legislating things like enviornmental control instead of personal decisions like marriage, family planning, and when a person has a right to die with dignity.
        •  Why do we lose? (none)
          We lose because our votes have been allowed to be stolen. That's why we lose. Not becuase of our agenda. I hate it when people pretend that our agenda is not by far the agenda of the majority of the population, because, in reality, it is. Just take a glance at polls. We've been in the majority since before the 2,000 election. We - and the democratic process of the United States - are being systematically robbed. To say otherwise is just one more way of trying to brainwash the populace into to being discouraged and allowing the theft to continue without a full blown battle.
      •  how do you know she's insincere (none)
        for instance.

        you sound insincere to me.  just my opinion.  

        i can deal with extremely careful.

        but my post did not intend to start another hillary thread.

        the point is, imo, only an extremist calls hillary some of the things i see here.

        •  I read her body language (none)
          including her voice. Anyone can.
        •  SIncerity is Not the Issue (none)
          Is she a sincere warmonger, or just someone who is willing to pander to militarists?

          Is she sincerely opposed to equal rights for gays and lesbians, or does her position reflect a mere political calculation?

          Does she really believe in disparaging the First Amendment, or is her push for a flag burning amendment just a cheap attempt to get votes?

          Who cares.  The problem with Hillary Clinton is her positions, not whether or not she holds them sincerely.

          And, if one were at all interested in seeing her become president, the second problem with her is that half the country thinks she's Madame Mao.  She manages to combine center-right positions with a far left image. Her candidacy is the perfect storm for the Democratic Party. The only thing that can be said in its favor is that it would do wonders for the Greens.

          First they came for the human-animal hybrids...

          by GreenSooner on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 01:26:47 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  calling hillary a warmonger (none)
            that is extreme.

            just my opinion.

            that's exactly what i was talking about.

            she's not a warmonger.

            she would not have started the iraq war.  she may believe in authority granted to a president to a fault, and i would agree with that it is a fault.

            but she's not a warmonger.


            didn't they call feingold a warmonger for voting for the 85 billion or whatever it was.

            i know some green party website did.

            •  don't you get it? (none)
              these people are off their rockers. it really is like reading the inverse of FreeRepublic-- completely void of logic or moderation and ignorant of actual information.  

              I don't know why kos gets so worked about the traditional media labeling bloggers extreme. compared to almost any other media bloggers ARE extreme.  embrace it, baby.

              would a level-headed, moderate, well-adjusted political player waste prime real estate bitchin and moanin about a fund raising email from a politician?  of course not.  unless, of course, they just wanted to get a rise out of their extreme base.

              Reclaiming America One Blog At A Time -

              by BRockNYLA on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 02:22:48 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Really? (none)
                There are piles and piles of informative posts here.  Look at any number of science-based posts on the front page by DarkSyde or Plutonium Page, just to name a couple of easy examples.

                Sure, there's plenty of noise too, just like on every Internet forum I've ever seen.  Are you only reading the Hillary diaries or something?

                •  I was (none)
                  specifically talking about the Hillary hatred and kos's post from yesterday.  

                  clearly there are many other informative posts or else i wouldn't be around.

                  Reclaiming America One Blog At A Time -

                  by BRockNYLA on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 02:28:49 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

          •  I think you must be thinking of Kucinich (none)
            he voted for the ammendment against flag burning. Clinton just supported some legislation. I don't believer that it was an ammendment.
        •  See below (none)
          but you nailed it with your first line:

          how do you know she's insincere

          I don't.

          No one does... but that's the point.

          Maybe I missed it -- but she has done zilch to "get in touch" with us... a bunch of spam fundraising e-mails don't cut it.

          From Howard Dean to Russ Feingold to Paul Hackett to Ciro Rodriguez to John Tester to Governor Schweitzer to Louise Slaughter to you-name-the-'netroots'-star of the day....

          Lay them side by side - and you'll probably see a whole heap of differences.

          What they all have in common -- and what Hillary has completely lacked to date -- is any kind of communication and engagement with the community.

          I don't need a candidate to come here and kiss my (or Kos's or Armando's or anyone's) ass and prostrate themselves in some show of fealty to the netroots -- but you know what?

          Talking to us might help.  Engaging us might help.

          We've had 6 years of My-way-or-the-highway, the answers are secret, I'll only talk to pre-screened and selected audiences George W. Bush.

          I'll not trade one beltway elitist for another just because 'another' is pro-choice.

          I guess everyone's got their own blog now.

          by zonk on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 01:37:47 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  that is SO true (none)
            she has done NOTHING at all to address the netroots.

            that's obvious.  and a damn shame.

            but it doesn't mean she isn't sincere.

            it just means she is choosing a different audience to address when she says what she says.  and does what she does.

            trent reznor won't be playing "truckin'".

            though maybe he should.

          •  I actually live in New York (none)
            and have been to several of her events.  I find her incredibly sincere in those settings.  I don't need or expect a politician to come on to DailyKos or any other "netroots" outfit.  Everything that comes this way from a professional politcian is sure to screened and rescreened.  there is no sincerity in having a staffer make a post on your behalf.  that's just silly really.

            Reclaiming America One Blog At A Time -

            by BRockNYLA on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 02:36:59 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't doubt (none)
              It may usually be staffers posting -- but then, both Feingold and Schweitzer certainly have personally contributed via Q&As with Kos, Jerome (or Tester with Chris Bowers.... or what have you).

              You say you found her sincere- so be it.

              But let's recognize the difference between when a politician talks AT you, and when they talk with you... and even if it's just staffer posting, and even if that poster doesn't contribue in the discussion thread, I very highly doubt it's a post-and-run situation.  If they took the time to post - I'd bet someone also took the time to read the discussion, and the candidates that have made the "best" use of Dailykos (or whatever) have certainly taken something away from the experience.

              I don't know if you were involved in the Dean campaign or not -- but that's EXACTLY how it worked on the old DFA.  If you were involved - you saw it firsthand, and if you weren't -- I guarantee that you'd be astounded how often ideas, policy discussions, strategy, and the like bubbled  up from simple blog posts into real action and policy.

              As I posted below -- I don't expect some show of fealty at the throne of the blogosphere... but writing a big check to attend a fundraiser shouldn't be a prerequisite for getting my voice heard by my elected officials.

              I don't mean this as a slam -- but I don't look for candidates that match some set of policy criteria then support accordingly, after applying some charisma or sincerity filter.

              I would much prefer a candidate that engages me, or "us"... because when a candidate does that -- even if we don't agree on much, I sleep better knowing said candidate has kept sight of the whole raison d'etre of their job.

              I want elected officials -- from my President to my Senators to my Congressman to my State Reps to my alderman -- to recognize they work for ME.  For my friends.  For my family.  For my co-workers... even for those that don't share my policy POVs.

              ...and I'm  sorry -- but there's no way in hell you can recognize and fulfill that duty effectively without engagement without cover charge, without some level of unstructured communication.

              Until there's a better way than a blog post -- it's all we've got.

              I guess everyone's got their own blog now.

              by zonk on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 03:07:52 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  seems like (none)
                talking WITH you means telling you what you want to hear??

                and talking AT you means telling other people what they want to hear??

                •  Not at all (none)
                  For example --

                  I didn't agree Feingold when he posted regarding the issue with regulating the blogosphere and its role in campaign finance... but I respect that he took the time to engage.

                  I don't personally share Howard Dean's deficit hawk tendencies -- I'm no supply-sider, but the need for a balanced budget falls rather low on my priorities (for example -- when it comes down to Stafford/educational loans/GRANTS vs. the deficit, gimme me more money for education... or prescription drugs for seniors... or you name it).  I wouldn't recklessly discard fiscal sanity like this administration, nor would I necessarily call myself a tax and spender... but a balanced budget isn't a requirement for my support.

                  I also recognize my OWN fallibility.  I don't own a gun, I personally have no desire to own a gun... but I'll tell you what, I've come around to a Hackett-esque view that criminals and existing gun law enforcement is the problem and answer... NOT gun control.

                  I'm saying precisely the opposite.  ENGAGE me.

                  Don't feed me platitudes and slogans.  Speeches and scripted events are all sizzle -- it's the discussion and engagement that is the steak for me.

                  I'm just tired of triangulation... of 'whispers' to assuage the base.  It's been posted by many people, time and time again --- it's the liberal stands that sink a candidate, it's the democratic inability to take a stand.  You can bob and weave with a speech... but you can't do that to the same degree when you engage your constituents.

                  It's about trust.  TRUST that we, the American people, have the intelligence and capability to understand issues can be complex.  Few people are absolutists - show them you hear them, you'll continue to listen, but even if you ulitmately disagree -- they'll support that.

                  I'm really not as anti-Hillary as I probably seem to be... but going all hawky on the Iraq war, then relying on cocktail party rumors to assure me it's just triangulation ain't gonna work.  I don't want my government -- or my elected officials to work that way.

                  If Hillary... or a Hillary staffer posted here about the Iraq war, even a dyed-in-the-wool "It was the right thing to do" post, I can respect that.  Although I didn't support the action at the time, although I feel we've been lied to, although I think we need to get out now -- it wasn't then nor is it that simple now for me.  I recognize there were valid reasons for going after Saddam - even minus the WMDs.  

                  It's the old Hawthorne quote from the Scarlet Letter -- "No man can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude without finally getting bewildered as to which may be true".

                  It's politics -- and political engagement -- that requires something written, something presented, something 'real'.  Dress it up, filter it, have a staffer post it?  

                  Fine.  But it's on record - and like I said, if that's all you do -- it won't buy you much 'round these parts.   When you go a step further -- as Dean has done, as Feingold has done, as Hackett did, as Rodriguez does... and so on --

                  ...well you get the point.

