We Already Know We Can Win Elections. Now How Do We Keep The Democrats' Attention After They Win?

All I know is months ago it was conventional wisdom in D.C. that the Democrats couldn't take the House, that candidates shouldn't talk about the war, and that the best way to try to win 15 seats was to throw all your money into about 18 of them, and hope for the best. In the end, that's not how it played out.

- Duncan Black, better known as Atrios, in November 2006.

Who boosted Howard Dean into the chairman's spot at the DNC, bringing his successful 50-state policy to fruition in last year's presidential race? The netroots did. And in 2006, who showed Rahm Emanuel that yes, we really could take control of Congress? We did.

Whose fundraising pushed the Democrats over the top in the 2008 Senate races? Ours did. Whose activist base drove the publicity, turnout and dollars in last year's presidential primaries and general election?

Duh.

So what have we accomplished? The war goes on and we've even expanded our presence in Afghanistan. The Bush-era encroachments on civil liberties have not only been embraced by a Democratic president, the Democratic Congress gives him their blessing. And with the goal of universal healthcare within tantalizing reach, we have Blue Dog Democrats - Democrats! trying to obstruct it.

Enough of kicking the Blue Dogs. What can we do to be more effective? Where did we go wrong?

Continue reading »



MTP: Markos Discusses the Emergence of the Netroots Movement

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Media error

Media error

DailyKos Founder Markos Moulitsas Zuniga explains to guest host David Gregory on Meet The Press why the netroots movement signals the end of "business as usual" politicking for the Democratic party.



Open Thread

PoliticsTV has some glimpses of YearlyKos. Check your local C-Span listings for more coverage.

I like that my buddy Cliff is teaching his son the importance of the netroots at such a young age. :)

And Cenk Uygur of Air America on unbecoming a Republican



Happy Blogosphere Day

blogosphereday.gif (guest blogged by Howie Klein)

Crooks & Liars hosts ActBlue with Firedoglake and DownWithTyranny. In the past, we've helped raised over half a million dollars for progressive candidates and helped the Democrats take back the House and the Senate. But today, the 4th Annual Blogosphere Day, isn't about our site or about our wonderful candidates. It's about the incredible engine that allows the online progressive community to act in concert: ActBlue.

Mostly through small donations, Act Blue has managed to help raise more than $25,000,000 since starting up in 2004. With some infrastructure upgrades, they hope to push that beyond $100 million by the time of the 2008 election. Today's Blogosphere Day is to help raise the money to keep that engine humming. Here's where to do it and, remember, the $25,000,000 collected so far has come because many of us gave $5 and $10 and $20 contributions. Please give what you can today. Watch our pal Tim Tagaris explaining why this is important:

And take a look what Wes Clark has to say about this at today's Huffington Post. Later today, John Kerry will be over at Firedoglake talking about Blogosphere Day and the importance of supporting an ongoing progressive infrastructure-- 2pm, EST.



Blue America talks to Angie Paccione

Down With Tyranny:

Before we welcome Angie Paccione back to Firedoglake today, I want to ask you to humor me for a moment. The video, below, takes 1 minutes and 19 seconds to view and it neatly sums up why Blue America is Angie Paccione Country.

If you've watched it you understand why more than 800 of us contributed over $15,000 to Angie's campaign last year and why we decided to use of Blue America PAC to place hundreds of radio ads all over Morgan and Yuma counties. You will also understand why the Denver Post urged its readers to vote for her and why I was on the phone to Angie several times after the election asking her to consider running again. A few weeks ago she called me and told me she's decided to go for it, this time with help from part of Ed Perlmutter's winning '06 election team. Here's the archive of her first FDL session.

You can go meet and talk to Angie Paccione at Firedoglake starting at 2:00pm Eastern/11:00am Pacific.



Rolling in the "Mud"

I'm wondering if on his application for TIME, Mudcat, who works for the John Edwards campaign---checked the box marked YES to " attack liberal bloggers." I seem to remember that we supported Edwards over a number of media attacks as well as praising him for refusing to fire Amanda or Mellisa. Yet---Mr. Mudcat rushed to Joe Klein's defense of Scooter Libby...

