• Rhetoric is cheap, but I still don't see evidence that Richardson isn't just pandering to the pro-withdrawal base. He's trying to make a strategic distinction between himself and the others to get the nomination; should he be the nominee he is no more likely to call for absolute total withdrawal than any other democratic candidate would be.

  • Another reason, suggested by Cani during our conversation, is that the blogosphere itself, despite its open forums, may till be too linear a medium for a demographic that prefers much more open and social forms of online communication.  

    this might actually be THE reason. I think that the existence of teh Facebook API for example represents a huge opportunity that has so far gone un-leveraged by the netroots. The blogsphere is dominated by a handful of elite bloggers and is nowhere near as oraganically structured as the ntroots rhetoric would have you believe. I had a critique diary of ActBlue along these lines earlier; it's worth noting that the conservatives are actually ahead of progressives on integration to social networking and embrace of web 2.0.

    At som epoint the present model of the blogsphere is going to be an encumbrance rather than an asset. The future is the social graph; we ignore it at our peril.

  • on a comment on Chris Bowers on Bill Richardson over 6 years ago

    agreed - I called Richardson out for pandering over two weeks ago; and I've been arguing for months that no Democratic president will leave Iraq. In the interest of disclosure, however, I take issue with this not because I disagree on the merits of the policy; in fact I think that leaving troops in Iraq for a long time (though not at the level we have now) is probably the right thing to do from a strategic perspective.

    The Right has consistently been framing Iraq as either "Win" or "Cut and Run". By frmaing Iraq in precisely teh same binary terms of "stay teh course" vs. "full withdrawal", we on the left have been playing right into that frame. The reality is that between teh two binary poles of zero troops and 160,000 troops in Iraq, there's likely an intermediate solution. Just as the conservative moderates must now concede that "winning" in Iraq is impossible, liberal moderates must also concede that there are degrees of losing. We might not "win" but we certainly can lose less.

    Abandoning Iraq to its fate sounds like an easy solution, a nice and pretty package. But it's a position fueled by schadenfreude rather than strategic consideration. The truth is that Iran and Syria, and non-state actors like Al Qaeda and other assorted islamic extremist groups, all have strategic interests in Iraq. So too do we, and we must act to preserve them.

  • comment on a post Progressive Dialogue over 6 years ago

    Trey, it's a bit odd to label what you are seeking as "dialouge" when you then make an axiommatic statement like "the only solution to Iraq f full withdrawal."

    In fact there is a lot of dialouge on Iraq and the best way forward, but the reason that the netroots are kind of sidelined this time around is because of the ossified and inflexible absolutist position on Iraq.

    In point of documented fact, not a single candidate for the Democratic nomination - no, not even Richardson - is in agreement with the netroot dogma that total withdrawal is the only solution.

    There's a serious case to be made, in terms of progressive principle and in terms of strategic self-interest (PDF link), for leaving some troops in the theater. Suggesting this is tantamount to heresy on the leading progressive blogs, however. How then can there be any "dialouge" ?

    (disclosure: I am pro-Gore in fantasy and will probably vote Edwards for the nomination)

  • comment on a post The Candidates Side-by-Side on Iraq over 6 years ago

    Richardson gave a speech ("the New Realism") at the CSIS (PDF) wherein he said several things that I think contradict the image he is trying to put forth here.

    in the introductory remarks he explicitly calls for increase in the size of the military:

    if America is to lead again, we need to remember this history and to rebuild
    our overextended military, increase the size of our Army, revive our alliances, and restore
    our reputation as a nation which respects international law, human rights, and civil

    But over the course of the rest of the speech, he doesn't quite spell out exactly where troops are needed (though he has quite a laundry list of foreign policy issues that need our attention).

    later in response to a direct question, what woud he do in Iraq, he answers in part,

    I would get out this calendar year, but I would couple that with three
    other steps: one, diplomacy, American leadership; bring together a reconciliation
    conference among the ethnic groups - the Shi'a, the Sunni; find a way that that
    reconciliation conference, using the leverage of a withdrawal, brings forth a coalition
    government, a sharing of oil revenues, a sharing of Cabinet ministries, and a Dayton-type
    accord similar to Dayton - not a division, a splitting up of the country, that would bring
    territorial integrity and respect to the religious groups in Iraq.

    The problem is that this is largely meaningless. First, "get out this calendar year" ? Which year? 2008? Is it even possible to withdraw from Iraq in one year?

