Building the New Guards

Following up on the thoughtful posts by Patrick Ruffini (here and here) and John Hawkins (and by James Joyner, Dan Riehl, Melissa Clouthier and Rick Moran), I think there are a few important points to make about this project of creating online infrastructure.  I don't specifically disagree with Patrick Ruffini, but I do think he's omitting some important points.

  • Organism: A good netroots movement is not a product of financial support.   While money can help elevate important voices, the Right does not lack a general political "noise machine".   We don't need to subsidize the Chatterati.  That is exactly the opposite of organic and grassroots.
  • Resources: Nevertheless, infrastructure is important, and Patrick Ruffini is right that we genuinely do have some human resource problems.  For years, this did not seem terribly important.  The offline infastructure really was sufficient.  But in 2006, a political tipping point arrived.  Suddenly, the Left's ability to message, mobilize and fundraise online became apparent and important.  In 2008, the impact of that online infrastructure has become overwhelming.  In Washington, DC, in the media and on the ground. the Left has learned how to turn an online swarm into offline results.
  • Mission: And yet, what the Right really needs is not to have bloggers get comfortable with activism.  While we do have human resource problems, we can't improve the game by yelling louder.  The people who read blogs are not awaiting a blogger's call to action.  That organic energy comes from a unifying grievance and a common mission.

Don't put the cart before the horse.  The Leftosphere is not effective because they can fundraise and mobilize activists.  They are effective because they can communicate and organize people around a message.  Fundraising and activism is a product of communication and organization.

If we have the right agenda, the money and activism will happen on their own; without the right agenda, activist bloggers won't help.

It's very important to understand what the Left has been doing in recent years.  They haven't been building websites.  They have been building a Movement.

Dan RIehl argues that  "the notion that the Left's Netroots grew up organically is a bit of a myth. As I pointed out as far back as July 2006, there was big money and political professionals behind getting that really going."

He's a little bit right and wrong here.  The Left did have both organic and cultivated components. 

  • The organic period (1998-2003) included the emergence of Moveon.org, Daily Kos, Atrios, MyDD and other important Left-of-Center voices (Matt Yglesias, Ezra Klein, Kevin Drum).
  • The cultivated period (2003-current) included the emergence of important infrastructure (Center for American Progress, Media Matters), as well as the integration of progressive institutions with the netroots (American Prospect, Washington Monthly, Labor Unions, etc)

Both the organic and cultivated elements were necessary to make the other really effective.  A coordinating tool (Center for American Progress/Media Matters) isn't effective without a crowd to coordinate (Kos, MyDD, Atrios).  A crowd isn't really effective without coherent, organizing ideas and information around which they can mobilize.

The Right has the crowd (although that can be improved).  We're missing the coordinating mechanisms.  But even the crowd + coordination won't work unless there is a genuinely relevant organizing agenda; ideas that touch a nerve and capture the imagination.  There is a role here for better infrastructure to be built now, but it is first about improved information delivery, story-telling and organizing, not about fundraising and mobilizing.

Without the organizing agenda, the parts are...just parts.  There is no fuel.

It's not a matter of the Right not having the money.  It's a matter of the Right not having a mission.  The political entrepreneurialism that we've seen on the Left will emerge on the Right when the Right begins to coalesce around an agenda.

UPDATE

Red State's Erick Erickson offers some important points, as well.

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Comments

You Can't ...

...make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

The Left's organizing agenda was simplistic...and effective

They hated George W. Bush.  They wanted out of Iraq. They wanted the Patriot Act repealed. They opposed federal deficits and inadequate social program funding at the same time.

They waited for the Bushies to screw up and pounced. They were particularly effective, albeit shameless, in telling libertarians we were on the verge of theocracy after Terri Schiavo; telling values voters the GOP was immoral after Mark Foley; and convincing the old time Eisenhower Republicans that Bush was a wasteful incompetent after Katrina and the Samarra mosque bombings.

Meanwhile, instead of projecting a clear positive message, we had the tongued tied Texas turncoat trying to sell policy Edsels like amnesty and Harriet Miers.

It's a lot easier to run against an individual than an ideology.  Without Bush's persona and misstteps, the Left wouldn't be where they are today.    

I discovered progressive grassroots and blogs when I

turned out to protest war starting back in 2002.  I couldn't agree more that an organizing agenda is the fuel for growing a movement.  It's fascinating to read and attempt to figure out what is the agenda of the right and solutions for the challenges facing the country. McCain and Pallin haven't explained much, yet are  likely to attracts the vote of 45% of the populace.  Which is alot even if it is considered a big loss.

