THE TRIANGLE: Limits of Blog Power

I know most of our readers most likely read The Daou Report, but just incase anyone missed it, Peter Daou takes an interesting look at the blogosphere and the work ahead of progressive bloggers.

Here’s a quip:

For progressive bloggers who see a president presiding over the collapse of America’s credibility, the urgent work ahead is to cement the post-Katrina impression of Bush as a failed president. Whether or not they succeed depends to a large extent on their ability to compel the media and Democratic establishment to stand with them and speak the truth.

Read it all here.

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20 Responses to THE TRIANGLE: Limits of Blog Power

  1. Ron Chusid says:

    There’s a lot of interesting points, but we don’t really go along with Peter’s recommendations here. He advises, “It would seem reasonable to conclude, then, that the best strategy for the progressive netroots is to go after the media and Democratic Party leaders and spend less time and energy attacking the Bush administration.”

    We don’t actually go after the media, but I do hope that pushing stories ignored by them here (and on multiple other blogs) will have an influence on which stories the media caries.

    We have really avoided the other recommendation of going after Democratic Party leaders, fearing that when in the minority there is a need to stick together. Of course by repeatedly promoting the truth in Democratic blogs, there might be a cumulative pressure for leaders to do the same or risk being left behind.

  2. Ron

    I was a bit surprised to see Peter suggesting that, actually. There’s ways to put pressure on without attacking which does seem to prevail in some circles.

  3. Teresa says:

    In some ways I think this criticism of our own is one of our good character traits. It shows confidence, honesty, and an attempt to get the best people ahead. We should be able to figure out how to continue doing this the right way, without the low emotional content. This group mindless loyalty is the worst. And it’s dangerous.

    We’ve just got to be natural and the best of ourselves.

    I agree completely with bypassing Bush.

  4. Teresa

    Some aspects of attacking Bush may never go away, but clearly we need to forge on and define ourselves as stronger on the issues that matter. The low emotional content and mindless loyalty is unhealthy.

  5. Teresa says:

    Pamela,

    I found myself losing interest in Bush after the election. I stopped getting that strong emotional response. I stopped hating him… only momentarily when he said something horrible. I started to feel a tiny bit of hope for the rising sentiment against him which has been slow and steady. It just broke the dam now and I feel great relief. I simply got bored with Bush and I always thought this administration would fail in a big way.

    There is more talent in the Democratic Party than people know. I think they will gain confidence and start to show these talents very soon.

    I am very proud of the blogosphere and right now I feel that all we have been doing has been useful and will bear more fruit as we become experts.

  6. KJ says:

    I thought Peter made a good case for the netroots going after the media and the Democrats instead of the Bush MisAdministration.

    Posted on Peter’s thread last night, and part of the comments included this: “This might be the moment when the blogosphere will be viewed, by some in the media, as a partner, instead of the lunatic fringe and/or usurper. And, as such, more conducive to working together to “cement the post-Katrina impression of Bush as a failed president.”

    While going after Bush is a natural instinct, I don’t think it is the best use of the unique aspects the internet offers. Besides, some in the media are now doing their own attacking, and that means the netroots will be freed up to grow past their “lunatic fringe” reputation as well as their “cash cow” identity by some pols.

  7. KJ says:

    Also posted another comment there, attempting to explain an idea I had about how to create a connection for possible echo chamber use.

    Peter already does a “Best of the Left, Best of the Right.” What if he created an “Bush/Wingers Propose this,” “Progressive Propose This.”

    Given the amount of connections Peter already has, and the bloggers that send links to him, I would hope that wouldn’t be too much work for him to take on. Peter could pick and choose the topic/policy/screwup of the day, and the best response, blogs would pick it up, and voila, an echo chamber is born.

    There would be CENTRAL LOCATION for the topic of the day. How that topic gets distributed and talked about would vary, of course. It gives Peter an enormous amount of power, which he might not want, given the negative energy that could come his way.

    And, it will free us many of us. Those who do research, would do research. Those who surf, would surf. Those who would rather concentrate their energies on creating message, would create message.

  8. Dave says:

    I’m all for going after the so-called leaders in our party. At best, they have let us down again and again. At worst, they have betrayed us. Either way, I’m tired of seeing them kiss Con ass and trying to be GOP Lite. It’s disgusting. Our party needs an enema.

