Fight for More People-Power, Not Better Parking Spots

Ok, so we put a Democratic majority in the House and Senate.  Awesome.  Now it's time to set expectations for what that means.  Whatever the optics of the netroots versus Rahm fight, the reality is that it is a coalition of white non-union progressives, African-Americans, Latinos, youth, and union members who made this happen.  And yet, even with around 30-40 new House members and ten new Senate members, the reality is that  new blood is only around 20% of the caucus.  That means that whatever it is that we want will synthesize into a larger set of pent-up demands by the base of the other 80%.

That's not a bad thing.  Right off the bat, we'll have a higher minimum wage, which will be a clear help to young voters.  Hopefully Pelosi can get her cut on student loan interest rates, which will be an additional boon.  And voting reform and net neutrality are going to be major issues, which are issues of concern to minorities and white progressives, progressively.

Still, don't expect this caucus to be ours, in total.  It's not, because we're not ready to govern as a movement.  Here's a brief reading of where we are, as the 'netroots'.

On the one hand, insiders have to listen to us.  After watching Joe Lieberman go down in a primary, and after seeing five or six of our candidates beat the DCCC's in primaries and then go on to General election victories, it's become clear that establishment Democrats cannot completely ignore us.  They know that we can be a source of volunteers, of money, of support, of media help, or we can be a pain in the ass, a source of embarrassment, or at worst a primary challenge.

On the other hand, insiders don't have to listen to us... that much.  Expect the 'you can't win in a general election' card to be trotted out repeatedly, as David Brooks is doing.  Joe Lieberman will be a more marginal figure than people assume.  Since Jim Webb is considered a tuff man according to Timmeh and the Meet the Press crew, when Webb speaks on issues like economic justice, national security, and civil rights, moderate Republicans and Democrats are going to listen.  In a lot of ways, Webb and Tester could occupy Lieberman and McCain's space as the bellweather heartland figures.  Still, the Lieberman loss is going to be lorded over us repeatedly, despite the obviously world-changing effect of Ned Lamont's primary win.  

On the one hand, we now have real allies in Congress.  Jerry McNerney, Jon Tester, Jim Webb, John Hall, Joe Sestak, Patrick Murphy, Chris Murphy, Chris Carney, Paul Hodes, Tim Walz, and a few others all have direct connection to the netroots.  And Kirstin Gillibrand has signed a pledge to make her schedule entirely open.  There could be a few others depending on recounts.  Rather than seeing the Broder's of the world as critical opinion-makers, they see both Daily Kos and Broder as opinion-makers.  There are more, of course, but the fact that there are Congressmen who got elected in some measure with strong netroots support means that we will have much stronger bridges on the inside.

On the other hand, we have few strong allies.  Ok, so there are leadership fights.  It looks like Emanuel and Larson locked up the Caucus Chair and Vice-Chair, and Clyburn the whip position.  I could be wrong of course, but the only major debate is between Steny Hoyer and Jack Murtha.  Don't get me wrong, that's a big fight, but these elections are almost entirely insider.  We may be able to set some sort of overall climate as we did during the DNC Chair race, but it's very unlikely that we'll have a big impact on these decisions.  Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid consider us kind of nice to have on their side, kind of annoying otherwise, but mostly not really a factor in their management of the caucus.  That's partly because they don't want to share power, but it's also because we aren't particularly easy to work with.

On the one hand, we have no legislative agenda except for net neutrality.  Since we locked that down as an important issue before the election, our chances are pretty good (though it's not by any means a slam dunk.  This means that we are free to pick our fights, flexible, and not bogged down by a long list of people to satisfy.  We can ride public opinion to get what we want, with agility and intelligence.  

On the other hand, we have no legislative agenda except for net neutrality.  That means that the agenda is largely going to be controlled by others.  Since we don't know exactly what we want, we won't be able to ask for it.  That's not necessarily bad, but it also means that we're delegating a lot of leverage to others.