Most of the students I teach come from terrific religious conservative families, which has also increased my interest  in trying to understand a viewpoint so opposite from mine in voting.  I carefully avoid anything political at work (excluding one Obama bumper sticker) so have little opportunity to learn anything through actual conversations with conservatives. The  well written posts and comments have made the Next Right one of my current fav blogs.

the conservative conundrum

posting this summary table here for consideration, as to me it is related to a thread about defining the conservative agenda / direction of the next right.

 From recent democracy corp survey (1000 responders)
Republicans
All voters
GOP Ideology
Not conservative enough
Too conservative
Palin
Good choice
Poor choice
McCain
Not aggressive enough
Too aggressive
Needed future direction
Move to the right
Move to the center
Obama
60% beieve his plans should be opposed
70% favor support policies
(give benefit of the doubt)

 

with all due respect, MMod

we have plenty of our own hack consultants, we need not solicit advise from Stan Greenberg and James Carville.

"Me-tooism" is what your friends on the lefty blogs rebelled against. So the GOP ought to adopt that approach. Right.  

pollaganda and phony advice from Dems

Apparently if you poll a bunch of people and include 50% Democrats, they will beg the Republicans to stop being Republican. Gomer Pyle mode on: "Surprise! Surprise!" mmod hath drunk the kool aid, and either cant see through the pollaganda from the Snakehead, or is trying the ol' divide and conquer trolling by peddling bad advice.

We know 'getting more conservative' is simplistic formulation (and certainly not sufficient). But taking Carville's advice is pretty danged dumb, and throwing conservatives to the curb is good way to make things worse.

I challenge MMOD to get the polling data on Obama's REAL RECORD not the prettied up talking points that have been focus-group tested and will be thrown out post-election anyway  (obama already dropping the hints):

    • Pro-abortion extremist: Voted against Born-alive Infant Protection Act (to stop infanticide); Supports taxpayer-funded abortions and voted against partial-birth abortion bans.
    • Voted against Domestic Drilling offshore and in ANWR.
    • Wants to appoint liberal activist Judges to legislate liberal social policy from the bench.

    • Pro-higher taxes: Voted 94 times in 4 short years for higher taxes.
    • Supports pork and earmarks for special interests: Steered $1 billion in earmarks to Illinois; supports Federal funding for ACORN
    • Open borders, pro-amnesty: Federation for American Immigration Reform - 0% Support US Border Patrol - 8%
    • supported DC gun ban that was ruled unconstitutional
    • Weak on law and order: Voted in IL against death penalty for gangland murderers.

Hint: IT AINT 70% support.

Have no fear - either we dodge a national bullet and elect McCain, or we have the Great Socialist, Obama elected, at which point the party will be powerless but can become both focussed and unified in holding back the Red Tide of Cr*p the Obama/Democrat Regime will foist on us. And I can assure mmod and others, economy-busting job-killing poverty-increasing policies that Obama is pushing will not be popular when actually enacted.

 

on the left advocating more strongly for progressive policies

 and candidates seems to have worked well,  so I guess supporting stronger adherance to conservative values would make sense to grow a conservative movement.  I just keep reading  to understand what conservative positions are on challenges I see like :

-45 million uninsured people and rising health care costs that will cause increasing problems for business and federal budget  (do conservatives actually think Mccain's healthcare plan would help or are they indifferent as long as their own family still has good health coverage?)

-growing  income inequality and difficulty of many people in meet basic needs (food, housing, energy, medical)  with their stagnent or declining real wages. (college tuition is the biggest financial challenge for my family - so what about providing assistance / opportunities through tax and spending policies)

-energy independence  (isn't this an area where significant govt investment in renewable and other energy sources makes sense for both the economy and the environment?)

my comments are not meant to persuade or annoy, but rather to give another perspective and raise questions.   Dems have unifying support for govt provide safety net and more opportunities for all.  The right  seems more divided and unclear of how core values and principles (i.e.limited govt ) address the challenges of  today  (especially when considering  the results of 30 years of mostly  trickle down and unfettered free market economic policies)

Here you go.

45 million uninsured people and rising health care costs that will cause increasing problems for business and federal budget

 

About one half of those people are in this country illegally. Conservatives (not to be confused with Republicans) think that encouraging those people to leave would do wonders for the budget problems you speak of.