Chris at MyDD says: "Remarkable stuff. I haven't seen a Democratic consultant be more open with their paranoia concerning, prejudices toward, and general ignorance of, the political blogosphere in some time. This is a post for the ages...read on

Jane Hamsher thinks John Edwards should go on Blue America and I agree:

Saying that “Mudcat will be Mudcat” is not enough. I invite Senator Edwards to appear on a Blue America session with Howie Klein to distance himself from Saunders’ comments and give his liberal supporters the reassurance they deserve that these attitudes will not be reflected in his Presidential campaign as it goes forward...read on



Dan Gerstein: A Permanent Blog Stalker

dangerstein1.jpg Gerstein has a problem with my friend, Jane Hamsher. Yes, Hillary Clinton blogged at FDL. It made sense: discuss equal pay on a blog that is run by strong, progressive women. I'm asking other candidates to come on our Blue America team to discuss other progressive issues as I blog right now and that has irked old Dan. I wonder how long it will take Lieberman's good pal Sean Hannity to pick up on this? He needs help. I'm starting a new 12-step program for politicos that have no political life left except to attack bloggers.

And he can't get his facts straight. Forget her movie credits, now Jane is best known for changing the way "trials" and events will be covered. FDL's live blogging of the Scooter Libby trial was incredible and she got a front page article from the NY Times about it. But he's not going to give credit to a top-tier blogger whose tireless work gave Ned Lamont the Democratic ticket in Connecticut, since it proved how out of touch Dan was with the Democratic voters in his work for Holy Joe. He's completely irrelevant to the netroots and what's new and refreshing in politics today and it makes him sulky. He's not alone.

I feel for you, Dan. I can help you if you let me. But the first step is understanding you've hit bottom and admitting you have a problem.

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Supreme Court Backs Ban On Abortion Procedure

Lesson #1 as to why rolling over Bush's choices for Supreme Court is a bad, bad idea.

MSNBC :

The Supreme Court's conservative majority handed anti-abortion forces a major victory Wednesday in a decision that bans a controversial abortion procedure and set the stage for further restrictions.[..]

The 5-4 decision written by Justice Anthony Kennedy said the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act that Congress passed and President Bush signed into law in 2003 does not violate a woman's constitutional right to an abortion.
The law is constitutional despite not containing an exception that would allow the procedure if needed to preserve a woman's health, Kennedy said. "The law need not give abortion doctors unfettered choice in the course of their medical practice," he wrote in the majority opinion.
Doctors who violate the law face up to two years in federal prison.

So now the Supreme Court are better medical experts than doctors. Unbelievable. The "forced birth" bunch want you to believe that this will prevent millions of women who casually and selfishly opt to end late term pregnancies, as if that's a rampant problem. What a load of you-know-what. Read this woman's experience and tell me that it doesn't upset you at what they are legislating over women's bodies. You want to talk slippery slope ? How many obstetricians will fear prosecution and hang up performing abortions completely? Ginsburg's dissent is wonderful in its righteous anger. USA Today compiles presidential contenders' statements here. Don't miss Giuliani's flop-flipping again.

Jane Hamsher at FDL notes that had NARAL not been so wimpy, this might not even have happened. Howie Klein has a brilliant post up on it. Blue America is not taking NARAL's failures sitting down. Please donate if you can.



Blue America Chat with Rep. Steve Cohen

Howie really has done a fantastic job with Blue America. Today, at 2pm Eastern/11am Pacific, Howie is hosting a chat Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) over at FDL:

Saturday at 2PM (EST) Blue America welcomes freshman congressman Steve Cohen for a chat at Firedoglake. We were especially impressed by Steve because unlike some Democrats who campaigned against Bush's Iraq war and then were satisfied just voting for the nonbinding symbolic resolution, he is outspoken in really trying to stop the escalation and end the war. Congressman Cohen is already co-sponsoring 4 bills and 2 resolutions-- all binding ones that would do just that.

[..]Please consider contributing to Steve's re-election fund. It's way better if he gets his funds from grassroots Democrats than from corporations looking for a quid pro quo, don't you think?

Go on over to FireDogLake and say hi. Steve Cohen's the kind of progressive politician that we want to encourage.

UPDATE: It was a great discussion, and I want to give Steve Cohen props for one of the last comments he made:

Because of the interest expressed here, I will be having my staff research the history of the Executive Branch's and this Administration' alleged authority and previous practices in regard to firing U.S. Attorneys.

A RESPONSIVE representative? Be still my heart.



Blue America: Lamont Visits FDL

Christy:

lamont.jpg (T)his week's Blue America guest is going to be none other than Ned Lamont - live, in the comments, right here at FDL tomorrow starting at 11:00 am PT/2:00 pm ET. Answering your questions and stopping by to say hello to everyone.

[..]So please, drop by and say hello to Ned, and thanks for a job well done: for having the integrity to ask the tough questions about the mess in Iraq; for daring to utter the word accountability at a time when the Washington establishment was shuffling around in the corner somewhere trying to make nice with the very people causing the problems; and for standing up for the concerns of average Americans on education and health care and poverty and so many other issues over the course of the campaign.




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