#dontgo: A Turning Point for the Right

http://images.cafepress.com/product/291442724v2_240x240_Front.jpg#dontgo is officially a movement. MoveOn is mobilizing against the House Republicans and the rightosphere this afternoon. I don't think they've ever done this in response to a grassroots conservative protest. Something has changed. 

There has been nothing worthwhile to speak of in recent years that's emanated solely from the base like this has. It's worth our time to take a step back and understand what made this success possible.

First, while Reps. Mike Pence and Tom Price provided the spark by starting the House floor revolt, it was the rightosphere (and crucially, the Twitterverse) that poured the gasoline.

Elected officials cannot start movements on their own. They need a willing audience to activate. The audience was primed by John Culberson leading the revolt against the ridiculous House franking rules. (On the issue side, it was primed by Newt's "Drill Now" movement.) That solidified Culberson, and by extension minority Republicans, as the troublemakers storming the gates with technology, and Democrats as the lame defenders of an old order. That is the natural role of any political minority, but one House Republicans, accustomed to the majority, have been uncomfortable embracing. Until now.

I was around the blogosphere in 2002 and 2003. There were roughly equal numbers of conservative and liberal bloggers then. But liberals were using the blogosphere for the right things -- changing the political system rather than commenting on it. Because their project seemed more necessary and central to the Democratic coalition, they attraced most of the new growth in the blogosphere from 2003 to 2006.

Today, both Republicans and Democrats use Twitter and various social media tools. (The tech community, which skews heavily left, uses it a lot, but they are not as politically savvy.) But only Culberson was using it the right way. Back when he started, Democratic Rep. @TimRyan seemed to be using it effectively too, but his use has trailed off and he issued a lame defense of Pelosi on franking -- something no one can get excited about. Culberson now has 2,827 followers and Ryan has 521.

Could #dontgo usher in an era of Republican technological dominance in the post-blogging world? Should we cede the blogosphere to the left, and focus on leapfrogging them in the use of tools most necessary to real-time political action? The answer could be yes.

#dontgo is creating a perfect storm where the emergence of a new technology is married to a pressing need to do something. Republicans had the use of the tools down, but had no pressing to-dos in the early 2000s. As Matt Stoller reminded me in a joint radio appearance yesterday, Democrats had impeachment, the recount, and the Iraq War. We had to defend all these things. And online, it's a lot easier to be on offense than on defense.

Republicans are now on offense. They get that confrontation and at some level, theatrics, not Bob Michel-like accommodation, is how you run a minority caucus. It's also how you spawn a movement.

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The difference between Real Grassroots and Erzatz Grassroots.

 Obama's Campaign is grassroots, to be sure, but if you'll look real close, a lot of the enthusiasm is generated by the campaign.

The Meetups and Facebooks are generated to gin up enthusiasm for the Obama Candidacy. Now that the Bogeymen of the Clintons have been disposed of within the Party, how do you keep rank and file Democrats angry at John McCain?

You can't. That's the Obama Campaign's big problem. Their Hitler Figure, George Bush, is leaving town in six months. It's my sense that the Obama Campaign's "enthusiasm" peaked a bit too early. What has stepped into the void? 

Quite by luck and happenstance, a peak in oil prices and the clever timing of T. Boone Pickens has created a grassroots demand among rank and file Americans to exploit domestic oil resources. The $700 Billion dollar figure is something Americans can wrap their heads around and be horrified at and the demand is growing at the grassroots to get going. People connect Oil to the Saudis with Terror and they want it to stop.

The modern Democratic Party, meanwhile, is not the Growth and Labor party of Roosevelt and Truman. It's beholden to trial lawyers and environmentalists. And so, of course they throw down roadblocks to growth. As a "Postmodernist" party, they have begun to resemble European Social Democrats, rather than the muscular labor party of old. So of course they are going to oppose drilling at home-their leadership class doesn't value the notion of lower gas prices to ease the burden of working Americans. The priorities of the Democratic Elite are elsewhere: climate change, litigation, closing Guantanamo. 

This is a perfect moment to turn the tide in this campaign-if only a deeply incompetent McCain Campaign can sieze the moment. 

Turnaround from a new driving issue

The best place to be for a campaign is when you get to define and drive the issues.

This is a turning point for the Right in part because for the first time in many years, we are able to drive the agenda. Republicans and supporting activists are driving "Drill Here, Drill Now". Iraq & Bush's handling of it were the driving issues,  and from 2005 to early this year, it created demoralization on the GOP side and energy on the left as polls supporting Bush on Iraq sagged ... but ...

Their Hitler Figure, George Bush, is leaving town in six months. It's my sense that the Obama Campaign's "enthusiasm" peaked a bit too early. What has stepped into the void?

And before he left town, their Bushitler figure managed to win the war in Iraq and make things so peacable that even a Democrat in the White House cant screw it up enough to end up in helicopters-evacuating-from-rooftops defeat. Bush stood firm, ordered the Surge, it has worked, and Iraq is on the mend; we are winning decisively and Iraq gets more stable every day. Single digit combat losses in Iraq in July mean that there is no 'fiasco' meme like in 2006.

There is instead a 'judgment' meme: Who was right? McCain was right and Obama was wrong about whether the Surge would work; so whose judgement will be better on Iran, China policy, and defeating AQ and the terrorists?