 

growing  income inequality and difficulty of many people in meet basic needs (food, housing, energy, medical)  with their stagnent or declining real wages

 

See above. The basic laws of supply and demand are at work here. If you want to help the working poor then help them to get a better wage. Give them some degree of protection from foreign workers entering the country and driving down their wages.

 

college tuition is the biggest financial challenge for my family

 

There are plenty of affordable colleges in this country, and lots of financal assistence which makes attending them more or less free.

 

energy independence  (isn't this an area where significant govt investment in renewable and other energy sources makes sense for both the economy and the environment?)

 

A lot of people on the left have fallen in love with the word "investment", which they tend to badly misuse. I don't know exactly what you have in mind but I'm pretty sure that investment is not it. There is ample private capital to fund the development of genuinely viable sources of energy. As a general rule, when the governent "invests" money in something, the country as a whole suffers. Perhaps you're too young to remember the money that was invested in fighting povetry. It made a lot more of it.

Damn good post!

A lot of people on the left have fallen in love with the word "investment", which they tend to badly misuse. I don't know exactly what you have in mind but I'm pretty sure that investment is not it. There is ample private capital to fund the development of genuinely viable sources of energy. As a general rule, when the governent "invests" money in something, the country as a whole suffers. Perhaps you're too young to remember the money that was invested in fighting povetry. It made a lot more of it

As Ronald Reagan once said, government doesn't solve problems, it subsidizes them.

Funny, I see paved roads and electricty in WV

Where the HELL have you been traveling, that you still think america looks like the bloody third world, pardon my british.

-45 million uninsured people

-45 million uninsured people and rising health care costs that will cause increasing problems for business and federal budget  (do conservatives actually think Mccain's healthcare plan would help or are they indifferent as long as their own family still has good health coverage?)

Are you implying that the left is looking to address the cost of healthcare?  They're stuck on universal coverage rather looking at the reasons that health care costs are becoming so restrictive.  One of the biggest reasons is that "insurance" is now "managed health care", which brings in a pointless, cost-raising third party to the equation.  With laws tieing health "insurance" to corporations, there's a market bias in their favor - they (by law) subsidize healh care costs for their employees making the prices rise to prohibitive levels for those not lucky enough to be under an employer's plan. 

The other obvious market wrench is international drug reglation, prohibiting us from buying cheaper foreign drugs.

-energy independence  (isn't this an area where significant govt investment in renewable and other energy sources makes sense for both the economy and the environment?)

No...  We live in a global economy.  What's wrong with importing energy like anything else?

 

that hasn't changed since the 1990's

when mos tof the country, including the democrats, were anti universal coverage.

The percentage of GDP going into health care has changed.

 

It is wall street that ruined health care -- we spend a ton of money on denying people care. I need not talk about a spontaneous miscarraige being classified as an abortion procedure and thus not covered, I trust?

Iraq, Iraq, Iraq.

Hi all, long time, first time.  Love the blog and what you're trying to do here.  I'm a lefty and I'll tell you what drove the growth of the Netroots for the last 5 years.

IRAQ.

We had a President that invaded a country even though he hadn't really convinced most people it was necessary.  Massive protests  were ignored.  Then we found out that he had at best overstated the threat, and at worst, lied to us about it. 

He beat John Kerry with 50.7% and announced he had gotten a mandate, then proceeded to go all out for the next 4 years.  Losing the midterms didn't stop him.  He didn't care.  He surged.  In the midst of this election it's easy to forget that Iraq was the headline every day for 4 straight years.  Every.  Single.  Day. 

It was the best recruiting tool  ever for young people who were already inclined to support Democrats and have come of age politically during the Bush Era.  I'm not saying you need Obama to be a terrible President (if he wins) but it would probably activate your base more than any 5 step plan.  We didn't expect Iraq to be the rocket fuel that blasted the Netroots into outer space.  It just sort of happened, and a few people were positioned to take full advantage of it.  It has now become something that nobody could have imagined, not even in 2006 did I think a Netroots funded candidate could defeat Hillary Clinton.  Hillary Clinton! Unreal, isn't it? 

So you might have to wait for Obama (if he wins) to ram a massively unpopular policy down our throats, and then spend the next 6 years rubbing our faces in it.  And calling those who disagree with him cowards and fools.  And it would help if Obama laughed at his critics and said he didn't care what anyone says because the historians will sort it out and we'll all be dead anyway.  Oh, and if he should lose the House and Senate then he can double down and "surge" his bad policy and ignore the economy until we're on the verge of a recession.