So basically what I'm saying is that we shouldn't be deceived, this is not going to be a Congress where we are treated as an equal partner.  Though we represent some important piece of the primary voting universe, we have aways to go before we are able to garner substantial respect and inculcate our intellectually honest and open culture into the party.  Also, we're not ready to take full power yet.  We don't have the ability to govern the party or the country yet, though we have sketched an outline of the new politics.  We haven't dealt with critical issues like race, we haven't built bridges with labor, we don't have reliable revenue streams, and we don't have an effective talent banking mechanism.  We don't do enough field and we don't do voter registration on the scale that is necessary to build out our base.  And that's just for starters.  I'll leave Chris to let you know what we do well.  In four years, we've come a LONG way.  

Here are some suggestions on how we can amplify and build on what we've accomplished.  The basic principle is that our power comes not from insiders but from expanding the number and quality of people involved and participating in our party's debates, elections, fundraising, policy-making, and GOTV.

1) Don't fight for a better parking spot:  Hoyer or Murtha?  I have my preference, but this fight isn't a place that we can affect all that much.  And it's not a hugely important contest.  There will be lots of these spats, and we shouldn't waste our capital fighting on their turf.  Our power comes from our community, our people-power.  Lose that and we're just a group of wannabe Redstate.com consultant types.

2) Expand our netroots base:  Let's get more people involved.  Let's build bridges to different communities, and bring their influentials onto the internet to engage in dialogue.  That will set us up to build more people-power and ultimately govern the country.

3) Break the blog box:  Register voters.  Measure and run GOTV.  Break out of the blog box, explicitly, by tying our work on the blogs to work offline.  This is the key to showing that we are the people who make campaigns and governance work.

4) Build web-based leverage points:  Let's make sure bills are put online at least 72 hours before a vote.  Let's see if we can get a copy of the bill is put on a wiki for annotation.  It would be great if there were public webcams in the halls of Congress.  Make lobbyists register with a thirty second video clip on what their business is and who they work for.  Candidates have to take responsibility for their message, why not lobbyists?  Put a technorati link on every Congressional website, automatically.  There's a lot more here, obviously.  We can write the House rules now.  Let's write them so that they work in favor of people-power.

5) Primary, primary, primary:  Primaries make the party stronger and better.  Let's support candidates who want to run primaries, and force Congressional candidates to answer to the Democratic primary voting universe as often as possible.  Could Ellen Tauscher really be such a blue dog if she had to face a challenger every cycle in such a blue district?  Could Rahm Emanuel, who won his primary in a thuggish, corrupt, and narrow margin, be so hostile to Democratic primary voters if challenged in his very blue district?  Could Max Baucus continue to author massive tax cuts if he knew he'd have to answer to a progressive populist primary voting universe back home?  Could any number of lazy progressives continue to do nothing in the face of a real challenge at home?

There's a lot more of course.  Mostly what I'm missing is the local angle, which is more important in a lot of ways.  I'm nationally focused since I live in DC.

The point though is that we're a movement that is going to wield power by convincing the American people that civic involvement in an open government and culture is the key to a better world.  We ought to be thinking about how to create structures that encourage participation in our culture, companies, government, and physical spaces, and not worry so much about which personalities are in charge of which pieces of turf.

Tags: 2008, CA-10, Ellen Tauscher, House, inside, netroots (all tags)

Comments

28 Comments

Re: Fight for More People-Power, Not Better Parkin

As someone who worked on Capitol Hill, I think the lobbyist/webcam thing is a disastrous idea.  The fat cats would just meet elsewhere, and the public interest lobbyists without fancy conference rooms would end up having to give up a great deal of privacy to little purpose.

