Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The Democrats' Biggest Mistake

The Democrats' Biggest Mistake

At Shadow of the Hegemon, there's a quote from Adam Cohen's recent NYT article about the political power of bloggers:
With very few exceptions, national Democrats in Washington see the blogosphere as composed of uninformed, ranting, dirty masses who need to be kept as far away as possible.
The Democrats are missing the boat with this kind of snobbery. After Howard Dean raised millions of dollars from internet campaigning, they should know better. And I imagine they haven't seen the Wesley Clark grassroots website. During the 2004 campaign, John Kerry had an excellent blogging website.

Former Senator and 2004 VP candidate John Edwards has most recently harnessed some very informed and persuasive citizen-bloggers at the new One America Committee blog. By the time 2008 rolls around, some of these national Democrats, much too late, will realize the organizing power of the netroots and likely won't know what the hell hit them. I would hope, by the sheer power of the ideas laid out by the bloggers at the new Edwards blog, that mainstream media will take notice and offer respectful commentary. If I may offer a personal example of mainstream media giving more credibility to bloggers than some representatives from my own party, my city's newspaper asked me to blog politics at their own website over two years ago. [The Rational Liberal]

Are national Democrats missing a very important boat?

We bloggers don't sit out here and do this work for free because we have ulterior motives or unwashed intentions. Most of us, I'd wager, by the gift of a lot more free time, are more informed by our own conscience and our own choice of reading material than many of our elected representatives. It would behoove them to listen to what's happening out here.

In politics, elitism will get the Democrats nowhere - ever. It turns people off. It may make them popular with pseudo-intellectuals, but there are a lot of concerned and very-much informed common-sense people out here who knew - in 2003, for example, that the Iraq War was an unjust, dangerous, futile, and chaotic mess just waiting to happen.

The Republicans are much better at this game. National Republicans have understood the power that exists on the netroots level, especially when given wings by the support of the national party. They derive much power from acknowledging the credibility of the concerns of their constitiuents. National Republicans have invested in RedState.org, a popular site for Republican citizens to discuss the issues of the day, and you'd be hard-pressed to see Republican leaders laying waste to the intelligence levels of the citizens who care enough to discuss the issues there.

See a further discussion at Crooks and Liars.