That would probably result in a robust Rightroots.

Now this wasn't meant as an anti-Bush, anti-war rant.  I'm just speaking from my perspective and giving you guys a look at the Netroots from my point of view.  2 years from now Netroots will be unrecognizable, and so will this website.  But to look back and try to understand why we are where we are now, you only need to understand how fierce the opposition to the Iraq war was then, and still is today.

Thanks for a great site.  I look forward to being a part of it.  - JM

The Surge Worked (which is why Iraq is a backburner issue in 08)

The Surge Worked.  It worked so well the biased leftist New York Times has stopped reporting about Iraq for the past few months. Stories are down 80% as casualties fell 80%. How many Obama ads tout it? Few do. Obama's run a remake of the 1992 campaign, the economy. Thanks to well-timed credit crisis, it plays well. Success of surge and stumbling economy makes Iraq is a backburner issue in 08.

And btw that Pelosi Congress of yours, how'd that promise to be out of Iraq by now work out?

At least we know that Obama was WRONG  about Iraq BEFORE we elected him - he was wrong 100% on the surge, said it wouldnt reduce casualties, it wouldnt work and he opposed it. except, ahem, it did work, and even then he said he would have opposed .After it's determined he made a mistake and was wrong, he just up and decides to be stubborn and not change his position.  ... OBAMA IS THE NEW BUSH!

And how thrilled will you be when Obama similarly breaks his dumb promises to get out under a timetable? We shall see, but we ended up staying in Bosnia for over 10 years. Either Obama does something stupid that hurts our national security for decades to come, or he breaks yet another campaign promises.

Obviously the Iraq war was a huge factor in the GOP shellacking of 2006, and its a lesser issue now only because of the success of the surge.

2010, I suspect Obama will be cut all kinds of slack on Iraq, simply because the Obamedia will not henpeck his mistakes to death like they did to Bush. OTOH, America will focus more on the desire to 'come home' and that will mean economy will be the #1 issue and small-government conservatism will have a comeback.

If the left-roots had Iraq for 4 years, the right-roots will have amnesty, bailouts without end, and a $3 TRILLION annual budget stuffed with pork for liberal special interests and corrupt politically-connected-donors as our ongoing outrage. If Obama wins and tries to implement his leftwing promises, 2010 will shape up to be like 1994.

If McCain wins,  it will be far better for the country, but far tougher for the party and for McCain, as McCain will be pulled left to work with Democrat-controlled Congress and right by his own base.  I think McCain is up for the job, because I think the people, the base, and his promises line up well enough - stand up to special interests while getting control of spending.

 

 

re: the surge, amnesty

 

While I'm not here to debate the war, it should be noted that most people had made up their minds about the invasion of Iraq before the surge, and as far as the Netroots is concerned, most people thought the war was a mistake.  Surge or no surge, we opposed the entire war, period.  That's why the surge did not change anything on our side.  We'll just have to agree to disagree on the war.

"If the left-roots had Iraq for 4 years, the right-roots will have amnesty, bailouts without end, and a $3 TRILLION annual budget stuffed with pork for liberal special interests"

This is interesting.  If Rightroots used opposition to Obama's policies to fuel their growth would these be the issues that might do it?  I think the amnesty thing is spot on.  It's a festering sore on the right that still hasn't been dealt with.  The question is whether it will be massively unpopular with most Americans and whether Obama will force a bad policy on the nation.  I suspect he'll be cautious and not as liberal as the far left would like.  I'd bet he takes a half-ass compromise that infuriates the right, but doesn't remain an issue for years on end.

There's also the very real question of the way liberals and conservatives engage politically.  Most conservatives I know have very strong opinions and are loyal talk-radio fans but wouldn't be caught dead at a rally for a cause they believe in.  It seems that cons are more passive than libs.  Perhaps the complacency is a result of being in power for so long.  If Obama wins this will be a real test for conservatives.  Can they truly match the enthusiasm of the left or is there something inherently different about conservatives that keeps them on the couch when lefties are out organizing?  I know Bush had a fantastic GOTV operation in 2004.  Was it a fluke?  Where are those people this year?