If you are from a pro-choice group, do you really want to have your name and webcam photo on all the wingnut sites?  Remember back to the hacking of the House computers?  Perfectly legitimate meetings were trumpeted as proof of wrongdoing.

by NotThatMo 2006-11-10 08:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Fight for More People-Power, Not Better Parkin

That's a good point.

by Matt Stoller 2006-11-10 08:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Fight for More People-Power, Not Better Parkin

I think that at the very least some public interest lobbyists would want to lose their privacy.  Pro-choice groups might meet somewhere else, but pro-disabled groups would probably welcome the publicity.

by sterra 2006-11-10 08:45AM | 0 recs
We do have an agenda

How about developing a bigger agenda?  I think the emphasis on process and elections is important, but promoting and delivering good solutions is what wins long-term.  Just ask the GOP.

So net neutrality may be your big issue, but how about much more:

-real electoral reform, better technology, easier registration, with some teeth against the kinds of dirty tricks we saw last time;

-real support for energy conservation and alternatives;

-tax fairness (letting the dividend and capital gains rate reductions expire, along with the cuts for the top two brackets);

-expanded college oppotunities for poorer students;

-supporting Pelosi's rule changes, such as an end to earmarks, closed conferences, no time to read the bill etc.

We have common interests with Pelosi, I believe, on all these issues, and can provide support for these very important issues.  We have to help the new Dem majority deliver on a common good and better future agenda, not just bitch and moan and talk electoral tactics.

by Mimikatz 2006-11-10 08:16AM | 0 recs
Re: We do have an agenda

Did you not read my post?  No laundry lists, please.

by Matt Stoller 2006-11-10 08:44AM | 0 recs
Re: We do have an agenda

Did you not read my comment?  Talking tactics and threatening primaries for 2 years isn't as helpful as promoting ideas to deal with problems.  I was also responding to the idea that "our" "only" issue was net neutrality.  That is your issue, not necessarily everyone else's issue.

If you want to be listened to, learn to listen.  That's pretty basic.

by Mimikatz 2006-11-10 08:51AM | 0 recs
Re: We do have an agenda

Talking tactics and threatening primaries for 2 years isn't as helpful as promoting ideas to deal with problems.

I disagree. What separates the netroots from Jane Doe Constituent is exactly the tactics.

This post is about consolidating and increasing our power as the netroots. That will not come from promoting specific ideas because, except for net neutrality, the netroots doesn't speak as one voice. On other issues we are indeed just constituents.

Our power within the party comes from our ability to act. That is not issue-oriented. It is party-oriented.

IMO, that's where Matt is coming from. And for what it's worth, I think he said a lot of very good stuff.

by KB 2006-11-10 09:03AM | 0 recs
We can and should do both

Mimikatz makes a good point. While Matt makes some excellent suggestions, I think he's  too dismissive of Mimikatz's comment that there are some fundamental issues we can and should get behind, as well as the prospect that these issues can become more than just a "laundry list."  

These two strategic thrusts (process-infrastructure-base-building and policy development & advocacy) don't seem mutually exclusive.  In fact, I'd argue that they're quite compatible and even synergistic on both a practical and symbolic/messaging level.

On a tangentially related note, I recommend a post by SusanG at dkos entitled "We're All Conservatives Now":
http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2006/1 1/10/112111/08

I think there's an opportunity right now for the Democratic party and netroots to begin restructuring the relationship between political language/labels, fundamental human values, and political issues and policies....what you might call the underlying infrastructure for meme-generation.  I think Susan's post (at least my reading of it) speaks to part of that.

When I think of Dems like Wes Clark, Jim Webb (both strongly anchored in the military) and Jon Tester (no latte-drinking metrosexual he), I see a blend of progressivism, conservatism and populism that strikes me as mainly pretty healthy--for our country and for the prospects of the Democratic party.  

While I don't agree with Clark and Webb on some issues (e.g., Clark's '04 support for a flag-burning amendment), I believe their hearts and minds are very much in the right place...people I could argue with and then enthusiastically work with to make the world a better, fairer and safer place, with more opportunity for a lot more people.  

I think these kinds of leaders, coupled with key issues that are fundamentally important (electoral, healthcare and energy reform, replacing blind ideology and a dangerous mix of military bluster and ineptitude with strong and skillful diplomacy backed by last-resort military force) can help us solidify and build on the political realignment opportunity we now have.

