Taughannock Falls

Taughannock Falls
from: althouse.blogspot.com

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Netroots Natives getting restless



Here in Rhode Island the major story coming out of the Netroots Nation event in Minneapolis was of local interest: Netroots nation 2012 will happen in Providence, RI!  Please, please come to our capital city and try to guess which progressive is Ulysses! The most interesting summary of the event I've seen was not from a Rhode Islander, it was penned by one_outer at FDL:


The unofficial theme of this conference was of a movement at a crossroads, with a choice between our most deeply cherished principles and our understandable concern in accidentally empowering an insane and openly fascist Republican Party over a corrupt, ideologically conservative, and fully propagandized Democratic Party.
Everywhere at NN11 there were media consultants, organizing consultants, all manner of firms doing everything from polling to new media. All for campaigns, parties and anyone else that can afford them. I wrote about some of these folks yesterday. They are not capable of questioning the rationale of the campaigns they work on because the system works for them. Anything you want, just organize for a candidate and work hard enough and it can happen. Magic thinking, all self serving, and almost all genuinely self deceiving as opposed to knowingly misrepresenting the electoral choices we have every two years.
These professional political types are well on their way to full commodification of progressive politics for their own gain, as the elite gatekeepers of progressive votes, volunteer hours, and wallets. These folks, whether they realize it personally or not, see all the progressives that aren’t them as part of their business model. In their business model what is in our best interest is what works for them and their employers – any other view is unserious and bound to help the scary Republicans.
The professional class in DC sees a world in which there is no alternative, a world in which our goals and salvation runs through them and only through them. And they’re panicking – they know they’re losing us and don’t know what to do. After all, why would everyone with a microphone volunteer their thoughts on the enthusiasm and voting problem if they weren’t scared shitless they were going to lose all of us – and our readers!?
The countervailing force to the Democratic establishment is us, the bloggers, who make these communities what they are and who all know that we have been misled and betrayed on some level. These folks see the choice in front of them. They are seeing that there is an avenue of investigation into activism other than Democratic politics.
These folks, from FDL and dKos and everywhere else, didn’t get into progressive politics to protect their own little turf, or bump their salary, or get their ego stroked by networking. They did not get involved to select a nominee (and we did – Obama would not be president without the support of the netroots during the nomination fight) only to watch that man as president betray their principles and their belief in him, to say nothing of the spineless and corrupted Democrats in Congress. They do not see themselves as cogs in an establishment political system that merely calls itself “progressive”. They got involved to change a country and a world. And increasingly they are seeing the path forward as around the Democratic establishment rather than through it.
These folks know they have a choice, and they are taking that choice seriously. Netroots Nation is a major data point in how people will make that choice. By that measure, the establishment failed miserably. Will progressives now take the chance to jump ship, chart a new course in keeping with our independent spirit, or will be be subsumed by scare tactics and stern talking to’s? 

That is the $64 million question. How can a Democratic party establishment, that is perceived as way too friendly with corporate interests,  regain a little trust in the progressive blogosphere? It won't happen by orchestrating the occasional photo-op in D.C. on the way to Bank of America to cash a check from GE. The only way it might happen would be if President Obama and other party leaders "put on some comfortable shoes" and stood out in the rain with us from the bottom 98%.  It might already be too late for that. I guess we'll have to wait and see what happens next. A dramatic announcement from President Obama that he was greatly accelerating our withdrawal from Afghanistan, for example, might help turn things around for the establishment Democrats.

4 comments:

cranstonista said...

Netroots in RI! Woohooo!

Motivated In Ohio said...

Netroots from what I saw was great. As for your question, I would like to see the Democrats on the side of the working people of America. American workers built this country. We suffered and died to make unions and we support Democrats generally. Why are the Democrats standing up for us?

Motivated In Ohio said...

That should have been why aren't the Democrats standing up for us? Oops.

Cletis L. Stump said...

Fealty to dogma is anathema to me my friend. Compromise your ethics for the "greater good" and your ass is finished.