                  I recognize this a Republic.  I recognize that with over 300 million people - we have to rely on 535 men and women in congress and one man or woman in the White House to implement our laws, safeguard us, provide our safety nets, and the whatnot, but if you're not engaging the American people -- how in the world can you represent us?

                  Our views change.  Our needs change.  No politician, however insightful or sincere, can fulfull the needs of those changes without engaging us.

                  I guess everyone's got their own blog now.

                  by zonk on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 04:31:54 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  To tell you the truth (none)
                Hillary may not have done much with internet outreach to date, but most observers seem to agree that she has done a superb job of reaching out to her constituents in New York and addressing their kitchen-table concerns.  She traveled the state, listened to local voters, came up with federal dollars and solutions to their issues.

                I happen to think this is retail politics that doesn't really translate to a national campaign, since you don't have time to travel the whole country and genuinely listen to everyone's concerns.  But on a local level, she certainly has shown the qualities you mention as important.  Given the level of out-and-out hatred for her in some quarters, I'm frankly surprised she has been able to win over so many of her detractors here in New York, including folks like the NYC firefighters.

                I remain skeptical concerning her chances for 2008 and she's not my horse of choice, but I don't think anyone should underestimate her political skills.  She's not just an empty suit carrying the Clinton name.

                •  Point taken (none)
                  I'm an Illinois resident, not a NY resident, so I'll admit that I can't speak with anything approaching authority on the level of engagement she's had with the citizens of New York.

                  I will say this, though -- you can satisfy a constituency without necessarily being a man/woman of the people... If you need proof, let me introduce you to this Daley fella I know ;-)

                  I guess everyone's got their own blog now.

                  by zonk on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 04:35:49 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

    •  even worse (none)
      is she deserves most of it. I'm not a fan of foul language anywhere tho. It has it's place, but a public blog where teacher may want to send their students to witness politics in action, is not one of them.

      -8.63 -7.28 When Bush is in your face, may the wind be at your back.

      by OneCrankyDom on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 12:41:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  If teachers want their kids to learn politics (none)
        let the goddamn kids come here and learn about some fucking politics.

        If the teach wants her kids to learn about some stage-managed faked-up self-censored version of politics, have them read, I don't know, The Note or some such awful thing.

        I have evidently Energised the Discourse and Made Politics Real Again. -Spider Jerusalem

        by agrajag on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 03:42:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  So Explain Her Appeal Then Please.... (none)
      It can't just be that your a vast rightwing conspiracist or leftist nut to oppose her. There has to be something argument for her other than that, and I'll be damned if I've ever seen it. Oh sure, one can trot out Healthcare or some such thing but her plans for that have been shown, I believe, to be extremely imperfect.

      9/11 + 4 Years = Katrina... Conservatism Kills.

      by NewDirection on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 12:42:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  i can't explain her appeal (none)
        it appears she has none.
      •  Name recognition (4.00)
        that's all it is. That's all MOST political popularity is.

        If you get exposure, and people recognize your name, you'll poll well. If people don't know who the hell you are, they don't pick you in a poll.

        Everybody knows Hilary, they know her name, they'll pick it if they're polled.

        They're starting to know Feingold too.

        I would love to see a poll that had people pick the Dem they think should run for Pres in 08. Here's who I'd put on the list...

        Hilary Clinton
        Russ Feingold
        Howard Dean
        Gore Vidal
        George Clinton
        George Clooney
        Hilary Duff

        My bet is it would be an interesting poll. It would be a more interesting poll if they also had to say what the person did.

        •  may I point out... (none)
          ...that name recognition got us Bush Jr in the first place.

          It's what's behind the name that's important and at the same time my biggest fear with Hillary becuase I don't know what is REALLY behind her name at all besides the "clinton - D" and that's really not enough tomake an informed opinion on.

          Join the We the People Project. National healthcare program designed by Americans for Americans.

          by DawnG on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 01:35:43 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  About your list (none)
          Isn't Hilary Duff a bit young (under 35)? Don't know what else she'd bring to the table, unless you just want to test how many would vote for her because they know the the other end, while I love Gore Vidal he is getting on in years--he would be nearly 80 by 2008.

          "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

          by Alice in Florida on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 01:43:46 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, and that's the whole point (none)
            How many people would see 'Gore' and think it was AL Gore? How many people would see 'Clinton' and not see any further?

            Better yet, put just 'George Clinton' and 'Hilary Duff' and see how many people don't see anything other than 'Clinton' and/or 'Hilary' - it's on a political poll, so it must be a politician, even if the name isn't what they think it should be.

            Or they might not even read the whole name, which is what I'd suspect happens. We often see what we want and expect to see, not what's REALLY there.

        •  I vote George Clooney (none)
          because we'd get to see lots of him, and damn he's good looking.


          "Words are, of course, the most potent drug used by mankind." Rudyard Kipling.

          by Kimberly Stone on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 02:07:50 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Polls at this point in time... (none)
          ...are all about name recognition.

          Until the canidates are on the ground, doing retail campaigning in Iowa and New Hampshire (and being covered nationwide while doing so), do the polls mean anything.

          I'll bet Hillary doesn't even run.

      •  Her viability in the primaries will, at some point (none)
        depend on whether she directly engages this blog or tries to "Sister Souljah" us.  She certainly has advisers who would counsel the latter.
        •  That's silly (none)
          I think this echo chamber has confused you into some exagerated sense of self-importance. I have a lot of respect for this blog and what it can do for individual candidates, but there is no way it's going to define anyone's primary viability.
      •  Hillary's Appeal (4.00)
        1. Name recognition (see above)

        2. Nostalgia for the Clinton years.  

        3. A desire to see a woman compete seriously for the presidency.  I really understand this one, though I think it says volumes about American politics that the two women who have most recently been spoken of as serious presidential contenders -- Lidy Dole and Hillary Clinton -- both got into politics via politically powerful husbands.

        4. Her enemies.  Like her husband (but even more so) Hillary Clinton gets all the right people riled up.  If you hate Rush, O'Lielly and the rest of the Mighty Wurlitzer of the Right, it's all too easy to fall into the trap of assuming that their enemy is our friend. And they've unquestionably marked Hillary as their enemy. Heck, if Hillary Clinton were anything like the radical feminist they paint her to be, I might support her.  But just as we shouldn't belief Sean Hannity about Iraq, we shouldn't believe him about Hillary Clinton.

        5. Friends in high places.  A lot of money and power within the party that backed Bill now backs Hillary. And much of this support is because of her center-right positions.

        6. The media loves the potential Hillary storylines.  More importantly, they already know what they are, so it also appeals to the essential laziness of the RWCM.  No need to do the modicum of reporter that, say, a Feingold nomination would entail.

        First they came for the human-animal hybrids...

        by GreenSooner on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 01:35:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Plus, Bill back as her chief of staff (none)
          I think a lot of the support comes from the belief that she will be fronting for the Big Dawg, and that we will get our prosperity back. The latter is too much to hope for, but the former seems reasonable.  The contrast between the last and present administration is now just too great, and the people overall didn't give two shits about the BJ.

          She's not my preferred candidate, but she brings a whole lot of competence to an office that has been sorely lackin in it for the past five years.

          I wish we had the French two-tour system, where you have what amounts to a national primary on the first round, and you vote your best alternative on the second.  Strong losers get cabinet positions because they represent a significant part of the electorate.  Instead, we have a winner-take-all primary system that leaves the losers out in the cold (Edwards was the exception).  Our system seems to magnify and personalize the often small differences separating candidates on the issues that mean most to us.

          For what it's worth, I'm for Edwards.

        •  Good list (none)
          You missed her mountain of cash.  That will build appeal when none is there.

          Like Bush's huge financial advantage heading out of 1999, it will also endear her to both activists and party pros as a likely winner.

          Her reaction to Bill's indiscretion is a story of intense human interest. She kept her family together and emerged a heroine.

          Her politics, esp. on the bankruptcy issue, have been disappointing, and yet she is still far more liberal than her husband was as Governor of Arkansas.

          I say, do what you have to do, Hillary.

          I say, just win, baby.

          As for the Netroots, it is what is. If I could encourage people to do anything, it would be to think for yourselves a bit more, and try to avoid the Kool Kids phenomenon of the mainstream media. But you're riding a wave that will only get bigger. I'm an old guy, so I may have to get of my board and watch the rest of you ride in.

          Let me quote Al Davis again:

          Just win, baby.

        •  Bill Bartlett (none)
          says she can get moderate conservatives to vote for her by promising to re-instate to her husbands fiscal policies. (Bartlett is a Reagan-conservative who just wrote a book entitled: Impostor (about W.)


          by coigue on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 06:13:41 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  easy (none)
        dispite the hyperbole here, with few exceptions she is in agreement with most democrats on most issues.  She is generally liberal on women's issues, a strong supporter of choice and women want to see a women president.  People admire how she withstood the VRWC.  
    •  Bimini is an "extremist" (none)
      He's an extremist "centrist," DLC-type.

      You LOVE the DLC, don't you Bimini . . . or at least have no problem with it?

      And because you do, I have VERY LITTLE respect for you or your opinions on much of anything.

      By the way:  Hillary is DLC all the way.

      See why Bimini has no problem with her and why he dislikes those that do?

      •  oi vey (none)
        the typical personal attack.

        everyone you disagree with works for the DLC, don't they??

      •  Sycophancy (none)
        can occur on both sides of the political line. Now watch the firestorm that word creates.
      •  The DLC sucks (none)
        Fine, whatever. But, in my opinion the two biggest problems that democrats have is the circurlar firing squad mentality and over-intellectualizing issues to the point where they can't be made unserstandable by average folk. Hillary, not Hillary, it's a Repbulican created controversy. Good or bad, what Hillary is is a reliable democratic vote and a bright, intelligent, forward thinking woman. That's why Republicans hate her and why we should at least respect her. Everything else is just noise as far as I am concerned.
        •  Bull-fuckin-shit!!! (none)
          "Hillary, not Hillary, it's a Repbulican created controversy."