And while there may be intense internal fights that need to be fought, and fought hard, I think Markos strikes a constructive note when he says "I'm ready to get beyond the 'who gets credit' conversation, because we all do." (including, as he notes, Rahm and Chuck Schumer).
http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2006/1 1/10/11335/627.  

But I think he also strikes the right tone when he warns DC insiders not to start a war they're not likely to win.
http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2006/1 1/10/135814/54

Dean was elected. If Carville has a master plan to stage a coup against Dean, I'd love to see it. But I doubt the state party chairs who provided Dean's margin of victory are going to get too torn up about the fact that Dean is helping fund their resurgence. Carville needs to shut the fuck up. If he wants a war, we'll give him one. And it won't be a war that DC can win. There's more of us than there are of them.

by mitchipd 2006-11-10 09:49AM | 0 recs
Re: We can and should do both

Thanks.

Purely concentrating on tactics and gaining power is the path the GOP took, and look where it led them.  The Conservatives won when  they had some ideas, and lost when they abandoned them in favor of getting and holding power.  (Of course they were bad ideas, as well.)

The chief failing of the current progressive movement, and why it will fail to motivate large numbers of voters if it persists this way, is the absence of a program.  I was suggesting not a laundry list but a FEW ideas I thought a large number of people here shared.  Pick a few ideas/issues where we can back up the leadership and push them to be more progressive.  Above all, help them deliver.  That's how to build a long-term majority.  Think of all those people who felt that the Dems and FDR really cared about them because of the programs they pushed and voted Dem for the next 60 years.

by Mimikatz 2006-11-10 11:59AM | 0 recs
Re: We can and should do both

What I'd add to your comment is that it could help immensely if the few ideas/issues could be tied together by a core set of values/vision that can help more and more Americans see the Dems more clearly as a progressive force and identify with it at both rational and emotional levels (which is something Rove was good at in a very negative way that happily did not prove sustainable in the face of reality and the changing demographics of this country).

Its a combination of vision/values/core issues and infrastructure/tactics/process that will turn this into a sustainable and expanding "movement" and governing majority.

I like your reference to FDR.  Think of combining FDR's innovative progressiveness with the power and bottoms-up power of the netroots.  I like that picture.

by mitchipd 2006-11-10 12:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Climate Change

In terms of legislative agenda items: Could the netroots do for climate change/global warming what it did for net neutrality? This is an issue that is important on many levels and potentially might have good grassroots appeal.

REAL health care reform also seems like another issue the netroots might be well-positioned to take on.

Oh, and there's also immigration, Sudan and our own national security?

by Jill Tubman 2006-11-10 08:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Climate Change

We're not in a position to have laundry lists.  That's the kind of think you create before the eleciton, and we just haven't put priorities in place and we aren't going to.

by Matt Stoller 2006-11-10 08:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Climate Change

Ok, fair enough. Is it too early to look ahead and start planning a platform for 2008?

by Jill Tubman 2006-11-10 09:08AM | 0 recs
Re: Climate Change

I don't think we need laundry lists before or after the election because we have a core value that holds most everyone that reads MYDD together:  We're for dispersing political power down towards everyday people.  We're for proposals that will benefit a broad spectrum on people across American and against proposals that benefit the financial interest of the few.  There are both procedural and structural political changes that will serve to push political power down to the average person in the street or even one blogging on the internet.  You have identified some of those.  But there are also substantive issues that will benefit a broad spectrum of the people and will undermine the economic and political power of wealthy special interest groups (e.g. health care reform).  

One of the many reasons that I am so glad we won this election is that I was tired of calling my Congressional Representatives to oppose every idiot and evil Republican idea that came down the pike.  I'd like to start calling them to urge them to act on some progressive legislation.  I would hope that you plan to use MY DD to organize people to support specific substantive progressive political change.

by gunnar 2006-11-10 06:15PM | 0 recs
Matt are you out of your mind???