  9. Dave

    When both branches of Congress are controled by the other party it’s very hard for our leaders to work effectively for change. Many have tried to change things and it’s a rarity that they are successful. I’ve seen numerous incidents where grassroots refuse to step up to plate and work with our leaders towards something good, because grassroots holds some sort of grudge or animosity. We can not and will not have change until we all step up to the plate, put our differences aside and work together.

  10. Dave says:

    Maybe the grassroots are sick and tired of seeing people like LIEberman and Biden and so on and so forth, lining up with the Cons, holding hands, kissing their a**es and acting as if they are long lost relatives.

    Please don’t let your devotion to one man blind you. What we are fighting for is bigger than one person. Our party needs a leader with some balls (not literally, of course). Someone who will fight. You may say that person is Kerry. I don’t know that I agree. No offense, but I watched him roll over like the rest. He was a freakin’ punching bag for the Cons during the election.

    And we lost all three branches of the government BECAUSE they were afraid to fight. They have no right to use it as a defense now. It’s THEIR fault.

    And in case you haven’t noticed, it’s the grassroots that have been hammering the Cons relentlessly while our “leaders” stand back and kiss Con a**. The “leaders” in our party are as to blame as anyone. They are no better than the MSM.

    Our party is broken and we need to figure out a way to fix it before America ends up a one-party nation. The biggest problem is that one is willing to talk about it. Everyone gets so defensive. They’re so busy trying to defend their guy that they refuse to even accept that maybe that person is part of the problem. Like I’ve said before, there are no sacred cows. Not when the future of our nation is at stake.

  11. Dave

    We’re all sick and tired of all of this.

    Explain how as the minority party we can change things? Some refuse to listen or give creedence to our Dem leaders when they do stand up and fight for things. Some hold on to issues that are in the past and can only be changed by fighting on other levels.

    If grassroots dems were asleep at the wheel all these years while repubs snuck around under the wire building up their base, who’s fault is that? Is that the dem leaders fault, or is the dem grassroots?

    When you want change you need to work for change with a positive attitude. Postive breeds positive, negative breeds negative. That’s a fact.

  12. Dave

    One last thing…

    No person, no politician is perfect. That’s a fact. Everyone makes mistakes. You attempt to wipe out the entire democratic leadership and we get no where. NO WHERE.

    Thanks for sharing but I disagree and frankly we’re working towards POSITIVE CHANGE here, and will not became one of the myraid of progressive blogs that is about bashing Dems!

  13. Dave says:

    So just let ’em think everything they have done and are still doing is okay?

    “Hey, you lost the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of the government but that’s okay. You’re doing a great job anyway.”

    That’s not what you think, is it?

  14. No Dave

    But when Dem leaders do good things now and in the future, regardless of what they have done in the past, do we turn our backs on them and not support the legislation they sponsor, etc. When they give great speeches, do we ignore them because we hold them accountable for the past?

    That my friend is self-defeatist.

    Who exactly lost “Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches”, was it our leaders or our voters who were apathetic and refused to get involved because they have warped idealistic visions of “perfect” politicians who do everything the way they want them to.

  15. Dave says:

    No we don’t ignore them, but if they won’tdo their job as leaders then replace them with people who will. I mean honestly, why is Joe LIEberman even allowed to speak for Dems anymore? He’s no better than Zell Miller. Do you think we should allow him to remain in a leadership role in our party?

    And please don’t blame the voters. That’s like the Cons blaming Katrina’s victims for their ineptitude. Besides, why vote for a candidate if that candidate says he is the same as his opponent, only a little better?

    Don’t get me wrong. I like JK alot more than the average Dem “leader.” I also think he would have been a great president. The man himself is not my problem. It’s the same playbook we keep using. It’s not working anymore. But the “leaders” insist on using it. To tell them they are wrong is considered blasphemy. Look it this way: If a coach keeps using the same old tired playbook and keeps losing, that coach either gets a new playbook or that coach gets fired and a new coach takes his place. Why should the DNC be any different?

  16. Dave

    I’m no fan of Lieberman. You won’t find me agreeing with him here. I’m not blaming the voters, I said democratic voters for too long were very apathetic, while the republicans worked under the wire and gained strength. That is a proven fact.