          --Speak for yourself, baby.  For me it has to do with her vote on the IWR, the fact that she's done little or nothing to stand up to Bush during the past five years, the fact that she worked behind the scenes to help take out Dean during the 2003-4 election cycle, the fact that she has constantly tried to position herself as a "centrist" (read:  corporate, sell out Democrat), etc.

          --If you think those are Republican created points, I don't know what planet you live on.

          •  You misunderstood me I think (none)
            Her being our anointed nominee is Republican-created. You have yourself worked up into a lather over something that hasn't happened yet. Let's take this one step at a time, elect good democrats in 2006. Pick our best, most progressive nominee in 2008, no matter who that is and get them elected. Ignore the Hillary hype, it's all irrlevant.
            •  No It's not! (none)
              The Dems do need a circular firing squad!  The "centrists" are killing us.  It seems all our talking points get squashed by the Leibermans of the party.  I just read Cheney's approval rating is 18%.  And King George's is 34!

              Yet few are predicting the Dems will sweep Congress in November.  Why is that?  Why aren't these polls predicting overwhelming Dem majorities?  It's because the country sees no difference between the Dems and Reps.  To them, a Dem is a Rep with no power and no money.  

              We need to overhaul the party, throw the bums out.  CT and TX must be just the start.  HRC is a liability at this point.  She won't rally the anti-war liberals.  They'll see her as more of the same.  What she will do is drive a lot of rednecks to the polls, and we'll lose in 08.

              I saw a poll published in my local paper that said nationwide 51% said they would never vote for HRC.  End of discussion!

    •  Have a 4 (4.00)
      You can dislike Hillary as a candidate without thinking she killed Vince Foster.  Sadly, a lot of the rhetoric around here sounds just like Rush when it comes to Hillary.

      We do far better when we work in a positive fashion to promote the candidates we like.  I think Feingold is phenomenal.  Clark is outstanding.  Al Gore gets an A+ from me.  There are so many positive things to say about any of these candidates, as well as others.  And yet so many people get caught up in promoting Feingold or whoever as the "anti-Hillary."  Look, true passion comes out when you believe in a candidate.  If we hope that 51% of the electorate will believe in Feingold (or whoever) in November 2008, the message we need to get out is that our candidate is the right person to be president.  Not just that they're better than that icky Hillary.

      I don't think of the netroots as "far left," I think of us as just people.  But I can't imagine a better way for the netroots to marginalize themselves on a permanent basis than if Hillary succeeds in 2008 in spite of constant vitriol from the netroots.  And on a partisan Democratic blog (as Markos himself describes it), I would expect the majority of people to line up in support of whoever the Democratic nominee is, even if it's not their candidate of choice, rather than setting us up for another Nader moment.

      Every time there is a Hillary diary I see multiple people actually claim they would rather see a Republican win than Hillary.  I wonder how many of these people felt that Bush and Gore were pretty much the same.

    •  Hillary's not THAT bad... (none)
      ...but we can do better.

      Personally, I hope that she (and Kerry, for that matter) realize they will never become president, and accept the consolation prize of senator-for-life.  Which is not that bad when one thinks about it.

      Actually, that's not totally true.  My electoral math says, depending on her opponent, she has a chance at winning the presidency.  But she has no better a chance to do so, and probably a worse chance, than real things like Feingold.

  •  Real Extreme (4.00)
    He supported Afghanistan, opposes Iraq, and is for a careful edit, but not obliteration, of the P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act. And he voted for both Ashcroft and Roberts. He's for the New Deal, and the 2nd Amendment, both.

    Yep... The 'net will push you in extreme directions... To, basically, where the average voter is nowadays. Or perhaps we should listen to the tiny, extreme, and shrill fourth estate whose selection for us are "centrist" candidates who are a perfect fit for a very small "center" indeed.

    9/11 + 4 Years = Katrina... Conservatism Kills.

    by NewDirection on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 12:37:28 PM PST

  •  "Extremism" Spew vs. Facts (none)
    So, they'll keep saying it, and using "extreme" as an epithet, but if we do our job that will be pretty empty.

    Anyone can come here and read us and see how extreme we are.

    Sure, there will be a few comments that are over the top, but we should be judged on the recommended diaries and the comments that get lots of 4 ratings.

    So, let the sensible prevail!

    •  yeah i cant tell if we are being smeared (none)
      or these "CW" journalist and pundit types are lazy and stupid (maybe its all three) - this extreme/ bush-hater/hate america first/swampfever meme pisses me off almost as much as hearing Brooksie bloviate....

      • am I extreme if i dont hate fags and our sapphic sisters?
      • am I extreme if I dont think we should be wasting our blood and treasure (and that of the Iraqis) on some useless neo-cons' wet dream?
      • am I extreme that I believe in protecting personal freedoms (freedom from unreasonable search and seizure, control over end of life and beginning of life issues, freedom to worship how I feels is appropriate)
      • am I extreme if I think that the Bible isnt literally the actual word of God? uh the earth is older than 6000 yrs old....
      • am I extreme if I believe in responsible and accountable govt? (maybe naive, since I dont live inside the beltway)
      • am I extreme if I think the environment (clean air/water, healthy ecological systems, renewable  or cleaner energy) should be protected as a public good for current and future generations?
      • am I extreme if I think there is too much violence on television and other media and that we have a very unhealthy mythology surrounding war?

      man i could keep going and compile this into a diary. There are people on dKos of many persuasions - some may have "extreme" leftist viewpoints and express them time to time but overall kossians are pretty grounded and not extreme in the least - excepting our sheer dismay on how poorly our federal executive branch protects our nation and people

      ok now i will be extreme:
      how bout a big "fuck you finger" from the fever swamps to the CW pundits? Do some fucking research before regurgitating someone else inaccuracies

      "Sometimes it's like his record skips or like some coke-dusted and liquor-glazed synapse is unable to fire and he's just stuck" RudePundit

      by christhughes on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 02:39:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's a sad look at things (none)
    When expressing opinions, telling the truth, and exchanging information can be called "extreme".
    The netroots are only going to get stronger. Sure, I think some of it will ebb a little, but it will constantly be evolving. I can't wait to hear these same people after the next presidential elections.
    •  the person referred to in the diary (none)
      wasn't talking about expressing opinions, telling the truth, and exchanging information.

      a blog is clearly many things.

    •  I predict Warner will become a netroots star (none)
      Mark Warner will eventually inherit the Dean netroots legacy because Warner truly understands the tech movement.  He has already produced some web video content, and he travels with one of his bloggers, Jerome Armstrong.

      During a recent event, Warner was the only candidate to get a standing ovation upon introduction and during the speech.  Remember, Dean's campaign took off not just because of the internet, but because people got excited when Dean gave his stump speech.  Passion + internet = netroots.

      Warner is a tech geek, and he's a visionary when it comes to the IT world.  As Information Week points out, "His biggest accomplishment has been the establishment of the Virginia Information Technology Agency, which is midway through an 18-month process of absorbing the IT operations from 91 state agencies. Warner estimates that combining IT operations under VITA will save Virginia taxpayers nearly $100 million a year."

  •  Expose their extremism (none)
    Why is Lieberman the extreme right wing of the Democratic party? He's certainly not mainline. Hillary isn't either, she's over there and pretty hawkish too.

    Extreme is relative.

  •  Could be defining the media's talking heads (4.00)
    too or the DC pundits:

    "... it's a tiny segment of the population . . . So I think they have a disproportionate influence."

    From my observations of the talking heads, they don't take any info in, just spew it out, often wrong (Chris Matthews comes to mind.) Diproportionate influence? Check.

    And the Sunday morning talk shows?

    "little tribes of like-minded people . . . [who] can feed off each other."


    •  Yeah (none)
      These people project so hard they should start up a movie theater chain.

      Since when is backing candidates who agree with 70% of America "extreme"?

    •  Yup. (none)
      You took their accusation and hurled it back at them. And rightly so. It's one thing to be a "mainstream journalist," quite another to be a "mainstream citizen." At this point, I'd say they're neither.
    •  The people who are a tiny segment (none)
      of the population and who have disproportionate influence is THEM.

      You know, those lobbyists, media pundits, and advisors who always have the ear of the politicians, no matter how out of touch they are with the rest of the world?

      Not us. We have to LIVE in the REAL world. You know, the one where you have to work for a living, where you don't have million dollar houses on each coast, take trips with Senators, wear thousand dollar suits...

      You know, THAT world? The one with bills, kids, and bosses?

  •  facts=extreme (none)
    Truth in the face of spin is extreme to the spinners.

    Off topic, the best port deal spin Ive seen goes like this...

    "The deal needs to be done to fight the War On Terror because DP World is the only company that can flood the muslim world with American products. This is Bush's next phase, it's just like ww2 Germany and Japan."

    •  omfg!?! (none)
      uh yeah we build a lot of products that "the muslim world" wants like what?...

      F16s? Microsoft Office? The Book of Mormon? Vivid Videos? (DVDs built in Singapore - our value add is from the San Fernando Valley)

      "Sometimes it's like his record skips or like some coke-dusted and liquor-glazed synapse is unable to fire and he's just stuck" RudePundit

      by christhughes on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 02:45:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why not? (none)
        Do you think all Muslims live like the Taliban?


        by coigue on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 06:16:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  i wasnt being puritanical (none)
          about "muslim" mores i was being snarky about how stupid the wingers are being - in terms of what we would be shipping to the ME as far as an american lifestyle and products we make - more than likely the ME ports are getting consumer goods from the far east just like us

          and no the Taliban are not representative of "muslims" in a broadbrush - i studied geography and understand that religions are not monolithic/homogeneous over space, time, or cultures

          so whats the most populous muslim country? i doubt most people in the US know that answer (kossians prolly know better than the US public)

          "Sometimes it's like his record skips or like some coke-dusted and liquor-glazed synapse is unable to fire and he's just stuck" RudePundit

          by christhughes on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 06:46:46 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Boy... (none)
    So they hate that whole "Freedom of Assembly" thing in the first amendment?  Don't get a bunch of people together - they are likely to come up with some extreme ideas!  Yeah, like a government by, of and for the people should be run by, well, the people: instead of high-payed Washington insider consultants.  Call me an extremist.