Of course we have laundry lists - and we have two years to get our newly-elected Democratic Congress to implement them!!!

Why on earth do you think we exhausted ourselves to elect them???

We asked Democrats.com readers to choose their top 20 priorities out of 140 specific issues.
http://democrats.com/change

The results so far give excellent insight into the priorities of the Netroots:
http://www.democrats.com/change-poll-res ults-1

Net neutrality is #14.

I challenge you and other progressive web sites to conduct a poll like this of your own readers, and then approach Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid collectively as The Netroots Lobby and offer to work with them to enact the changes we want!

Otherwise can I get my coin back?

More here:
http://www.democrats.com/netroots-legisl ative-agenda

by bob fertik 2006-11-12 06:32PM | 0 recs
expanding the idea of a 'primary battle'

Thanks for this post--really important to start looking forward.

In terms of framing, I think we need to take stock at how amazingly successful progressives were at primary battles--and then we need to take that concept and apply it everywhere.  And I mean everywhere.

There is an institutional structure that the blogs brought to the game--and it may be murky at this point, but it is there and it was amazingly good at mounting these kinds of first round challenges.  

If I learned anything in this round it is how important it is to win the first round.

I really believe that when historians write about this partiuclar set of elections, they will give 99% of the credit to the CT primary campaign.  As an anthropologist, I just don't see any other way to read it.  That was the key to everything--the establishment knew it then, they know it know, and we have to figure out exactly how we did that and reproduce it everywhere.

It might be a good idea to start, for example, talking about the Lamont primary as the big success of the 2006 midterms--as opposed to the big loss--disect that success and then build our agenda around future successes of that order.  Legislative--yes.  I want legislative success.  But ground level movement success is where I see there is real room for explosive growth--a real giant step forward in how the entire country 'does' politics.  

This ties into a much broader notion that the progressive movement is not about a legislative agenda, but about the experience of politics--the fundamental change is at the level of experience.   That also entails a legislative shift, but the nature of that shift is secondary (I believe) to the shift at the level of experience.

by Jeffrey Feldman 2006-11-10 08:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Fight for More People-Power, Not Better Parkin

I would say that the best step from here is turning economic populism in the style of webb into the netroots platform.

A primary challenge keeping people in check would be good, but conservative democrats making economic populism a conservative position would be better.

by sterra 2006-11-10 08:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Fight for More People-Power, Not Better Parkin

Netroots agenda besides Net Neutrality?

MEDIA REFORM.

First, it says we think it's broke. Second, it gives a believable excuse for bad press: "They're going after us to protect their monopolies." Third, it's a kind of DeLay, Hammer move, putting the Press on notice that we are the ones with control of their legislative future. Fourth, how do Republicans argue against the Fairness Doctrine if the media, if the media is so liberal? And what does it do to their "media's out to get us" meme if they're defending the media, and we're reforming it? It shows the public it's us vs. the GOP and monied media interests, rather than the GOP getting both slanted coverage, and to claim they're being treated unfairly.

I don't see any issue more important to our democracy than finding a way to get a functioning media again.

by Memekiller 2006-11-10 08:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Fight for More People-Power, Not Better Parkin

Matt,

Wonderful, thoughtful, and insightful post.  Of course some might quibble with minor details in the body, but i think the frame you created is right-on - and more importantly - a necessary perspective for continuing to increase the influence of progressives.

I think the general advise of dos and don'ts is right.  However, the specifics are going to be more difficult.  The question that this post begs is: how do "we" figure all this stuff out?  In short, we first need processes and frameworks to work within.  Hopefully enough people will recognize that there's still more infrastructure to be built to make it all happen.

Dan

by DanD 2006-11-10 08:58AM | 0 recs
Occupy the party infrastructure

Don't forget that we've just started down the path of inserting ourselves into the party machinery.  Whether it's filling vacancies in neglected infrastructure or forcefully ousting cronies from party machines, there is both a lot of work to do and a lot of positive effect that can be had.