 

Conservatives don't like to "wear the colors"

Think the concept of "conservative clothing".  Part of the appeal of conservatism is the fact it does not pretend that a political agenda is supposed to trump one's job and family.  So, there's more of a tendency to not do the rally/demonstration thing. Gets in the way of , guess what--job and family. 

There's the whole "leave me alone" gig. It's easier to roust up a crowd to go bother someone else( which tends to be the liberal agenda) then to motivate people to protest who want to be left alone.  Barack Obama might be the motivation for that, though.

'Dont Tread on Me' conservatives

"If the left-roots had Iraq for 4 years, the right-roots will have amnesty, bailouts without end, and a $3 TRILLION annual budget stuffed with pork for liberal special interests"

If Rightroots used opposition to Obama's policies to fuel their growth would these be the issues that might do it?

Yes they are, thats my point. And the more obama does to implement his radical agenda, the more the rousing will happen. 35 years of incremental pro-life advances will be dashed by Freedom of Choice Act. Workers rights trampled by Union Check card. Socialized medicine. Leftwing activist judges, who will surely engage in outrages.

Conservatives, as noted, are 'leave me alone' types, and will be complacent and apolitical if left alone.  The Democrats would be smarter to moderate their agenda and not incite a backlash. But the Democrats are like scorpions - "They cant help it."  They WILL overreach just like 1993 and 1994 and we will do our best to rollback/react. 

Now, the real problem we have always faced is not the in-your-face stuff, but the structural changes to political power that dont get pushed back but which makes it harder to advance our side down the road. This is the 'rachet effect' that we have to fight. The other part, which is really scary, is the willingness of the Obama types to supress dissent in many different ways. The freedom of press and the operation of dissenting voices will be a battle all by itself. That alone could be as big a deal as the reaction to FDR's despotic "court-packing' idea.

Lastly, there were completely non-ideological issues - corruption and 'competence' - that have harmed the GOP brand. Liberal MSM berating Bush over everything (while ignoring the Democrats) has worked.  ok blame Bush - but when he's  gone, then what? Dems will blame Bush forever? If Democrats have full control, they will have nobody left to blame. Then the MSM will be in a different spin mode, trying to make people feel happy about the cr*p the Dems are doing and trying to make critics out to be cranks or fringers (viz Clinton years).  If Clinton years are a guide, it wont really work. Clinton was saved only by the GOP Congress that he could triangulate against.

'Dont Tread on Me' conservatives will arise if and when they are trod upon. The bailout was a wakeup call.

 

Amen!

You have laid out the situation succiently.  I am ready to begin the opposition/criticism of this far-left administration if unfortunately it does achieve victory this coming Tuesday.

Which voters fit the Next Right?

I'm new to this board....but here goes.

It hit me today....who is the Next Right constituency?

 

People who work and pay taxes.  This leaves out the barbell of the extremely rich people and the parasites who collect money from the government -- these are both Democrat constituencies who benefit from big government.  The really rich don't work and have enough money to avoid taxes by getting favorable laws written, moving their money offshore, etc.  The parasites want bigger government and more goodies paid for by others.   Everything else follows from this.

Once things get on a message -- support for family and business and yes a hand up for those less fortunate, NOT a handout.  Next Right is happy to invest in people, not throw hard earned good money after bad.  Also, not everyone is college material and vocational technical training would be high on my list.  Joe the Plumber could make more than a lot of college graduates. We're on Joe's side, because we want him to keep more of his money and get ahead.

FYI, I've had a number of successful internet enterprises and a bit of experience in this area.  As for infrastructure, this whole affair doesn't have to cost a lot.  A 2-3 million dollars a year for three years should do it.  I would spend the money on IT infrastructure, no more than one full time web manager (runs the site, software dev, support, etc.) and the software should be able to support several hundred bloggers.  That would run $150-200K per year.  The balance should be used to help bloggers go full time, until enough ad revenue could be generated.  

You'll need a real time directory, like Drudge, but just for blogs to drive and recirculate traffic.  I've been looking at this area for the past six months and there is good potential for this to replace the mainstream media since you will be ahead of the msm by 2-3 days and ahead of Drudge by a day.  

You'll need a robust database, with shared name space and single sign in across all properties.  This becomes a marketing machine with targeting, donations, SMS and email messaging, etc.  This database can be assembled by off the shelf parts.  I would also integrate information from a massive 20Billion public record database (I'm on the board of this company).  Let me know if you want any other ideas.

 

BRING ME SCALPS!!!!

