The Netroots Blackout

by: Matt Stoller

Thu Sep 20, 2007 at 10:40

In this Roll Call piece on Larry Kissell, Stuart Rothenberg spends the whole column talking about how Kissell was ignored but came surprisingly close even though 'no one thought he could' early on.  Rothenberg then mentions that this time Kissell is going to get lots of establishment support.  At no does he mention the $200k that small dollar donors shipped to Kissell via Actblue, or the local blog support that identified Kissell early as a possible upset.  We're 'no one'.

This is not to pick on Rothenberg specifically, it's just something I've noticed.  Darcy Burner's blowout online fundraiser of $125k, and the subsequent win over moderate Rodney Tom, got almost no press or institutional pickup.  There are certain 'liberal' narratives the press likes to cover, such as primary campaigns like the one against Lieberman or 'intense pressure from the antiwar base'.  But the support of candidates who then go on to win, or the more effective strategies we use to identify candidates, they go unreported.

Matt Stoller :: The Netroots Blackout

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The saddest thing (0.00 / 0)
about that is that Kissell's story ought to be such an inspiration to other great would-be candidates out there.

It's okay, Matt (4.00 / 1)
We don't need no stinkin' press coverage.  It will come soon enough, I believe.  In the meantime, consider ActBlue and netroots financial support the secret weapon of the progressive movement.  It will get the attention of the press when it becomes more evident that we ARE making a difference in the outcomes, and more than once or twice.

I, for one, have decided to make my presidential candidate contributions through ActBlue rather than through their website, to support the ActBlue effort and help make it a viable contender in campaign finance avenues.  I would like to see all progressives do the same, and don't forget the "tip" to ActBlue.

Blinded by the CW leads to surprising opportunities. (0.00 / 0)
The national media and politicians are caught up in their own, conventional wisdom narratives. I don't think they realize how angry the public is about the Iraq war, and how much the public is feeling betrayed by the official news and official statements, and official business as usual.

The longer they keep on the blinders... the more they'll be blindsided by events on the ground when the game changes. We're in the middle stages of a legitimation crisis. One indicator is the lack of traction the anti-MoveOn fulminations are getting. The more the leaders are out of touch, the more likely people will suddenly flip, and the more surprised everyone is.

On the right we saw this starting way back in the 70s with the winger-Christians and the right-wing patriots. They had felt betrayed "culturally" (almost like their very identities were threatened) by the hippies and anti-Vietnam war protests, and they felt insecure as the economy started pressuring the middle class. Populist appeals work well when you have angry, coherent segments of the populace. This disenchantement was quite effectively channeled by Ronald Reagan.

Another effective and common line from back then was the narrative of the outsider coming to Washington to throw the bums out. I'm waiting for primary candidates on the left who can effectively articulate this outsider, challenger, "Mr Smith goes to washington" sentiment.

Kissell (0.00 / 0)
I'm not a fan of Kissel's; he's a Bush Dog waiting to be elected. He came out in support of the Military Commissions Act before the prior election, advocates deporting 12 million undocumented immigrants, and hangs with Dems like Artur Davis & Steny Hoyer. There's a primary challenger, John Autry, who's a solid progressive, and he's more to my liking.


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