    "[A] 'Sharecropper's Society' [is] precisely where our trade policies, supported by Republicans and Democrats alike, are taking us." - Warren Buffet

    by RichM on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 12:41:44 PM PST

  •  Democrats will save us from Republicans (none)
    The internet will save us from Democrats.

    Now that's extreme.

    Don't worry. We're spying on you. You're safe.

    by LandSurveyor on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 12:42:14 PM PST

  •  Gee, so without the netroots (none)
    how did the GOP get so extreme that it's no longer recognizable from the 1970s?

    If we are the equivalent of Fox News, Washington Times, NY Post, American Statesman, National Review, and what have you, then so be it.  All that does is even the score.  And extremism in the defense of insanity doesn't seem to have hurt the GOP's electoral prospects.  Happily, our being a counterweight can help stop the extremism of the political process by calling bullshit on GOP extremists and canceling them out.  Darr should be pleased at that.  "Should" be.

    My apologies to students who took my U.S. Government class in the 90s: evidently the Constitution doesn't limit Presidential power after all. Who knew?

    by Major Danby on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 12:42:20 PM PST

  •  Did I miss the announcement (none)
    on why you're now using the term "wisdoWN?" I think you did it in an earlier post too. Just curious. :-)

    How freeing it must be to walk through this world heeding neither conscience nor soul. - rude pundit

    by pattyp on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 12:42:37 PM PST

  •  Am I paranoid or are the fixers fixing ? (none)
    Polling analysis finds GOP in the lead
    By Donald Lambro
    February 27, 2006

    Most polls say a majority of registered voters would vote Democrat if the congressional elections were held today, but a new independent polling analysis now finds that Republicans could lead among people who actually vote.
        The CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll reported last week that the Democrats led Republicans among registered voters in the generic congressional survey by 50 percent to 43 percent, a seven-point margin that could give Democrats enough victories to take control of the House, if their supporters participate in November's elections.
        But a deeper analysis of these numbers by David W. Moore for the Gallup Poll said, "It is likely many voters will not do so" because turnout among registered voters tends to be lower than that among "likely voters" who say they plan to vote and usually do.
        In his analysis, Mr. Moore writes that Gallup's "experience over the past two midterm elections, in 1998 and 2002, suggests that the [registered voters] numbers tend to overstate the Democratic margin by about 10? percentage points."
        "Given that Democrats currently lead by seven points, that could mean that among people who will definitely vote, Republicans actually lead by three to four points," he said.
        Republican election strategists long have maintained the so-called generic numbers, in which voters are asked which party they will support in the elections, without mentioning a specific candidate, skew in favor of the Democrats.
        Mr. Moore's admission about past generic polls of registered voters is rare, coming from a major polling organization, Republican campaign strategists said last week.
        "It's an amazing, very rare admission. Republican pollsters have argued for the last couple of decades that the generic congressional polls always overstate the Democrats' participation," said Wes Anderson, a pollster with OnMessage Inc, a Republican polling and media firm.
        "There are two distinct universes in polling, people who are registered and people who vote. So If you are not polling people who are likely to vote, who have a history of voting, you are going to misread the electorate," Mr. Anderson said.
        Nevertheless, Mr. Anderson said, "If the election were held today, it looks like Democrats will make marginal gains, but their hope of taking the House or Senate is a pretty long shot."
        Independent congressional election trackers think the pessimistic mood of the country favors the Democrats this year, pointing to increased voter disapproval of Congress, the lobbying scandal, the war in Iraq, economic issues and, now, possibly an Arab-owned company being allowed to run terminal operations at six major U.S. ports.
        "Democrats still have the potential for major gains (even taking the House), but their current prospects are somewhat lower," political analyst Stuart Rothenberg told his newsletter clients earlier this year. He is predicting Democratic House gains of from four to eight seats.
        "We've seen a bit of a turnaround [for Republicans], but history says that in the second term of a sitting president that this will be a tough midterm election for the party running the White House," Mr. Anderson said.

  •  Ironically (none)
    You can point to some of Dubya's web operations as being key to his success.  Also, the Swifties gained a lot of traction online.
    •  It's amazing... (none) the media is always willing to Hoover up even the strangest RNC/GOP talking points and regurgitate them without comment or question, but Democratic information that is reality-based has a much harder time getting Big Media's attention.

      Witness the ease in which outright GOP lies were regurgitated as truth in the coverage of the Wellstone memorial event in 2002 -- and how, a few weeks later, it took weeks of hammering by Atrios and his readers to get the media to give a rat's ass about Trent Lott's comments at Strom Thurmond's memorial service on the Senate floor.  

  •  I don't know about you, but I'm extreme. (4.00)
    In fact, I'm sitting here typing and drinking Mountain Dew. Later on, I'm going to jump out of a plane, go surfboarding and then pick a fight with a grizzly bear.

    Anybody else got their Dew on?


  •  Who was wrong again on Iraq War, deficits, etc (4.00)
    And they call us the extreme.  Are they kidding?

    We are reflecting mainstream thought now even though the public, press, politicians took 3 years to do it.  

    Who really was the extreme?

    Netroots is really about good government and commonsense policies--not left, right, liberal or conservative.  And we admire people whether they are Republicans or Democrats who makes sensible policies.  (Reason why Bloomberg a NY Republican is supported here).

     The problem is we observed that Democrats have been the sensible one and reflect the public/mainstream and what we believe. (Check out polling report).  Historically (Clinton) they have been good administrators of our country.  And whatever good America has(opportunity, equality civil rights was thanks to Democrats)

    The Republicans are just yes man and blind to Bush faults and dont have spine to stand up even to their beliefs of fiscal responsibility, less govt and wise use of military.

    Stop Corporate Influence; buy DEMOCRACY BONDS!!!

    by timber on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 12:46:17 PM PST

  •  Whoa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (none)
    Hold your horses!

    People are giving WAY TOO MUCH credit to bloggers.
    I credit Bush with this pushback. The Dems better be careful with their opinions about opinion.

    Don't worry. We're spying on you. You're safe.

    by LandSurveyor on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 12:46:22 PM PST

  •   No one who wants (none)
    change can afford to stay home in Nov.

    Including true blue states, Rove&CO know that a democratic controlled congress could result in criminal investigations from their ilk.

    I hope Howard Dean understands how important it is to kick these thugs in the teeth and take back at least one house.

    •  Oh, he does.... (none)
      ...that's why he's building up the state parties.
      •  But to this very Day... (none)
        ...he doesn't give any National Democratic voice to fraudulent election results:

        ...In a must read here Dr. Ernest Partridge asks the ultimate question.  I could reprise it here but his essay eloquently stands on its own.  Check it out.

        "Wonderful things can happen ... when you plant the seeds of distrust in a garden of Assholes" -- Elmore Leonard

        by Blue Shark on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 01:04:53 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  the reason... (none)
          Look, I know there have been "shenanigans", to put it very kindly, with the elections in 00, 02, 04, 05, etc.  I know it.  You know it.  Quite a few people know it.  But the majority doesn't, and won't accept that such things have occurred.  I give Dean and the Democrats a lot of kudos for realizing this.  Dean, and the Democratic Party, are smart enough to realize that the average American will not believe that election tampering has happened here.  They just won't.  It's "black helicopter and Art Bell" territory, as far as most voters are concerned.

          Dean's not prepared to start a war he can't win.  I think he deserves a lot of credit for that.

          •  Not Really... (none)
            ...I can't seem to locate on short notice the passages that indicated that at least a full third of the people who voted in 2004 thought that perhaps their vote didn't count accurately.




            and here

            It might have been Conyer's report here

            ...In any event 1/3 of the country is a substantially higher figure than Black Helicopter conspiracy adherents...and this with next to no publicity for the enormous mountain of evidence that electoral fraud occurred and will continue to occur until it is addressed.

   you can be nice and comfortable with the man who is most responsible for electing Democrats nationally to pass on this very crucial issue, but the fact remains, that nobody fixes what is not broken, and his silence lends credence to the opinion that our election system is not broken.

            ...we need every voice on this.  Every single voice....Dr. Dean's included.

            "Wonderful things can happen ... when you plant the seeds of distrust in a garden of Assholes" -- Elmore Leonard

            by Blue Shark on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 04:48:24 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Well, it's been said many times (4.00)
    The center has moved... however, we weren't the ones that moved it.  My actual positions on most political matters have changed very little over the years, but it's true that I am much less concilatory towards my opponents, which could be because they are so much more extreme or because I'm now old enough to not really give a rat's ass about being liked by everyone.  And the truth is that you just don't find a whole bunch of educated, middle-class types (in other words, at least a strong plurality of Left Blogistanians) suddenly deciding to become bomb-throwers in their thirties and forties without some seriously traumatic stuff forcing the conversion.

    Anyway, my mantra is "my opinions are the same as they ever were; the right moved the goalposts."

    Compromise is something you do behind the scenes. Stop doing it in public. -Atrios

    by latts on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 12:47:03 PM PST

    •  The center has been REDEFINED (none) the Bushmedia and the wingnuts.

      We are marginalized because of this.

      REALITY....i.e. the polls say that over 50% of Americans think Bush should be impeached, and nearly 2/3 of Americans are pro Choice. Americans SUPPORT us; we are the MAJORITY.

      But they CALL us "extreme" and we help them by calling ourselves leftists.

      I'm a CENTRIST.

      So are most Kossacks.......relative to the American people.

