November 27, 2007
A little love from the DMN

Noting the arrival of Netroots Nation in Austin next year, the Morning News surveys the liberal blog scene in Texas, with a little link-love thrown in for me and a few of my colleagues. It's a good read, but I wouldn't be a blogger if I didn't have a nit to pick:

It's still unclear whether bloggers can translate their activism into votes, though. Nationally, they took credit for Democratic wins in 2006 congressional elections. Some of their highest-profile efforts - on behalf of 2004 presidential candidate Howard Dean and against Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman - have flopped, although those races showed the bloggers' potential.

Howard Dean's rise in 2004 (really, 2003, since his candidacy was more or less toast after Iowa and New Hampshire) was certainly fueled by blogs and online activists, but that was a fairly special case in that it was really its own separate infrastructure. There's an establishment to the liberal 'sphere that existed in smaller form back then, and the Dean Nation movement was for the most part not part of that. On the other hand, Dean's subsequent ascension to chair of the DNC was very much an effort pushed by the wider community.

As for Lieberman, he did lose in the Democratic primary, which was the goal at the time the Lamont movement caught fire. He is still in the Senate, of course, so that does count as a failure, but then so are Jim Webb and Jon Tester, both of whom first had to survive primaries against establishment candidates. I'd argue those two races - Webb's in particular - were at least as high-profile as the battle in Connecticut, and should be given equal weight when evaluating bloggers' won-lost record.

Here in Texas, we've followed all kinds of races, and I'd claim a share of the success the Democrats have seen in State House races for the progressive bloggers. I wouldn't claim we've got more wins than losses, but then we get invested in candidates with longer odds of winning than the national folks do. The bottom line is that people know who we are and they take what we do seriously. We intend to build on that.

Anyway, that's my nitpick. Now go read the article, it's good stuff. In the Pink has more.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on November 27, 2007 to Blog stuff