Netroots Nation was a blast this year -- it felt looser and more intimate than during campaign season -- and on Tuesday I was asked to share a few highlights on MSNBC, in an interview with anchor Carlos Watson and The Today Show's Jean Chatzky.
I focused on donor strikes for campaign finance reform, led by Larry Lessig and Adam Green; the possibility of using ActBlue to raise money for primary challengers before they even enter the fray; and Mike Stark's Street Interviews on YouTube for FireDogLake -- aka sousveillance -- which has discomfited members from both parties.
Here's the clip, and...
Another thing that struck me about this year's conference is that it occurred as the Democrats' agenda seemed increasingly crippled by conservative misinformation. You know, death panels are the new birth certificate. My Nation column on Netroots Nation looks at how how bloggers pressed Sen. Specter, during the conference forum for his 2010 primary, on this front:
Beyond his "position" on healthcare reform, I asked Specter about countering misinformation from his former allies because, once again, a big political debate has been hijacked by dishonest operatives, enabled by a (mostly) complicit press corps. In other words, the lies may count more than the votes. And bloggers in the audience yelled out for Specter to contact Grassley immediately based on two basic premises: our representatives should deal in public; and fact-checking is a communal, political activity that cannot be left to media gatekeepers.
As it happens, governing in the Obama era is starting to feel more like another desperate, frantic election campaign, where overheated symbols substitute for genuine policy discourse and feckless referees grant equal time to lies and facts alike. So it's really no wonder liberal bloggers are back. We need them.
From the latest signs in Washington today, it looks like Democrats may try more leadership and less bipartisanship, for a change. We won't say we told you so.