Not only would greater presence in the party infrastructure let us promote our agenda and our candidates, but it would also help us insulate the party from the effects of corporate money, which should be a long term goal in itself.

by randompost 2006-11-10 09:02AM | 0 recs
Re: 4) Build web-based leverage points:

i've got a "Build web-based leverage points" suggestion/request:
webcasts (live and archived) of all house and senate committee hearings.

the senate commerce committee does a pretty good job with this, so there's no reason why the other committees can't also.

i'm sick and tired of depending on c-span (which can't cover them all), and missing important hearings... waiting a year or two for the transcript to show up on gpo access is not good enough.

this would be such a BIG help in attempting to hold our congress critters accountable...

by selise 2006-11-10 09:04AM | 0 recs
Long Haul

This is not a one election project. We've been incredibly lucky in this cycle, or rather, the country has suffered enormously, creating the wave.

But this is only the beginning.  We have just started to build an infrastructure.  Our relentless pursuit of transparency is extremely frightening to almost any elected official. This is not going to be easy nor quick.  It's really not going to reach its fruition until there are Matt Stollers and Chris Bowers running national campaigns, working on Congressional staffs and maybe even in office.

But this is a great foundation. It took the republicans twenty years.  Their inability to govern has hurt them enormously.  We need to keep slogging.

by jayackroyd 2006-11-10 09:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Fight for More People-Power, Not Better Parkin

The poll breakdowns should be cautionary for the Dems. This was clearly a tidal wave election. The Indys broke heavily to the Dems. Additionally the white vote is instructive - 53% men and 50% women voted Repub. The African-American, Asian-American and Hispanic vote went significantly to the Dems. The below $50K income group went heavily to the Dems. The no high school and the post-grads went to the Dems. The 18-29 yr olds went 60% to Dems. The unmarried men and women went 60%+ to the Dems.

If the Dems are to continue with this coalition then they need to reinforce those that voted for them.

IMO, they need then to focus on:

- economic populism - wage and income disparity. Fair trade, minimum wage, tax cuts for those under $100K and return to Clinton rates for those over, education opportunities for those disenfranchised, healthcare support for those at the bottom end, remove corporate subsidies to big oil, pharma, etc.

- better governance - ethics and lobbyist rules tightened and enforced. Transparency in legislation. Who influenced what!

- Voting rights tightened and enforced - paper trails, voter education, tough voter suppression prevention, reach out to the minorities.

This would be payback to the key voters who voted their hopes.

Then, they should focus on the "libertarian" strain on social issues that was evident in the mountain west. That means keeping government out of peoples personal lives. Issues such as -

- privacy laws strengthened

- reaffirming constitutional protections in the Bill of Rights - cleaning up habeas corpus, due process, warantless wiretaps. Getting out of issues like gun control. They should not bring any legislation on choice, marriage, etc. Let states decide.

- stand tough on idealogical judicial nominations. No more Scalitos, Roberts, etc.

The Dems should not forget that those that voted for them DO NOT belong to the corporatist class! There is absolutely no point in trying to woo them. If they did not support the Dems in this wave election they never will. They should legislate with those that made this wave happen in mind and they will be in a strong position to consolidate and possibly increase their seat count.

by ab initio 2006-11-10 09:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Fight for More People-Power

Hi Matt,

First Baskets full of Thank Yous and ATTA BOYs for all the work you did on the Lamont Campaign. I had the privlege of doing phone banking and some talking with the guys in West and East Hartford. I feel honored and humbled to have worked and learned from all of you, and for the small efforts I was able to contribute.

Question on your point #4 and the 72 hours - why not a week, with at least one weekend? That way the legal eagles like Glenn Greenwald and Marty Lederman can also have time to go through it, and note where there are consitutional questions or just plain bad judgement. This way we have to time to make a case for changes we percieve needed and wanted. By the way - Marty did a stellar job in side by side comparison of Bush's orginal torture Bill, and the so called evolving compromises.