      We are committing the same idiotic mistake that the Mensheviks did ......calling ourselves the minority faction.

      I've thought of doing a diary on this - I think somebody should. It's getting ridiculous.

      The Perfect is the Enemy of the Better

      by dabize on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 01:13:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm in your shoes (none)
      Same thing for me.  Reminds me of Robert Frost's little poem, which I can't exactly quote because my Frost is down in the country, but goes something like, I wasn't radical when young, so that I wouldn't be conservative when old.'
  •  Fear (none)
    I think the establishment is fearful.  They are afraid of losing the precious stranglehold they have had on Democratic politics for the last generation.  And we all know how successful they have been.  If it werent for the political genius and charisma of Bill Clinton, and the superb third party candidates in the 90s, we probably wouldnt have had a presidency back then.   They no longer control the agenda, the information, nor the advertising or propaganda.  The netroots phenomenon can no longer be marginalized the way they wish.  Every day they continue their nonsense, labeling us "extreme" they become more like the right wing folks they wish to overturn.  The politics of playing to the center doesnt work.  

    Im still angry at what the DLC did to Howard Dean in 2003 and 2004.  They torpedoed his candidacy.  The last time they called me trying to raise funds, I let the telemarketer have it and they have not called me since.  Next time they call, Ill simply give them the old "Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior?" line and the will hang up faster than you can say Pat Robertson in a tutu.

  •  So, let me get this straight... (none)
    ...if you actually care enough about the current political situation to try to discuss ways to improve it and change it, you're extreme?

    Jeez. Talk about low standards...

    Moron and Sauron - America's odd couple since 2000...

    by sixthdoctor on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 12:50:27 PM PST

  •  Sounds wrong to me (none)
    It's their party at odds with each other. It's their Congressmembers forced to break with the administration in order to get reelected. Their party defying Bush to maintain their own individual survival. Their side, split between the religiosos and the purists, who don't trust each other. But our side, finally gaining traction, whose numbers are going to be suppressed?

    What do loyal Reps do when they feel disenchanted, disappointed, even betrayed, but can't bring themselves to vote Dem.? They don't vote at all.

  •  Dkos made me less extreme. (none)
    As regular reader, occasional commenter since Mid 2003 and I can assure you I have become LESS ideologically extreme (if more partisan.)

    " you smell something" -ghostbusters

    by David in Burbank on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 12:51:33 PM PST

    •  from the amen corner (none)
      thanks to commenters here many of my positions have altered in the last couple of years. More partisan--definitely, but definitely not more extreme.

      In the relatively brief time I've been lurking the Blogs have gone from "pajama-rama" amusing, to "partisan" to "extreme."  And, what I think I'm hearing here is the sound of a pundit class, used to getting face time realizing that they have competition.  

      I'm not sure into what category Darr would fall, but the shuddering of the chatterati seems to divide among (1) Old Sages --those folks who've become used to all that face time SOLO and not having their pontifications analyzed much less criticized; (2) Party Insiders --who may or may not have a vested interest in the triangulation of lobby/campaign firms-candidates-media companies. When a candidate can hone a position on the blogs without having to hire a pr person that must hurt? (3) Corporate media which has yet to fully figure out just what blogs do and how to drive one>

      •  I think you're right about the PR types (none)
        Politics is big media money.  And the ones who channel the adds get a nice percentage of all that money we send our candidates.  It's been commercialized, just like everything else in this damn country.
  •  Let them play in the last century (none)
    People like Carol Darr fear change - even more importantly they fear losing influence.

    We should just continue working for change and broadcasting our efforts through blogs and the netroots.

    •  Of course (none)
      she's motivated by fear. "Extreme" is as much a pejorative as she's willing to use. But she's already lost the battle, and the more she feels threatened into denying it, the more "extreme" her adjectives will become.
    •  This is the same mindset (none)
      that said radio will never replace campaigning from the back of a train. Those fireside chats- just a gimmick by that old communist FDR. It'll never catch on.
         TV will never replace radio. Voters are too smart to be taken in by good looks and ease in front of the camera.
         Newt Gingrich will never get anywhere with his attacks on the Democratic leadership. Bob Michel and his 'get along to go along' is the only hope the Republicans have to get some of their wishlist into enacted.  Blah, blah, blah...

         Funny how people who benefit from the status quo are the  most resistant to change and almost physically unable to adjust to a new paradigm, all the while poo-pooing it.

      Moderation, the noblest gift of heaven. - Euripedes

      by recentdemocrat on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 01:27:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  clueless researchers (none)
    Darr obviously doesn't have a frickin clue about the blogosphere. She's obviously spending too much time trying to get that precious tenure by suckin up to the powers that be. Oh well. Or, if she has it, she's got to tweet the udders from which her research funds flow. If she really tried to do some research, maybe she'd find something different. But then again, that would mean that she'd have to let go of the research funds.

    Making the world a little better place can be fun.

    by gradinski chai on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 12:52:12 PM PST

  •  Bloggers are the Minutemen... (none)
    of the 21st century, Citizen Soldiers.  We scare the hell out of them.  With good reason.
  •  As I hear over and over... (none)
    Keep your mouth shut and your wallet open.

    Madam, if you were my wife, I would drink it.

    by gavodotcom on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 12:54:01 PM PST

  •  Monopoly power (none)
    Don't forget that any institution that had a monopoly (in this case the MSM), doesn't want to give it up easily.  They never do.

    Which reminds me of what happened to Dean.  So Dean goes online, bypasses the MSM, gets popular, and then the MSM broadcasts Dean screaming over and over and over.  Dean goes down.

    Just something to keep in mind.

  •  Establishment Denial of Pending and On-going Chang (4.00)
    This is an interesting post, for its undercurrent is the threat established media feel from beneath their feet where the grassroots are.

    Like any power, large or small, those on the throne will endeavor to kill anyone who seeks to remove them from it.  Ask Paul Hackett and Ned Lamont.

    No doubt I am one of the more venerable contributors here at age 57.  Perhaps that makes me extreme.  I am a Viet Nam vet; no doubt that makes me extreme.  I belong to the VFW and the American Legion.  That makes me extreme.  My son was in the Navy.  That makes me extreme.

    We citizens who presume to embrace the legacy of Jefferson and the example of Thomas Paine and the principle of all our revered Founding Fathers are most certainly extreme.

    We are extreme by the standards of the entrenched status quo.  We have conviction; they have power and money.

    Principle will prevail over power and money in the long run, for when motivated by principle, we watch out for our brothers and sisters as we move toward the Bastille.

    Rahm and Schumer and Hillary and Company may yet have the mike and the money, but storm's a comin', and there's not a damn thing they can do about it.

    On TV the talking heads may disparage the blogosphere when a few thousand people are watching, but here we can speak as Patriots where tens of thousands of people are reading, absorbing, and enlisting into the cause - the revolution in people-powered politics.

    We shall never surrender as they already have.

  •  It's time to throw Darr and her ilk their anvil (none)
    They serve no purpose other than to divide the party in a negative fashion and, because of that, there really is no place for them in the next two election cycles.  

    Don't be so afraid of dying that you forget to live.

    by LionelEHutz on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 12:56:14 PM PST

  •  hrmmm... (none)
    "Even though these people may tend to be more extreme and it's a tiny segment of the population . . . they tend to be opinion leaders and tend to be activists. So I think they have a disproportionate influence," [said of church goers]

    "you think of these [churches] as little ...tribes of like-minded people . . . they can feed off each other. So I think the [church] activity is going to drive each party more toward its ideological extreme


    "It's great, because it creates a lot of energy and helps broaden a movement, but the downside is you can also get pulled in a more extreme direction,"


    hrmmm- I can write a policy peice too

    We have no future because our present is too volatile. We only have risk management. The spinning of the given moments scenario. Pattern Recognition. ~W. Gibson

    by Silent Lurker on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 12:59:31 PM PST

  •  Folks (none)
    have we not now reconciled ourselves to the fact that anything that is not 100% boot-licking subservience to anything that Fearful Leader proclaims -- and particularly anybody or anything which might actually be EFFECTIVE in its articulation of an alternative view of reality -- is going to be labelled "extreme"?  

    This has been the Rovian modus operandi from the get.  

    As someone who still proudly self-identifies as a radical, most of the dkos comunity is decided not extreme, at least in terms of political views.  Electoral strategy, new visions of community, most definitely "cutting edge".

    This type of argument -- which is also echoed here in various diaries and posts (can't say THAT! It's too extreme.  Main Street will read it and they won't vote for the Dems) -- serves to limit and confine the parameters of what is acceptable political debate.

    I say throw ALL the ideas on the table.  The good ones will stay; the bad ones will drop of their own accord.  

    That, after all, is what I thought democracy is supposed to be about.

    Soldiers are required to do their jobs when politicians fail to do theirs

    by leftvet on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 01:00:20 PM PST

  •  Another example (4.00)
    "These folks who are riding in auto-mobiles are at the extreme end of the populace as a whole," said Mr. Carlton B. Pigtrotter, president of the Buggy Whip Manufacturers of America.

    "They may amuse themselves by gathering with other enthusiasts of this niche pastime, but like enthusiasts of the hookless fastener or "zipper," they don't represent any interests except their own. They are at the extreme ends of the spectrum," he said.

    "I wouldn't worry about them," allowed Mr. Rufus T. Piffle, head of the Allied Lamplighters Association. "There's always someone claiming we don't understand the future. That's poppycock," said Mr. Piffle.

    "It's the Supreme Court, Stupid!"

    by Kestrel on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 01:00:56 PM PST

  •  Is this a new meme? (none)
    Extreme, adjective: Different.
    Extremist, noun: A person with an opinion different than yours.
  •  WTF? (none)
    "It's great, because it creates a lot of energy and helps broaden a movement, but the downside is you can also get pulled in a more extreme direction,"

    Like being pulled back to what Democrats held dearly as principles? Damn - you don't want to go back there! Think about how awful it was: promoting labor rights; demanding that society care for those less fortunate; closing institutions and treating orphans and people with mental health problems like human beings; working to eliminate barriers to minorities; etc.