Traditionally the democrats have been scattershot losers who endlessly bicker amongst themselves while those in the GOP suck it up and follow party line. This is great stuff but for now we need to lose the koolaid and start dumping some trash that hasn't worked.

The fealty to the southern  fried conservatism has got to end. It says enough about how over this the country is that a flagrantly liberal senator from the north is doing better in the south than moderate al gore did.

Think tanks have to stop pretending  its 1980.  Clean out the goons and tell us how to win 2040, not re win 1988.

Bush administration panzies are gone. I'm not interested anymore in  John Bolton's b.s. or what Ari Fleisher has to say or what any of these K street owned quasi lobbyists are peddling for their clients.

All house and senate leadership should submit their resignations and have to come before their conferences to explain why after blowing 2 elections they deserve to stay in leadership.

Diagnose FIRST, prescribe SECOND

Thanks for rather irrational and pointless hyperventilating. I'd say the one thing we DONT need is more fly-off-the-handle quick-and-dirty scalp-hunting and resignation demands.  And that's what this is.

It's DecisionMaking 101 that you diagnose and analyze FIRST and then make corrective action SECOND.  You have jumped willynilly to #2.

You are really not accomplishing anything with this, unless you are a troll trying to disrupt.

The fealty to the southern  fried conservatism has got to end.

BTW, Stupid and insulting comment. This is also counterproductive.

Let's me more precise of whats the trash and whats the baby in the bathwater before pronouncing

Think tanks have to stop pretending  its 1980.  Clean out the goons and tell us how to win 2040, not re win 1988.

The most useful advice is this. One good nugget: Focus on the future.

It's not Counterproductive

Being willing to jettision anti-intellectual dead weight is imparative to survival.  Straightforwardly - Southern Culture deserves to be reprimanded.  For the anti-multiculturalism side we sure are  oddly permissive towards them.  We decided that their way was incompatible with the rest of the nation when we fought a war against them as a rogue nation back in the 1800's - the only reason they've been romanticiszed since then is because of racism.  We don't need to apogize for anti-gay bigots, xenophobes and reactionary religious fundamentals from the vantage point of the RNC.  It's an embarassment that our candidates stumbled on the (admittedly irrelevant) evolution question early in the primaries in service of these cretins.

Damn, what a hypocrite you are!

For somone who claims to be against bigoty and intolerance, you sure enjoy relishing in those very traits when it comes to my region of the country.  If that is all you have to contribute then perhaps you should not post here.  The south is part of your country, quit demonizing it or shut the hell up.

Damning the culture

Or more specifically the toxic aspects of the culture isn't damning the region or its people.  I'm sure you don't find that rhetoric unfamiliar here on the right.

I find the culture of the Northeast and upper Mid West

to be for mar toxic, what with its latent racism (especially among unions), its love of activist out-of-control government and its hypocritical disdain of my region of the country as evidenced by comments like yours.  So I really fail to see your point.

Does the right champion any of those aspects of the North?

No?  Then what's your point?

And the south doesn't champion racism!

So again what is your point?

As a southerner,

Am I getting sick and tired of hearing all this southern-bashing from both the left and the right.  It is asinine, idiotic and not based anything factual other than one's own regional prejudices.  The hypocritical intolerance from the tolerance Nazis really grinds my gears.

Riehl is hilarious

thinking that the netroots arose because we had sugar daddies funding our efforts. But let me tell you, I love it when you guys learn the wrong lessons as you try and figure out how we on the left build our netroots. I can tell you, it wasn't through anyoe else's money. 

But ultimately, it doesn't matter how we built ours. Culturally, the netroots is built around our way of thinking and doing things. You guys do things differently. That's why talk radio has worked well for you guys, and not so well for us.

Agree

There's no doubt that the organic phase - the period in which you and most other notable voices emerged - was genuinely organic, with only trivial, if any, funding.  I think the Right deludes itself when it imagines a conspiracy in the rise of the Left.

However, there's no doubt that funding did come along to facilitate and institutionalize much of the organic energy that arose.  That was, in my opinion, brilliantly done, because it didn't seek to control the energy...it sought to provide resources and outlets for that energy.  It treated the netroots like a market opportunity, instead of a tool to control.

There are many cultural distinctions between the Left and the Right in terms of movement building, but there are also many important concepts that are not unique to one side or the other.  The Right will eventually rebuild the movement - or build a new one - but it's going to take some time in the wilderness and some harsh lessons about the important things that the Right has done and gotten wrong over the years.