Legislatively I would like to see us, as a group, take on 2 more issue besides Net Neutrality. First is Jerome a Paris (Jerome Guillets) composite energy plan that he and several very talented Kossacks developed. That ties nicely into environment and job expansion.

The second issue is to break out Senate Governance from Homeland Security. That way Joe Lieberman has his promised chairmanship and we have Senate ability of oversite. Of course we need to strategize and come up with a composite we can present to Harry Reid and Dick Durbin making it all be positive. (For reasons I fail to comprehend they seem to need a lot of help in connecting the dots). I know that is a diary/discussion for the next few days.

Again Matt, thank you so much for all you have done. My admiration for your skills, insight and abilities has grown exponentially.

by Grandma M 2006-11-10 09:21AM | 0 recs
Metaphors and Suggestions

I had started working on what the netroots should do and I am very grateful for this post.  Let me add a couple of metaphors that might be useful.  

1) The jigsaw view of management.  We (Progressives) have to cover a map of responsibilities, let's try to look at what things technology and the netroots can do and what we are going to leave to the other organizations (DCCC, DSCC, DNC, Congressional and Senatorial Staffs, elected official staffs, State and County Parties) It would be useful if we could spell out who does what and to whom.  Subject to the normal Democratic Party debate (Will Rodgers' rule: "I am not a member of any organized political party, I am a Democrat")

2) what can be automated using netroot like technologies, or rather what can be assisted and made easier by technologies. For example, setting up a small donor committee is onerous but an act blue page is easy.  So a laundry list of these kind of projects would be useful.  To puree a metaphor, in software, if you spec it, they will code.
Examples might be:

  • what is the mechanism assuming bills get uploaded 72 hours before a vote to do distributed netswarm analysis
  • how do we localize the same techniques that worked on a national level (we saw the example of parts of it with things like (shameless plug: Colorado.mediamatters.org and coloradoconfidential.org as well as progressnow.org)  How do we make these applicable to 50 states (and the District of Columbia)

3) what can we do to work with 527's etc to expand and make available services like the liquid phone of Call for Change.  That is off blog but still net based critical organizational tools.

Some Philosophy:  Progressives have an advantage because we are inherently not rigidly  hierarchically organized as a matter of belief.

Incidently if someone wants to have an extended dialog with me and work on these issues, I would welcome it.  I am the IT coordinator for our County party and want to look at where do we go from here.

msobel@marcsobel.com

by msobel 2006-11-10 12:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Fight for More People-Power

I'm not sure if this fits in with the kinds of things that you're talking about, but one thing leaps to mind: Unions. Unions have been being slapped around and bogeyfied for years. They DO have some specific legislative goals that were quite clear before the election. We should go all out supporting them. Unions have a lot of the skills and resources that the netroots lack. They're definitely off the Internet and out in the world. I can't think of better allies to court.

by tatere 2006-11-10 12:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Fight for More People-Power, Not Better Parkin

I think Grandma M, above, nailed it on one topic that I was planning to bring up here:

"Legislatively I would like to see us, as a group, take on 2 more issue besides Net Neutrality. First is Jerome a Paris (Jerome Guillets) composite energy plan that he and several very talented Kossacks developed. That ties nicely into environment and job expansion."

And Jill Tubman brought up global climate change, which goes hand in hand.  

Matt, as to your goal #2 in the original post:
"2) Expand our netroots base:  Let's get more people involved.  Let's build bridges to different communities, and bring their influentials onto the internet to engage in dialogue."

Reaching out to the environmental community is absolutely the wisest thing the netroots could do to achieve this goal.  

I was going to post something short and sweet about this, but thinking about it has inspired me to write an entire post instead.  Look for it soon (I'll link to it in this thread when I'm done writing!)

by Syrith 2006-11-10 02:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Fight for More People-Power, Not Better Parkin

Hey all, I've posted my first big diary after being inspired by this post!!

http://syrith.mydd.com/story/2006/11/10/ 215346/19#readmore

by Syrith 2006-11-10 04:58PM | 0 recs

Diaries

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