    Don't want to get pulled to the left, or even towards the center.

  •  Extreme action (none)
    is called for when you ar dealing with fascists who are subverting elections, overthrowing the rule of law by fiat, and carrying on wanton racketeering schemes that even involve making war.

    Name a moderate approach that successfully, and appropriately, addresses fascism. Go ahead.

  •  I'd rather hear and read the myriad of opinions (none)
    from outside New York City, Los Angeles, and the Capital Beltway than the elitist corporate pundits from within.  That's what extreme is in their world, not behaving like them.
  •  Got your back on the anger thing ... (none)
    but it's still true that the netroots will never truly gain respect among non-wired Democratic insiders until we actually and unequivocably win something. On the federal level. We've done a lot of "nice tries" and "we really put a scare into him/hers," but so far I'm not seeing any actual, umm, wins. I know we've got it in us, but but it hasn't come out yet, maybe because we don't do a very good job picking races or candidates to support.

    Just a thought. Or maybe a broken record ...

  •  All falling into place (none)
    I mean, isn't this just the "then they ridicule us" phase from the Gandhi quote?

    "I didn't have good intelligence!"

    by el fuego on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 01:06:13 PM PST

  •  Kos...may I play devil's advocate for a moment? (none)
    Regardless of whether the "netroots" are in fact more "extreme" than the mainsteam at this very moment, what is to keep us from becoming more extreme and wingnutty in the future.  

    The right has taken a very slow and steady road to the mindless dittohead, hatespewing dirtbags.  What is to keep us from becoming the echo chamber a la free republic?

    Right now we have a pretty big community and as a whole we generally tolerate and in many cases welcome dissent, but I have also seen several instances of, frankly, extremist left wingnuts who dont' tolerate any dissent beyond their stated opinion in THEIR diaries.  How should we as a community prevent that?

    As the saying goes "There, but for the grace of God, go I"  We might point and laugh at the right's decline into shameless whoring for their side, but really, what are we as a community going to do to prevent that fate for ourselves?

    Even republicans were sane once.  

    Join the We the People Project. National healthcare program designed by Americans for Americans.

    by DawnG on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 01:07:39 PM PST

    •  We don't shut them down (none)
      But the kind of people you refer to don't get much traction here.  The right wingnuttery is a top-down affair.  You don't fit in, you get kicked off.  Here we left all non-trollish flowers bloom.  That's what free speech is for.  To see which seeds will grow, and which will wither for lack of vitality. The audience on Kos and similar sites possess trained intelligence and are often politically experienced.  That's what makes our sites so frightening to the so-called 'insiders'.  Many of us here are at least 'ex-insiders.'  We know the game and the people.  It's not like we just came off the street.
  •  Its just the standard crap (none)
    This is just their standard push, doesn't even have to have an issue, in fact it works to disguise issues and get a big reaction going about how extreme we are not.  We need to keep calling them the extremists and back it up with numbers and facts.  What is the national deficit?  Who is getting how much in tax breaks? Who claimed that the Iraq war was over?  Who claimed that the resistance was on the last legs?  Who claimed that every nominee deserved an up and down vote-Who squealed like a stuck piggee when H. Meyers was nominated and forced her withdrawal?  Who was Kenny-boy's buddy? What Party did Abramoff support?

    We should not buy into even a discussion of how extreme we are.  There is rarely an opinion on this blog that is much left of an European conservative.  We should be pushing all the time for our centrist positions, Single-payer health care, progressive taxation, oversight of the branches of government by the other branches of government.  No wars against countries who do not threaten us.  Reduction of our dependence on oil as our motive source.

    The minute that an "extreme" movement takes hold in this country you would see these authoritarian elitists really panic.

    What is encouraging about the rise of the netroots is the spread of communications from the politically active and internet-savvy folks out to others of us who are just learning to blockquote and are so scared for our country that we are becoming active again.  I think that this cross-fertalization will be the process that surrounds the old media and isolates it and allows a coalition that is not in despair and splintered.  This is the force that can topple the kleptocracy and expose its machinations.

    Beating these crooks and thieves and murderers out of power is not extreme.  It is just good sense.

    "I said, 'wait a minute, Chester, you know I'm a peaceful man.'" Robbie Robertson -8.13, -4.56

    by NearlyNormal on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 01:08:32 PM PST

  •  "they tend to be opinion leaders" (none)
    Now if only the Democratic leadership would become "opinion leaders" like us. There are way too few of them right now. Most of them are followers.
  •  So you're sayin'... (none)
    it's not extremism, it's blowback. Equal and opposite.
  •  Extremeties (4.00)
    Extreme? If blogs inherently moved to the extremes of their positions, this blog would be full of people talking about state ownership of all private property. I don't see that.

    I see a group of people who simply think that the priorities of America's liberal (with a small "L") republic should move ever so slightly to the left. Yes, I see some socialists here. I also see some free marketeers who'd like to see a bit more money spent on butter, not guns. I see a broad spectrum of people who seem to think that the role of government is to intervene in the economy for the benefit of society and distribute the power of government to minimize it's impact on civil rights.

    I see people who want to see government strike a different balance between the rights of corporate property owners and the collective good.

    What I see here are mainly "middle ground" values that favor the individual over the corporate collective, not the political collective over the individual.

    Yes, there are individual extreme views, and most of us hold at least one "out there" view, but the "collective voice," to the extent that one emerges here is thoughtful, moderate, and progressive more than radical.

    When our country moves towards facism, we start to look like radicals, but in a wierd way, I think we are the conservatives...

    [-7.13, -8.41]

    by evilpenguin on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 01:13:20 PM PST

  •  Move on (none)
    Nothing happening here. Just a bunch of extremist talking among ourselves. Nothing to see here, keep moving.  Fox news has a new clue in the missing blonde story, hurry and you can still catch it.  Oh, and pay no attention to that Crazy Guy Howad Dean.  He's just running around in all 50 states screaming.  No, keep yourself focused on the experts inside they beltway, they really know what's going on in 'Merica.  That's why they make the big bucks. And that's the bottom line.
  •  Not just a small sample size... (none)
    Netroots have won national S. Korea. Its only a matter of time before it reaches critical mass in the US.

    A liberal knows that the only certainty in this life is change but believes that the change can be directed toward a constructive end.--Henry Wallace

    by 54cermak on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 01:17:14 PM PST

  •  Netroots are a tool not a goal. (none)
    The goal of a candidate needs to be winning enough votes for office and then doing the best job of representing and protecting the interests of his/her constituents.

    To do that, you've got to know your constituents well.  That takes hand shaking, shoe leather, eating baked chicken dinners that taste like shoe leather... old fasioned campaigning.

    The net can't replace that.

    What the net can do is more effectively educate, organize and mobilize people who would have otherwise sat on the sidelines or been too discouraged to act.

    I posted to Paul Hackett's diary announcing his run for Ohio Governor reminding him to be a candidate for Ohio, not a candidate for DailyKos.  Raise your money here, find volunteer workers, convince voters, but that is never any substitute for getting out and meeting with people.

  •  Getting it (4.00)
    In the netroots sense, of course...

    I am a member of the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation), a cyberspace rights and free speech organization and I generally jump on their letter writing/mass e-mail campaigns because 90%+ of the time I agree with their positions on these issues.

    I'd like to mention that anecdotally, having written many times to my senators and congressman, Republicans in my state have been faster to respond and more frequently respond with a message that actually refers to the subject on which I wrote.

    The late Paul Wellstone was the exception to this. His office always answered, although not always in a timely manner.

    I mention this only as an anecdotal data point that "our side" is generally not doing the things necessary to be perceived as reponsive, while the other side is agressively doing so.

    I'm planning to volunteer a little computer programming time to my candidate in the MN 6th in the next election. They need help in being fast on communicating with constituents.

    [-7.13, -8.41]

    by evilpenguin on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 01:23:07 PM PST

  •  Excerpt from "Crashing the Gate" (none)
    Foreward, page xii:

    "As with most things connected to the internet and new media, however, this new politics is disruptive, upsetting old arrangements and displacing people invested in the old ways.  It is literally "crashing the gate" of the old system, as Jerome and Markos say.  And to that I say "Amen." . . . .

                          - Simon Rosenburg

  •  Blogger Extremism (none)
    Shame on bloggers for being so extreme as to judge a candidate based on the leader he will make rather than the way he screams.

    The truth has a liberal bias.

    by gravy on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 01:25:23 PM PST

  •  Blog extremists (none)
    I say we send Carol off to the re-education camps, and then see if she's so free with the word "exremists"
  •  Gimme a flippin' break (4.00)
    I'm getting damn sick of being talked about like the mere fact that I'm spending more than a few minutes on election day deciding who to vote for, somehow makes me an "extremist".

    You mean because I'd rather see a plan than a good slogan, I'm extreme?

    You mean because I'd like to see the candidate spending some time addressing MY interests rather than that of some PAC, makes me extreme?

    Dean, Feingold, Hackett, Rodriguez --- other "netroots stars" --- if you laid their issue stances together in a table, I'd bet you'd see quite a bit of differences on individual issues.  Wake up beltway -- we DON'T need them to fall lockstep in line with our deeply held views.  All we want is engagement, a sense that the candidate is truly interested and truly listening to us, the American voter --- rather than some mishmash of PACs, consultants, and other insiders.

    Hillary Clinton doesn't get trashed here just because of her policy views -- she gets trashed her because she has done ABSOLUTELY zero to engage anyone outside of the famous big names and big wallets that allow rumors of 'true' Iraq views (or whatever) to reach us.

    There's no magic policy formula -- it's a simple matter of engagement.  