The danger for the Left's new movement is that you will suffer the fate of the Right's movement.  And you'll never even notice that it's happening.

It's already happening

Moveon.org once lobbied fiercely against Joe Biden's bankruptcy bill, a sop to MBNA and the credit card industry. Now they love Biden.  Once you join the Establishment, you stop being able to challenge the Establishment

Another Point ... or two

Those with liberal leanings have historically been more activist.  There has always been difficulty to drag conservatives (Repubs and Dems) out and be activist.  They tend to value their work more which makes it harder to convince them to leave and go protest, etc. 

I also think another thing lacking is a definition of the fundamentals of conservatism.  Not necessarily to those who identify with it (although, some still need a refresher) but it would be more valuable to acually allow others to understand our stance.  What would also help is to identify those in the Republican/Libertarian party that don't actually follow the conservative principles, or at least where they fail or could improve.

A couple of years ago (I'm now 26), I took it upon myself to analyse where I stood and what I believe and determined I hold conservative principles, which is different than being a Republican.  Most people live by these values, whether they follow it politticaly or not.  All it took for me was an introspective look at how I live and it showed my alignment.

living conservative principles

A couple of years ago (I'm now 26), I took it upon myself to analyse where I stood and what I believe and determined I hold conservative principles, which is different than being a Republican.  Most people live by these values, whether they follow it politticaly or not.  All it took for me was an introspective look at how I live and it showed my alignment.

This is true. Most Americans have instinctive conservative principles in their lives, and many have conservative leanings but dont "know it". if we awaken more to their own conservative principles, we can help reach out to these persuadable voters who may be conservative but don't know it.

Hell, I knew i had conservative principles in High School

I remeber by sophomore World Civilizations that was taught by a very liberal teacher (who had at least been an Army Intelligence officer at one time).  He actually made the really stupid statement once that with all the taxes that were being collected by the Federal government at that time that the "big gubamint" could guarantee everyone a home, a certain level of income and free healthcare if only the politicians would stop spending the money on themselves (he called Congress "A Millionaire's Club" which is laughable considering that some of our congresscritters are several million dollars in debt and have been for years) and my own insticts told me what an idiotic statement that was at the time.

Hell, I remember how much of an apologist he was of the Carter Administrations disastrous foreign policy misadventures.  One time in particular he was trying to make the argument that giving away control of the Panama Canal was actually a good thing.  His argument consisted that the canal can not allow for pasage of many of the larger naval vessels that have been designed and built since the end of the Second World War.  So I challenged him as to why Carter didn't propose construction of a new canal whose control would be ours and make giving control of the existing canal over to the Panamian government contingent on the completion of this hypothetical new canal.  He looked at me like I had just pissed in his cornflakes that morning and refused to answer my question.

FT, this is what Reagan talked about...

...in his 1977 CPAC speech .  This was, in my opinion the beginning of the Movement Conservatives.   Reagan assembled the Base.   He respected the Base.  It took only a few short years for Pres. Bush, K. Rove & the GOP Hierarchy to almost totally destroy what Reagan put together.  Had not one thing to do w/the war in Iraq.  But when you start dis'ing, ignoring and insulting the Base that's what happens.   Now the President and all his cronies want to whine:  ( link ).  Hey, they had their fun poking their finger in the eye of the Base and then turning, walking and  continuing to do their own thing.  Pres Bush had ample opportunities over the past 6 months to make amends.  But he chose not to.  And look at the resulting damage to "our" GOP.   So we need leaders to bring those w/conservative lifestyles back into the conservative Base again. Sounds easy enough, huh?   DD

Hmm. I don't think so.

The Leftosphere is not effective because they can fundraise and mobilize activists.  They are effective because they can communicate and organize people around a message.

 

No, that's not it. They are effective because (1) their counterparts in the media are receptive to what they say, and (2) the Democratic Party politicians are receptive to what they say.

The blogs on the right have no such constituiency in the media (obviously) or in politics. The GOP politicans are lot more comfortable with the MSM than they are with blogs. John McCain would much prefer to be grilled on CBS, with questions from a left wing perspective, than be grilled by a right wing blogger.

What "The Next Right" has so far failed to deal with, or even comment on, is that the GOP is a party with a conservative base and a liberal leadership. Any road back to power has to entail cutting that knot.  Otherwise you can Twitter and Facebook till the stars burn out and you'll see the exact same results we've been seeing for the last decade.