More Massive Bellyflops From The Republican Netroots

by: Chris Bowers

Mon Nov 26, 2007 at 18:20

Five weeks ago, the NRCC launched a project to get supporters to create their own campaign videos attacking Democrats. If successful, this project would defy a pattern where Republican grassroots activists never take action into their own hands:

Remember the MyGOP fundraiser that was so popular it lost money? Remember when the RNC blog went weeks on end without being updated in the middle of the 2006 election season? Ever notice how Act Blue has raised more than 50 times as much money for Democrats as Rightroots has raised for Republicans? Well, Republicans aren't letting these past netroots bellyflops deter them.

The blog post announcing the contest said the following:

For more details on the contest, check out Josh's killer YouTube video announcing the contest which already has been viewed more than 111K times on YouTube (viral much?)

The NRCC also said:

After the judging panel views the videos, the top five videos will be hosted on and voted on by the general public.

Well, the deadline for the contest has passed, and it looks like every entrant will reach that final stage, since there are only five entries (viral, what?). Personally, as a member of the general public, I have already decided which of the five entries I will vote for: Cool Dudes on the Democratic Congress. In fact, with the general public voting, I'm pretty sure that this video will win easily, thus earning the $500 Apple Gift Card, a press release distributed to political news outlets across the country, and an on-camera interview to be aired and distributed on NRCC TV.

I'm not really sure why Republican activists have apparently no ability to engage in self-starting activism of this nature. I've floated some theories on this in the past, but this complete lack of creativity and self-directed content production stuns even me. Republicans are clearly facing a massive creativity gap at the grassroots level, one that cannot be easily explained away. In fact, the NRSC recently asked supporters to post videos saying what they were thankful for, and only got one response.

Truly and utterly pathetic. Republicans seem to have created an army of zombies that can't think for themselves. In the past, I have been reluctant to apply the term dittohead to the Republican rank and file, but their continuing failures to conduct any self-starting activism whatsoever is making the word more apt all the time.

Update: Certainly, there are examples of self-starting, grassroots, conservative activist creativity. However, I see virtually none on behalf of Republicans. If Ron Paul supporters, who have been banned from several Republican blogs, are the closest they can come, then that really says something.

Chris Bowers :: More Massive Bellyflops From The Republican Netroots

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All the creativity is on the Left. (4.00 / 2)
Just like conservatives can never hold their own in Hollywood.  They lack whatever it is in the brain that makes one create art.

Besides, what conservative has time to make a video...what with all those oceans and rivers they're polluting and workers they are fucking over.  Not to mention busy-bodying me about who I sleep with.

For some reason, it seems that Obama has some pathological and deep-seated psychological need for Republicans to like him.  Seriously.  It's weird.

i heard (4.00 / 3)
that it was because all conservatives work really hard every day and come home to dedicate themselves to their monogamous heterosexual relationships and nuclear families, while we libruls just sit around smoking weed, taking advantage of the welfare state, and making really good youtube videos.

[ Parent ]
no, the conservative self-starter activists (4.00 / 1)
raised more than $4 million for Ron Paul on November 5 and are busy planning a $10 million "tea party" for him on December 16:


I think we would all have to agree that these Paul fanatics are creative.

Join the Iowa progressive community at Bleeding Heartland.

[ Parent ]
Minor point of funny. (4.00 / 1)
The prize is an Apple gift card, but the "Don't think you can make a web ad? CLICK HERE, it's easy!" link goes to Microsoft MovieMaker. lulz!

Folks on the left are great at satirizing, critiquing, and parodying those in power. Conservatives and authoritarians either never want to, or simply haven't had much practice the past several years...

Join the fight to give students a real voice on campus:

The name says it all (4.00 / 2)
"Dittohead" -- means you copy the thoughts of the one who thinks for you.  Hail Rush! Or Bush! Or ...who?

Sounds like we need (4.00 / 4)
to start calling them the Notroots.

Duh! (4.00 / 2)
I went to the NRCC site to try to vote for the Cool Dude's video.  Guess what, you can't see the entries and you can't vote.  (What did they think I was black or an immigrant ?)  I think that might be a clue to why there isn't a groundswell of  Republican creative grassroots activity.

Well, that depends on the definition of "is" (0.00 / 0)
I think your assessment involves a bit of selection bias.  If you want to talk about effective, self-starting activism during 2007, I think the online operation of Ron Paul's team has to rank at or very close to the top.

Now, if you want to argue that the Paul operation doesn't count as "Republican activists" because of the general disdain held for them by RedStaters, of course you can make that case.  But I prefer to think of the Paulistas as one faction within the larger Republican tribe.  As such, I don't think your dismissiveness is necessarily warranted.  Or maybe Paul's just the exception that proves the rule.

Yeah I blog.

Ditto! (0.00 / 0)
Soooo ditto!

Those who have had a chance for four years and could not produce peace should not be given another chance. --Richard Nixon, 9 October 1968

The Reason is Obvious (4.00 / 2)
Thsoe who promote Republican positions only get their juices going when they are being paid, and paid well, to defend the interests of the rich.

If real Republicans volunteer, its for charity, which makes them feel good.

Short answer (4.00 / 6)
  Authoritarianism and creativity don't mix.


"We judge ourselves by our ideals; others by their actions. It is a great convenience." -- Howard Zinn

So true (0.00 / 0)
It really is that simple, I think.  Progressives look at information and draw conclusions, which is the baseline of creativity.  Movement conservatives swallow conclusions from their leaders and pick and choose which information to accept based on whatever fits their prefab worldview. 

As for Ron Paul, his supporters have a lot of passion, but saying that they have copied the Howard Dean phenomenon isn't exactly an endorsement of their creativity.

[ Parent ]
Dunno (0.00 / 0)
The College Republicans at least are a pretty large and well-organized force. Speaking from personal experience, a number of them can be very funny and creative.

I would have to guess that these contests themselves suck. It's not clear to me how much better similar DNCC attempts would do. If there are any such that were successful, I'd appreciate if someone could correct me.

Hilarious! (0.00 / 0)
& too much fun!!

Come on... (0.00 / 0)
...most republicans still can't set the time on their VCRs.  12:00....12:00...12:00…12:00...12:00…12:00...12:00…12:00...12:00…12:00...12:00…12:00...12:00

I mean you don't even get out of the young republicans until you are 40.

Any really young Republicans are working on their 'youthful indiscretions' and avoiding the service while paddling each other and acting superior at the frat house.

Tunnel vision (0.00 / 0)
Not surprisingly, I disagree with just about everything in this post.


Not only is the focus insanely narrow and almost certainly an attempt to draw attention away from the netroots' increasing irrelevance in the Dem nominating process, but the premise isn't even correct.

And it's not just Ron Paul. Last I checked Mike Huckabee was a Republican. Fred Thompson and Mitt Romney also have vibrant grassroots blog ecosystems. And you overlook Romney's successful user generated video contest.


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