    I guess everyone's got their own blog now.

    by zonk on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 01:30:48 PM PST

    •  I agree with you (none)
      I dread the day we see the Dems all march in lockstep as we have recently seen with this Administration and Congress.....I just want to see, hear dialog, logical thinking, discussion of REALITY, and some accountability and oversight.
  •  This is part of (none)
    The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's continuing war on blogs.  I have been documenting the atrocities.
  •  Extremism (none)
    It's been sickening over the last two presidential elections to watch how the media dotes upon undecided voters.  Bloggers are extreme because they have principled opinions?  And these empty-headed "undecided voters" are supposed to be the pulse of America?  I mean how could you not have an opinion  with all the crap that's goin' down?  Firggin' political agnostics!  It's scary that our country is guided by people who don't really give a shit one way or the other.

    The truth has a liberal bias.

    by gravy on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 01:45:00 PM PST

  •  Republicans have been far better organized online (none)
    than Democrats.  Long before Al Gore's website managed it, it was Republicans who made sure their fans could donate money to Bush via credit card.  

    Probably this was due to Republicans having more money to pay professional web designers.  Early on it took more work to setup a credit card transaction site, where now it just takes a few clicks.

    Now that more high-quality, cheap tools are available, I expect that Democrats (and everybody else) will be able to handle relatively secure credit card transactions.  We'll see how that pans out.

    Impeach the Duffelbaggers!

    by jimbo92107 on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 01:46:54 PM PST

  •  internet extremists (none)
    I'm well past middle age, married only once, in church, thirty two years ago.  We've lived in the same house on the south side of Milwaukee for thirty years.  Raised our son here. We live frugally, within our modest income, just like our parents and grandparents did.  I always thought we were pretty boring, stodgy types-the wildest parties we ever have here is on my wife's birthday when we invite the in-laws for Sunday ham and rolls.  Sometimes we go through an entire six-pack of Miller Lite and three pots of coffee.  But, just because we oppose Bush and his immoral war,  support Russ Feingold, and get a lot of our information from the blogs, I understand we are known as extremists. I suppose I ought to feel flattered.
  •  Howard Dean managed a mutual fund (none)
    He's about as extreme as tomato soup.

    The problem is not that we're extreme. The problem is that many people in the Democratic party establishment seem to be particularly fuzzy writers. They cogitate; we think. They mistake our use of concrete nouns and genuinely active verbs as evidence of animal passions run amok.

    But people with fuzzy writing styles are people, too. We all want peace, and we all would like to avoid global warming. We suffer like infirmities and will meet with the same death and the same judgment. We have to swallow hard and work together till the threat of Bush Rovie neofascism is defeated.

  •  I guess (none)
    "extreme" in political discourse has become a synonym for principled.  It's extreme, really beyond the pale, to actually have an opinion in today's America.  People who care about what happens to their country are extremists, out of touch with concerns of the remote control weilding mounds of flesh and adipose who represent the great silent majority.

    The truth has a liberal bias.

    by gravy on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 01:56:25 PM PST

  •  i may get slaughtered for this. (none)
    but with the obvious stupidity of the dean quote (the last one)

    i agree fully with the article. I check up on Kos everyday, but blogs such as this do tend to get like minded people (most religious right characters won't be found here). And because of this it does slightly shift you more and more towards the ideology of that one group. It is better ebcause it's now easier to be exposed to scandals that would be local and it's easier to disiminate information nationally, but I still think the article is mostly correct

  •  Blashphemy (none)
    How dare they criticize the sacred netroots. A plague on all their houses.
  •  extremists (none)
    filibustering alito, gay marriage, scorning faith-based charities in public policies, scorning any and all pro-lifers, demanding immediate withdrawl from iraq, calling Hillary a sell-out, saying abortion is like getting your tonsils out, yes, i think these are extreme positions that are not in the mainstream of America and where bloggers find themselves preaching to the choir and then shocked, shocked! when the electorate goes against it.
  •  I actually like Hillary Clinton (none)
    but I can see that she would be a fatally divisive candidate for our party, and a losing proposition at the top of the ticket.

    She is an absolutely polarizing, hated woman in America. Have you ever tried to go in a Barnes & Noble bookstore to get her autographed copy of "It Takes a Village" and pass through dozens of protestors who held signs accusing her of being an 'arrogant lier' [sic], murdering Vince Foster, and people shouting that she was a communist lesbian feminazi?

    That was a shocking and horrifying experience. Imagine it repeated every day, every rally, every state, times a hundred, or a thousand.

    She'd guarantee a 49 state GOP top-to-bottom ticket sweep, and a permanent GOP supermajority.

    She has no business running. None. The fact that any person who considers him/herself a Democrat actually entertains her as a serious candidate indicates that we have very very far to go as a party before we have our shit together.

    "Words are, of course, the most potent drug used by mankind." Rudyard Kipling.

    by Kimberly Stone on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 02:13:33 PM PST

    •  Oh (none)
      The old "Republicans hate her" argument.

      All my friends hate George Bush.  Where is my 49-state supermajority?

      Understand, when extremists go around frothing at the mouth every time Hillary's name is mentioned, that only helps Hillary's standing with anyone who isn't already a hater.  Look at how successfully Bush's people have characterized anyone who disagrees with him, even though our opposition to Bush is based on actual things he's done, as opposed to Hillary where the haters really don't have any rational basis.

      I don't think Hillary is our best candidate.  But pretending that the extreme right-wingers who hate her represent anything close to a majority is folly.  Compare Hillary's track record of fighting back against the hate to John Kerry's inability to mount a rebuttal, and you can see she starts out way ahead of the curve.

      •  Okay, how's this? (none)
        I don't know anyone who likes HRC.

        There are peopel who think she's bright and think she gets a rap. But really like? No.

        I realize that the plural of anecdote does not equal fact, but I also realize that there's some validity to the observations I've shared here.

        HRC is not our candidate. Period. The more time wasted on her, the more Karl Rove gets all hot and bothered.

        "Words are, of course, the most potent drug used by mankind." Rudyard Kipling.

        by Kimberly Stone on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 07:10:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hey, fair enough (none)
          The problem is that some people feel like they need to waste all their time convincing others not to waste time on her.  Unless sanity prevails we're going to have a half-dozen Hillary diaries every day from now until 2008, all saying the exact same thing.
      •  Well, crud. (none)
        Typos galore.

        Add 'bad' in front of rap.

        Also, one more thought:

        Just because hating someone may be irrational doesn't make it go away.

        "Words are, of course, the most potent drug used by mankind." Rudyard Kipling.

        by Kimberly Stone on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 07:11:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Netroots strengths (none)
    As I can only speak for myself, the internet is the only place I can find real news.  I can't afford to subscribe to a dozen newspapers, nor do I have the time to read them.  I would know little or nothing about the Dieblold voting machine problems because of the importance of the missing white girl in Aruba (damn that Scott Peterson is good).  Or Uncle Sam's nosey ol' lady that even I posted about.
    As far as dismissing the netroots as a serious political force would be a mistake.  It is a lightning fast exposer of campaign deceits, which seriously handicaps those unable to obtain office without the use of dirty tricks.  Besides, talking bad about someone else (or something else, as in netroots) is a dishonest way of talking good about yourself.
  •  My wife feels the same way (none)
    ...but I don't.

    We have secret ballots in this country, and I think a lot of women, not just you, Kimberly, and my wife, will head in, vote for her and head back out again with an inscrutable family.

    The polarization can be a good thing, not a bad thing, if it pushes the wishy middle in her direction.  We don't really what will happen.

    The country is looking for a change, and we could hardly change much more than to elect a woman president.

    My personal choice: Gore-Kerry. I fear the same result as you do if Hillary is the nominee. But nobody knows. As of this moment, she matches up well in the polls against anybody in the GOP except McCain.

    As Roe v Wade heads toilet-bound, you may find women up in arms a bit, ready to embrace one of their own.

  •  Crashing the Gate ARRIVED today (none)
    I don't know if I can holler "FIRST" with any legitimacy but what the hay.....mebbe i can do a review by tomorrow.

    An election does not make a democracy.

    by seesdifferent on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 02:27:37 PM PST

  •  Craigslist and friendster are the ANSWER (none)
    People- social networking tools like myspace and friendster and and craigslist are the ANSWER.

    Word of mouth is the most effective form of advertising. Think of a Myspace-esque tool as a digital form of that...

    Think about it, if there was one community out there online will all the Americans joined in... you could communicate directly with all the people and cut out the middle man!

    Check out my diary for more.

    Let's band together like never before.

    I know i've been dreaming of the digital revolution since i was a child. Can you smell it in the air? I can.

    I need people to help me organize and build things, please post to my diary if interested.

  •  Me, You, We and Us vs Them (none)
    The most interesting part of those quotes is that they're from people who are demonstably part of a little tribe of likeminded extremists.

    Now we see how the establishment Democrats are often indistinguishable from Republicans. They are so bound into their denial bubble that they can't see straight. They sense a threat to their duopoly, and attack it the only way they can: project their own worst problems onto the target.

    The good news is that those centralized denial citadels are easily swamped by a tide of truth, easily and cheaply flowing among millions of regular part-time people with just a little self-interest.

    They are doomed, and we are destined to win - so long as we keep our acts together, open, and freely flowing with the simple truth.

