by Matt Stoller, Wed Apr 12, 2006 at 03:39:30 PM EDT
Both Democrats and Republicans have been reaching out to prominent bloggers in recent years. The House Republican Conference has sponsored two "bloggers' row" gatherings in the past six months, where bloggers meet and interview lawmakers. Republicans hosted a conference call with bloggers last week.
Democrats brought in bloggers John Aravosis (AmericaBlog), Matt Stoller (MyDD) and Duncan Black (Atrios) and two experts from the progressive Center for American Progress two weeks ago to advise press secretaries on how to court blogs. The Democratic caucus devoted its entire March 29 meeting to technology issues.
The stakes with blogs are a bit higher for Democrats than they are for Republicans. The liberal blogosphere is better developed than its conservative counterpart. Liberal blogs often provide volunteers or campaign contributions to campaigns. And liberal blogs offer an outlet for Democrats when the traditional media have until recently paid them little heed.
For the party out of power, the blogs are akin to conservatives' dominance of talk radio and direct mail in the late '70s, Cornfield said.
I think that's fair. Like Aravosis, I'm irritated that Josephine Hearn played the 'liberal blogs are too liberal for Nancy Pelosi', since ideology has never been a problem or a litmus test for us. (Harry Reid anyone?)
Still, it's good to see more recognition of the progressive blogosphere. Also, I'm in the tank for Nancy Pelosi, just so you know. Together MyDD can do better!