Consider that title for just a moment. In George W Bush country, the RIGHT is trying to gain strength. That's some shift in attitude down here in the Lone Star State.
Go read the article. The right's answer to Netroots Nation (Right Online) is also in town this weekend and will feature hundreds (yes, hundreds) of people organizing in a ballroom at the Renaissance Hotel in Austin. Given the amount of time they spent marketing their conference, I don't know if they've included hotel guests in that "hundreds" of people.
It's almost laughable to include the two conventions in the same article (or diary), but the WaPo tries. While the article is a big ol' smooch to Right Online, it does point out the disparities.
Also consider the casts: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean, retired Gen. Wesley Clark, all party bigwigs, are among the speakers at Netroots Nation. At RightOnline, the speakers include Michelle Malkin, Robert Novak and Grover Norquist, icons in the conservative wing of the party but not exactly the GOP's leadership.
I spent yesterday milling around Netroots Nation, including attending Dean's keynote, and ran into people like Rick Noriega, Darcy Burner (I am so smitten with her!), and Larry LaRocco. Donna Edwards rounds out the cast of "future superstars of the Democratic Party" with her arrival (my gosh, can Austin HANDLE that much awesome?) and Wes Clark, Howard Dean and Nancy Pelosi are the the current movers and shakers. But hey, RO has Malkin and Norquist.
To be fair, the right-roots has had some successes, among them derailing Harriet Miers's nomination to the Supreme Court and battling immigration reform.
To be fair... If there was ever a more inappropriate phrase. "Fair" would be to list some of the enormous success stories from the Netroots. The lengthy list of success stories from the last few years (and those waiting to be written) are suspiciously absent.
So. Here's my dilemma. I want to go to a lot of the panels tomorrow, but $60 to see Malkin and a couple wannabe's sit around and pick their nose and fling boogers at the left seems like a lot of fun. The potential for mischief is incredibly high and it looks like I'm not the only one who thinks so....
(Just for perspective, NN08 is in the 881,000+ sq ft Austin Convention Center in the heart of downtown. RO is being held in a hotel 12 miles NW in a single ballroom.)