  •  I love it that (none)
    they call us extreme because we tend to agree that

    -the president should obey the law
    -the president should follow the constitution
    -laws should be made for the benefit of the many, not the wealthy few
    -wars of aggression are a no-no
    -we should have followed the lessons of Viet Nam and stayed the f%*k out of Iraq
    -might does not necessarily make right
    -leaders should tell the truth
    -we need to sustain the earth that sustains us
    -science is a good thing
    -rich people should pay a little more for community projects

    wow - so extreme!

    an ambulance can only go so fast - neil young

    by mightymouse on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 02:46:04 PM PST

    •  yeah, no sh*t! (none)
      Advocating a few of the above gets you labeled as a Marxist.
      By the way, why don't people start pointing out the socialist influence on our society from CORPORATIONS?
      Is it capitalism when a few companies control every freakin thing you can buy?
      Last I checked, that resembles Soviet ideology: central planning.
      Or the totalitarian economy of the Nazis. Or the Fascists.
      I think liberals need to reclaim capitalism as an issue.
      We aren't exporting democracy, and we are importing imperialism. Thanks for shopping at Wal Mart.
  •  Edwards Gets the Netroots (none)
    too kos.

    Check out his amazing blog:
    included a blog, videoblog, audioblog, book club blog, etc.

    Plus, he does the monthly podcasts via ITunes.

    He gets it as much as anyone.

    Democrats are the party of those who are working, those who have finished working, and those who want to work. -- Elizabeth Edwards

    by philgoblue on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 02:56:19 PM PST

  •  Carol Darr (none)
    Hey Kos---I thought that I recognized that name.

    I knew her in college way, way back when. She was a stuck-up, first-class bitch 30 years ago and it appears that things have not changed. I distinctly remember her being very offended when a classmate referred to her as "Sally Sorority".

    It was at Memphis State University in the early 70's.


  •  response to JS article (none)
    The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel is the state of Wisconsin's largest circulation newspaper and does much to inform the broadest and largest swath of public opinion in our state.  Generally, their political coverage, from state affairs to national issues, is marginal at-best, much like most regional and statewide newspapers and traditional media.  Curiously, Russ Feingold has received maybe adequate-at-best coverage statewide as a real national leader.  He seems to be treated in media as what his title would imply, junior senator.  Of course, around times when he is involved in high-profile issues like the Patriot Act or Alito's confirmation, he gets more press, always with the tag of being a potential presidential candidate.

    This is the first piece that I have seen in the JS naming him as a really potential heavy-hitter in 2008 (or before as well as beyond), and definitely the first piece linking much of his potential support to a world beyond Wisconsin.  We here are lucky to have Russ as OUR senator, and many of us in WI forget that he is truly a national leader.  Getting coverage like this, as simplistic and lazy as the reporting was, is nothing but good for Russ now.  As people realize that he has pull beyond the borders of our state, I think a larger movement will galvanize to get him to make a serious run in '08.  Here is a copy of a (short) LTE I sent to the JS about the piece that ran:

    "Notwithstanding the hefty dose of Conventional Wisdom as applied to liberal politics, the Monday piece on "the netroots" was interesting to see in print.  As a regular reader of many blogs, from many points on the political spectrum, I must take issue with the classification of the liberal netroots as at the Democratic Party's extreme ideological end.  For example, the Ohio Democratic primary essentially pitted long-time bastion of progressivism Sherrod Brown against insurgent Iraq vet Paul Hackett.  The latter had broad backing among the blogs, even while being a much more "centrist" politician.  That Wisconsin's Russ Feingold resonates with the liberal blogosphere should not surprise; his principled stands on civil liberties, foreign policy, and economic populism resonate with people in our state and nationally without regard to party or ideological identification.  Hillary Clinton, loser in blog polling, is commonly identified with being a raging liberal within the scope of Conventional Wisdom.  She loses to Feingold in these polls and elsewhere because the latter stands on values and principles that are progressive and inspiring, while the former stands only on political ambition.  When the traditional media starts to understand that Feingold has backing in the blogosphere while Clinton does not, they will join the broader public in seeing that while Hillary has been all-but-annointed the Democratic candidate in 2008, people like Feingold will have broader popular pull because they truly represent and work for all Americans.  The blogosphere has correctly identified this and continues to reflect a more democratic picture of U.S. politics."

    I encourage everyone who sees articles similar to this to draft and send off a letter to the editor of papers in your area refuting the Conventional Wisdom about the blogosphere so that the public opinion begins to see an ever-growing presence of blogs within state and national politics as just as credible and legitimate as anything else, if not being moreso because of the more democratic nature they encompass.  

  •  The people are extreme? (none)
    "It's great, because it creates a lot of energy and helps broaden a movement, but the downside is you can also get pulled in a more extreme direction,"

    So having a variety of people discussing things on blogs (with a greater amount of perspective and disagreement on the blogs I think than the establishment folks realize) somehow pulls you in a myopic, unrealistic direction.

    Which the DC establishment consultant culture has never done of course.

     ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

    Check out my lte archive at and feel free to use my ideas for your own lte's.

    by DemDachshund on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 03:15:16 PM PST

  •  a lot of people here aren't very liberal (none)
    much less extreme.
  •  Define "extreme" (none)

      Next time Carol Darr or someone of her ilk throws that epithet at us, we would be well advised to ask her, exactly, (a) what she defines as "extreme", (b) to cite examples of blog diaries (not comments) that fit this criterion, and (c) prove that such "extreme" diaries are representative of most of the thinking in the blog.

     Don't let her get away with meaningless generalities just because she feels she has to carry water for the blog-fearing traditional media.

    Of course Republicans oppose abortion. If you kill them in the womb, they're not available to be killed on the battlefield.

    by Buzzer on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 03:31:12 PM PST

  •  Wow, Kos - This is great news! (none)
    There are too many good players who get this whole netroots thing -- like Feingold...
    I know you have had some issues with Feingold's Internet/FEC positions in the past. I take this as a positive sign that you're warming up to Russ. Either you're comfortable with his explanations or you recognize his value despite some disagreements.

    Now I'm just waiting for you to endorse him. :-)

  •  Doing my part (none)
       I pass along good blog entries to my local Democratic listserv, most of whom are still not really much in touch with the netroots. Stuff from here, from Atrios, MyDD, Greenwald, Booman, Aravosis, Digby, Orcinus, etc. -- every time I find a high-quality posting (such as Greenwald's on the Bush Cult), I forward it to the Dem group, and ask them when was the last time they've seen analysis of that level in the traditional media the Carol Darrs of the world so revere.

      The responses have been overwhelmingly positive. Local Democrats who were just dimly aware of the blogs are becoming regular readers -- about five of them have told me how much they'd been starved for this kind of writing in our "liberal" media. Including local officeholders.

      Keep on keepin' on, guys. Whenever I hear the "blogs are extreme" talking point (which hasn't been too often, actually), I just pass along a few juicy tidbits and ask the skeptic, "THIS is what you've been missing." It's worked wonderfully.

      It will take time. But if we work on our Democratc friends, most of whom, being Democrats, will probably be pretty open-minded, we WILL being the party back to its roots.

    Of course Republicans oppose abortion. If you kill them in the womb, they're not available to be killed on the battlefield.

    by Buzzer on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 03:42:47 PM PST

  •  Let's hear it for Russ!! (none)
    I have been a staunch political supporter of Sen. Feingold for almost 25 years. When I first met him, I believed that I was meeting someone who had the capabilities to be a very good president some day. My belief has not wavered.

    Russ is his own individual. I have disagreed with him on many issues, but his integrity and sense of mission far outweigh our differences.

    Feingold's stance on the patriot act warranted copious thanks and publicity. I called every one of his offices. His staffers reported that very few thank you contacts were received.

    With Russ, we have the opportunity to be for a candidate. Perhaps it's time to trumpet a very viable candidate. Let others come up with someone better. Somehow it doesn't seem as if that will happen.

    Anyone for jumping on the Russ 08 bandwagon?

    "You can count on Americans to do the right thing after they've tried everything else." -- Winston Churchill

    by bleeding heart on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 04:30:57 PM PST

  •  Mainstream media (none)
    This is the same mainstream media that repeatedly reported the Barack Obama vs Alan Keyes Senate race as which one would become the first black US Senator?


    I just knowing actual facts or news is "extreme".

    "The best Maxim I know in this life is, to drink your Coffee when you can..." -Jonathan Swift

    by Coffee Geek on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 04:44:42 PM PST

  •  It's the economy, stupid. (none)
    Things have gone downhill to the point they have to steal, gerrymander, lie in the media.

    Not much longer before people realize what this is and stop it entirely.

  •  More on Russ Feingold (none)
    Just so there are no secrets, Russ Feingold will most likely not vote the way you want him to on every issue.

    The good news is that for every vote he casts, Russ has a rationale, not to be mistaken for a rationalization.

    We should try the GOP mantra method: say "Russ 08" over and over and over again; repeat. Then start talking about Russ. Everywhere. In the blogs. To the newspapers. E-mails to your friends. At your local bistro. The bowling alley. In checkout lines.

    A campaign like that might catch notice. It could make the dems take notice and start to focus. All of us would win from that, no matter who ended up with a presidential nomination.

    Hopefully Russ Feingold.

    "You can count on Americans to do the right thing after they've tried everything else." -- Winston Churchill

    by bleeding heart on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 07:22:51 PM PST

  •  More wishes (none)
    Wes Clark for Secretary of Defense
    Richard Holbrooke for Secretary of State
    Valerie Plame for CIA director
    Bernice King for House Chaplain
    Tavis Smiley for Press Secretary
    George Mitchell for UN Ambassador
    Richard Clarke for National Security Advisor
    Patrick Fitzgerald for Attorney General
    Eliot Spitzer for SEC
  •  Dr Dean for FDA (none)
    Wouldn't the pharm freak on that one?
    People forget he is a doctor
  •  Russ' Birthday Parties Sunday (none)
    Madison: 11 AM Inn on the Park
    Milwaukee: 3 PM Ambassador Hotel

    Suggested Donation: $53 to his Senate Campaign fund.

    Want him to run in '08?

    Email me a letter, I'll print it out, strip the header, and hand deliver it. bmasel at tds dot net

    A Senator YOU can afford
    $1 contributions only.
    Masel for Senate
    1214 E. Mifflin St.
    Madison, WI 53703

    by ben masel on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 11:56:49 PM PST

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