Obama's panicked 'withdraw now' policy of 2007 has morphed into, 'withdraw just slow enough and leave a force there' that is basically the Bush/Patraeus policy with the extraneous stupidity of a rigid timetable, the one thing that any good general will not want (and Genl Patraeus told Obama that directly). Obama has flipflopped but McCain has been steady (leadership deficit). So next year, Obama either stays stupid ... or he completes his flip-flop. (trust deficit).

Recent poll I saw today (Zogby?) showed that Obama has lost a big lead in the young. I think it is in part the exposure of Obama as an empty suit, but also a case of an issue - Iraq - that has dried up as a source of Obama's support.  We won in Iraq, we will bring the troops home, it wont be a driving issue in the election. As Iraq becomes a non-issue, things will gravitate back to culture and pocketbook, with the general war on terror as overall #1 national security concern.

 The best the Democrats can do for us is dig in their heels and not budge from their drill-nothing do-nothing position that 70% of Americans oppose. Moveon.org is playing into our hands. Let them agitate against drilling - that only makes it even more the top campaign issue.  If energy is a top issue in November, it would mean a McCain victory plus a good House and Senate showing for the GOP. 

don't believe a word of it

don't believe a word of it and would, if I had the power, put Blunt's name back on the list.

nationhighschool.com

That is why you don't have

That is why you don't have power. Anyway mostly what ever is written is true so it was nice to read your post.

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#dontgo is creating a perfect

#dontgo is creating a perfect storm where the emergence of a new technology is married to a pressing need to do something.

If there is a pressing need to do something, why is it that House Republican Whip Roy Blunt didn't vote against adjournment on July 30th, when his vote could have stopped the House from adjourning? Shouldn't the party's Whip, who is responsible for making sure Republican's make it to the floor to vote, himself make it to the floor to vote? Especially when there "is a pressing need to do something"

Why isn't anyone holding him accountable for his actions?

easy to find out

From RedState

Updated: Both Jeff and myself (and I confirmed with a phone call) have been notified that Rep Blunt had been attending a lunch hosted by Paul Weyrich; that he had had no more than 15 or 30 minutes' notice; that this is not the first time that this sort of thing has happened; and that he would have voted against adjournment if he had been able to get there. I accept this explanation, and have removed him from the list. - Moe Lane

 

How can you blindly accept such utter nonsense?

Blunt was the minority whip. He is the one responsible for keeping the other members notified and informed on important votes. What, Blunt was surprised that a vote on adjournment was in the works, him being the house whip and all?

Blunt couldn't vote against adjournment because he was at a luncheon hoisted by  -- now get this -- the Heritage Foundation's, Paul Weyrich. Stop me before I choke on the irony of this picture.

We have to pay higher gas prices because our elected Republicans can't be bothered to informed themselves as to their responsibilities, but seem perfectly capable of stuffing their faces at the Heritage Foundation instead. God help us.

Just for the record, I, for one, don't believe a word of it and would, if I had the power, put Blunt's name back on the list.

ex animo

davidfarrar

A hearty ditto to what David

A hearty ditto to what David said.  Considering the beating Mark Udall's been taking on this site for missing that exact same vote, I'd expect a little more concern.

Once upon a time.....

I barrelled down PA Ave in a '76 Monte Carlo with one CT Congressman and two NJ congressmen so they didn't miss roll call votes...red lights be dammed....

Maybe I'm just too "old school" for today's GOP 

nice try my friend...

this whole thing has been a cute gimmick, but I wouldn't call it much more than that...and diminishin returns seem to be setting in.

Might be more newsworthy if GOP leaders like Blunt and Boehner took this thing seriosuly enough to pull themselves off of the recess golf course to come join text mesaging Congressman and summer tourists. Or if perhaps, in a recognition of basic civics lessons, the # crowd actually called on the sitting Republican President to call the Congress back in session.

What they realy ough to be doing is handing 2¢ to every tourist they meet: the ammount of money the "drill now" solution will save drivers per gallon 10 years from now.

 

"Drill Now" may be a useless policy to follow...

...but the fact of the matter is, while the electorate is hurting, Congress decides to take a vacation by a "one-vote" majority. 

And, yes, the price of gas is going down as a result of marketplace forces, not as a result of Congress. So it is to the marketplace we all must eventually turn to find this nation's true energy solution.   This vote was, in fact, yet another example of a Democratically controlled Congress' willingness to walking away from its responsibility to unleash the power of the marketplace to solve our nation's energy crisis.  This is why I find it so utterly reprehensible that the Republican minority whip would be so incompetent as to allow this to happen.

I also have taken the absence of any sort of rebuttle on the part of Blunt, his staff, or surrogates, to address this issue as a tacit acknowledgement to the facts.

ex animo

davidfarrar

 

Blunt was the minority whip.

Blunt was the minority whip. He is the one responsible for keeping the other members notified and informed on important votes. What, Blunt was surprised that a vote on adjournment was in the works, him being the house whip and all?

Blunt couldn't vote against adjournment because he was at a luncheon hoisted by  -- now get this -- the Heritage Foundation's, Paul Weyrich. Stop me before I choke on the irony of this picture.Regards. sogni