This diary is a response to the number of diaries and comments regarding Kos' appearance on Meet the Press this past Sunday and the ongoing back and forth this sight has with the right wing punditocracy. The short of it is, we win and we will continue to win. Why this is so is after the flip.
I have been reading blogs since practically the beginning and have been a part of the Kos community since before the pre-scoop days. I discovered blogs when I was looking for Tom Tomorrow cartoons and started reading his. He was linking to Atrios and DailyKos and MyDD and so I naturally started reading those as well. Soon I was the neighborhood smarty when it came to what was happening politically in the country. More importantly these blogs and especially DailyKos gave me hope that the Democratic Party was not dead and most importantly its re-emergence wasn't going to come about via some sort of centrist triangulation or other elite driven, corporate sponsored crap.
At community potlucks and dinner parties I became the voice of hope in those dark days. While I told people about DailyKos and blogs, I'm not sure how many now read them. The total number is not particularly important because what we are engaging in is water cooler politics. There are now hundreds of thousands of people who can now talk intelligently about politics in a way that they were unable to before the emergence of the blogs. We can talk intelligently on two fronts: we can explain liberal positions on the most pressing issues of the day and refute right wing noise.
And what is happening here is different from the Dittoheads and Rush Rooms of the 1990s. While right wing radio was very successful at getting people angry and getting to the poles, information was being processed in only one direction. Unidirectional information flows eventually lead to apathy--anyone going to Rush Rooms anymore? Here, however, the debate is organic and evolves over time. Multiple opinions clash with each other, but those debates leave us invigorated and excited about grassroots politics. I always find it amusing when people complain that there hasn't been any large anti-war movement in this country, thinking that an anti-war movement can only be manifested by 'taking to the streets.' Public opinion against this war changed so quickly because the anti-war movement found a new repretoire in online politics. Jim Webb, John Tester and other candidates succeeded because we were able to organize in a way that defied how politics have been done in the past.
But the really exciting thing is that this will not change! Attacks on this community only draw more people to it. The elite can try to jump into the fray (some of them even have blogs!), but they can't control the discourse. We can't be shut up and we get more visits here per day than most of their crappy news shows. Every person in Washington knows that their opinion is a little less valued than it was last year or the year before. What a pundit says on the television no longer just goes into the ether, but instead gets praised if it is intelligent and mocked if it is a tired, boneheaded, right-wing meme. Furthermore, op-eds in newspapers are no longer the soapbox they once were, they are simply starting points for longer debates. Opinion in 500 words or less is now dead. Facts need to be sourced, spin needs to substantiated.
This is our legacy. We have broken the chains of apathy and forced a more intelligent and aware political discourse. Bush was elected because we did not exist. His 2004 election was closer than anyone except us dreamed possible as we started to stir. In 2006 the world took notice and in 2008 we will help elect the smartest collection of politicians this country has seen in years. Congratulations one and all. Now get back to work.