    As for working from the same playbook over and over again. I disagree on some levels.

    Again all I can do is stress that I believe positive action and positive action brings positive change.

    That’s what we’re working on here at the Dem Daily.

  17. Teresa says:

    It takes tremendous fortitude and patience to take the positive route. But it will bring the most profound change. This is the challenge now. When the cons are desperate and the heat is high.

    Dave, the Dems are locked into the financing game and there is no way out yet. They are doing the best they can until we get finance reform.

  18. Nick says:

    Dave doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Kerry attacked the hell out of Bush in the debates, and in speeches-including the Convention- as did Edwards and just about all the folks who ran for the nomination. Attacks by themselves don’t win elections. Kerry didn’t lose the executive, judicial, and legislative branch. Last time I checked the Democrat in office at the time of the GOP takeover of Congress, a majority of governorships, and state legislatures, was one Bill Clinton. I don’t remember Kerry being the Clinton’s choice for president, does anybody here remember that.
    As for losing the executive, Dems have lost most presidential elections from 1968 onward, and only actually won 50% of the popular vote once (1976). As for judicial, no party ever ” loses” the judiciary, they just don’t stick around long enough to appoint judges. Post-1968 Clinton only appointed two Supreme Court Justices, Carter never got the chance to appoint any. Reagan appointed three, as did Poppy Bush, while Nixon appointed two.
    What’s more last time I checked its not as though the Supreme Court had declared all progressive laws unconstitutional. In fact, very few “progressive” rulings from the 1950s, 60s, and 70s had been reversed. The right to an attorney established by Gideon vs. Wainwright, Miranda laws, abortion laws, the illegality of racially segregated schools are all still very much with us. I can’t think of any liberal law that past post -1935 that has been declared unconstitutional.
    What is clear is that Bush rarely saw his first term approval ratings fall below 50%, and his disapproval rating was NEVER higher than his approval rating in his first term.
    There is no evidence that any Democratic nominee could’ve willed Bush’s approval ratings lower. Jimmy Carter’s drop in job approval wasn’t because of Ronald Reagan, it was because of inflation and the hostage crisis. Bush Sr.’s approval rating wasn’t low because Bill Clinton made it so, a lackluster economy and a lackluster response to a recession on Bush’ part did that. In 1932 majority knew they HATED Herbert Hoover. Did they hate Hoover because FDR rode in on a great white horse and made everybody love him? No, they hated Hoover because they disliked having falling wages and 25% unemployment and thought Hoover’s response was inadequate.
    According to a election exit poll from Democracy Corps, 53% of Americans considered Kerry a “strong leader” while 54% thought the phrase “will keep Americans safe” aptly described Kerry. Unfortunately, a majority of Americans also thought those phrases applied to Bush. The 2004 vote was not a vote AGAINST Kerry, but a vote FOR President Bush. Had more Democrats in populous blue states (MD and DC, Massachusetts, California, Illinois, etc.) gone to the polls like red state Republicans did
    Kerry would’ve won the popular vote (though not the electoral one). Kerry also won the total popular vote in the battleground states, he just didn’t proportion it out correctly. Better to have won Michigan by a narrower margin, or lost Florida by a larger one, and transferred about 60,000 votes to say, Ohio?

  19. Nick says:

    Who exactly are the Dems “leaders” anyway? Where is this playbook that Dave keeps referencing? How exactly was Kerry’s campaign similar to previous Dem candidacies-in a weak way? Last time I checked, Kerry was nominated because Democrats and independents in the primaries VOTED for him.
    Sure sore loser Deaniacs will say Iowa gave Kerry the nomination. So I guess all us non-Iowa Democrats are a bunch of sheep. So much for Democrats being the party of thinking people. Reagan lost Iowa in 1980, and Dole lost NH in 1996 and Bush lost NH in 2000. Yet all those men won the GOP nomination as president in those respective years. So much for the GOP being the party of folks who blindly follow party elites or first state GOP voters. Frankly, this kind of superficial Daily Kos-like thinking where we think in platitudes and not any kind of specifics is best left to Daily Kos and Beltway pundits.

  20. Nick

    Last post, last sentence – What you said! I agree.