Netroots Bloggers Mark 10th Birthday in Decline and Struggling for Survival




 ” “We didn’t trust the traditional progressive movement—labor, the issue orgs, the party—because of a record of failure and futility,” writes Markos Moulitsas, founder of Daily Kos, in an email. “In turn, they didn’t like us petulant upstarts. A popular sentiment was, ‘What are those bloggers going to do, hit George Bush in the head with a laptop?’”

Now, however, the Netroots, which were once thought to do to the political left what evangelical Christianity was supposed to do to the professional right, are 10 years old. In that time they vaulted Howard Dean to within a scream of the presidency, helped Democrats take both houses of Congress and several statehouses across the country, and gave the party what many in the movement believed to be some much-needed spine.

But with another critical election two weeks away, politicians, political operatives, and even the bloggers themselves say the Netroots are a whisper of what they were only four years ago, a dial-up modem in a high-speed world, and that the brigade of laptop-wielding revolutionaries who stormed the convention castle four years ago have all but disappeared as a force within the Democratic Party. “


So , in typical progressive fashion , as long as the service provided is deemed necessary to the powers-that-be you are welcome to help , but only till the goal is reached . Then it’s … Don’t Call Us , We’ll Call You 


 ” “They may still be one of the most influential groups on the American left, but this is still the American left we are talking about,” said David Karpf, author ofThe MoveOn Effect: The Unexpected Transformation of American Political Advocacy. “It’s a little like talking about who is the best player on the Washington Wizards. In 2008 the digital people were new and sparkly enough that they got extra care and feeding by the campaigns, because they didn’t really know who was behind all of this. But now those in the Democratic Party who want to ignore it realize that they can.”

What’s left of the Netroots say they aren’t finished yet. They point to the handful of candidates for office this year that they got behind, like Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts and Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin, as proof of their relevance—never mind that most of the Democratic establishment lined up behind them as well. They point to the mass protests in Wisconsin last year as proof of their ability to bring issues to the forefront—never mind that those protests ended up securing the anti-union lawmakers who voted on them in the first place. They plan on blogging away as ever—as Congress and whoever is the next president face the next round of budget fights. “