    The other things like a "reconciliation coference" and "leverage the threat of withdrawal" seem absurdly naive for someone with such supposedly seasoned foreign policy chops as he has. Contrast this with the much grittier analysis by Cordesman that notes that the US "cannot dictate Iraq's future, only influence it." The idea that a reconciliation conference akin to South Africa would suffice to meaningfully ameliorate the ethnic division there, utterly ignores the complex interplay of foreign interests and the domestic political landscape that make Iraq such a Gordian knot (and there's no better summary/overview of that knot than the Cordesman report linked above. ESSENTIAL reading for anyone daring to opine on Iraq strategy or policy, including Presidential candidates).

    Richardson acknowledges that such conferences would provide no guarantee:

    Now, is that going to guarantee success? Is that going to guarantee the stoppage of a civil war and sectarian conflict? It won't guarantee it, but I believe it will be an important step to make things

    emphasis mine; what kind of drivel is this? an "important step" ? Is he serious? This is hand-waving of the most transparent kind. A policy needs to be evaluated according to some measure or metric, and all he has to offer is platitude.

    I donm't think Richardson is a fool. In fact I think he knows that he needs to distinguish himself from the other candidates and is using withdrawal as his wedge. He's too intelligent to be ignorant of the emptiness of his words at the CSIS as pertain to Iraq, which lead me to suspect that this is really a pander operation. It's far more plausible that Richardson sees a need for increased troops in Iraq for the long haul. That isn't a position I personally would not neccessarily disagree with him, but that is a position at odds with how he is trying to portray himself to the Democratic electorate and the netroots. I think Biden has a more honest approach: stand on principle and make your case.

  • comment on a post The Candidates Side-by-Side on Iraq over 6 years ago

    but, I told you so: No Democratic President will leave Iraq.

  • I don't think that Obama's base would evaporate. he has better anti-Clinton credentials than Edwards. If things shake out as I expect, ie Edwards 1st, Clinton 2nd and Obama 3rd in Iowa, and Clinton 1st and Obama 2nd in NH, then we are probably still looking at Clinton vs Obama for the nomination. Unless Edwards wins NH outright, he's really running for VP again.

    If Gore enters the race, the dynamics change of course. Speaking purely in wishful thinking mode, I think a Gore-Obama matchup would be the strongest ticket.

    When is the latest Gore would need to decide by? Could he sit out IA and NH both and then decide based on the outcome there?

  • comment on a post MyDD Candidate Bloggers over 6 years ago

    Just for kicks, how about a Gore blogger?

  • agreed. Which is part of why I push the ActBlue Draft Gore page so hard - if he really is watching us to see our reaction, what better way than to step up with symbolic donations?

    Every time Gore ever says something along the lines of "I might..." we should all immediately leap to the donate box. Sort of like how during the Dean days when we'd rally and show support for Dean in teh face of media attacks of troll punditry.

  • i am immensely gratified to know that its even on your plate. thats the only function of my diaries here on the topic.

  • I didnt intend to imply that you are working to the contrary! if so, I apologize. I knew my post would sound a bit harsh, which is why I starte the diary with praise. My only aim here is to critique constructively. If Im not achieving that goal, then I will stop.

    13th texan is right, there is a Facebook group on myDD, but thats something completely irrelevant to the point of my diary, which is that Facebook needs to partner with Project Agape to allow individual ActBlue Pages to be Causes. I am very glad you are partnered with Facebook for donating to the official candidates, but that is also irrelevant to my diary. A simple example: Netroots for Noriega. Is there a way I hav emissed by which someone using teh Causes application on Facebook can donate money directly to that ActBlue page? If so, then I have immense egg on my face and i will post a retraction diary. I dont think there is, however. Am I wrong?

  • how about shared subscription services to resources like Lexis Nexis or english translations of the Arabic media?

  • my bad about the myDD group. you're wrong about the rest - when i tried to setup a new Cause for my fundraising page or for Gore, ActBlue was not an option. They process the funds for the official declared candidates' campaigns, but NOT for the rest of the field. You cant donate to Draft Gore or to Noriega as a Cause via Facebook. thats a gigantic missed opportunity. youve misread my diary of you think the actblue-driven candidate donation pages are sufficient.

  • comment on a post Causes on Facebook: ActBlue AWOL and MIA over 7 years ago

    if anyone wants to start a myDD group on Facebook, ping me.

  • comment on a post Supporting liberal entrepreneurs over 7 years ago

    how about a microloan program akin to ActBlue? instead of candidates, it would be businesses. Users could decide what their slate of smallbiz they support with bundled interest-free loans.

    Of course, ActBlue itself needs to embrace tags and social networking to compete with the new ventures by the right.


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