wave of naive optimism

Back in the early days of this blog, it was hardly tied into the British blogosphere at all; if you look at the 2003-2004 archives it’s just stuffed with US presidential politics, and most of its earliest supporters came from the US. Which is ironic given its distinctive Europhile taste, I suppose. That started to change around 2005 because some bugger here started reading it, in essence.

Anyway, largely because of this, I’m very pleased for this blog’s friends there – Laura Rozen, Kathryn Cramer, Soj, Jordan Barab, the Nielsen Haydens, hardindr, minnesota, God knows how many Kos screen names, Steve Gilliard – that they’ve been vindicated right down the line. The netroots phenomenon wasn’t a nine days’ wonder. The Internet is not a naturally conservative medium, and PowerLine isn’t blog of the year any more. You don’t have to support the invasion of Iraq or be smeared as unpatriotic – or rather, they’ll do it but it only matters if you alter course as a result.

It wasn’t necessary to get the support of David Broder et al – no bugger reads him anyway. Hillary Clinton wasn’t destined to win. Young voters weren’t actually certain not to turn out. Organising-first tactics worked. The working class isn’t a bunch of racist idiots. A fuel tax holiday actually was a stupid, cash-draining, oil-guzzling, climate-hammering piece of vacuous demagogy, not a brilliant electoral gambit. Rudy Giuliani and Fox News were paper tigers. The wingnutosphere was actually just a bunch of drivelling maniacs. The October Surprise was a flop. Even the racist gun nuts didn’t deliver. Your actual redistribution isn’t politically toxic.

Howard Dean was a great choice to run the Democratic National Committee. The 50 state strategy wasn’t insanely grandiose. Social Security privatisation wasn’t the test of seriousness. The war and the torture and the bungling and the corruption weren’t obscure nonsense. And I think the bloggers can take a bow on those three. So much of the political background of this campaign goes back to that desperate period after the 2004 election when some people thought John Kerry too radical and others decided to try harder.

Did I mention that the official Murdoch candidate didn’t make it to the starting line? Yes, I did; when was the last time that a major political candidate who had the backing of News Corporation – and first Giuliani and then McCain did – lost? You don’t have to give in.


  1. Thank you for the kind words, but I’m am not so optimistic about the netroots. I’m not sure they had much to do with getting Obama elected. I think that the bad econony and an unpopular war contributed the most. The youth vote in the US was not up significantly when compared to the increases in voter participation in other age groups. As for Howard Dean, his record is mixed at best.

  2. yorksranter

    The bad economy and unpopular war? That’s another way of saying you were right.




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