What It Will Take to Build a Rightroots Movement

Keying off Jon Henke, John Hawkins has sparked an enormously provocative and healthy discussion about punditry vs. activism in the conservative blogosphere. Here he hits the nub of the problem:

Well, I've found that conservatives are willing to pony up the money, but it's extremely difficult to get people in the new media to ask their readers/listeners for money. Why that is, I don't know, but I find that as a general rule, if bloggers and talk radio hosts on the Right have a choice between seeing their favorite candidates lose and asking their readers to donate money, they'd rather see those candidates lose.

I'm unsure whether that's a cultural thing that will change over time or just some characteristic of conservatives, but it makes it extremely difficult to organize any sort of fundraising effort. As a general rule, it's like pulling teeth to get the bloggers who explicitly agree to help to actually ask their readers for money and most of the rest of them bend over backwards not to link a fundraising effort.

Put more succinctly, I've had people tell me conservative bloggers feel "dirty" asking for money. This sense of modesty and restraint is not felt by the likes of Daily Kos, MyDD, and Open Left. Note the huge blue fundraising graphics that are the first thing you see when you visit their sites. And I'm sure you're probably thinking: "Well, we don't want to be like Kos." Well, if not being like Kos means not winning, then I certainly can appreciate the intellectual rectitude at play here. But for those of you who want to move the Republican Party in a different direction, you might want to try something else.

Ace encapsulates the right's reluctance to engage electorally, and what I suspect is going to be the rude awakening that comes as a result of that approach:

I never was all that big into this idea. I think it's now necessary if we're ever going to start winning like we used to.

The GOP needs to do its part, too. It shouldn't be up to John Hawkins to compile a list of House GOP challengers. The GOP needs a permanent online liaison, not just charged with sending out press releases and that sort of thing, but with providing information about candidates -- who's vulnerable, who's a solid challenger, etc.

What will it take to turn this around? If you're a conservative blogger, the question you need to ask yourself is this. Is the main purpose of your blog to express your personal opinion? Or is its primary purpose to build political power for a cause? If you cannot answer yes to the latter, you're probably not going to be comfortable with making the changes necessary to make online conservatism a political force to be reckoned with. 

This is not a criticism, but an observation. Most conservative blogs are still stuck in 2003 -- both in terms of the overwhelming focus on media criticism and punditry, and the tendency to outsource electoral politics to the Republican Party. This was in some ways legitimate response to what was happening in 2003-4, when media surrender-monkeys were undermining the War on Terror, Republicans had a kick-butt political operation, and Kos was going 0 for 16.

I don't fault bloggers for holding on to this point of view in 2003 and 2004. What is unfortunate is that they clinged to it in 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008 and failed to pivot to the new reality, leaving the Republican Party without a powerful enough force to rein in the self-destructive tendencies of its elite.

Sadly, it's human nature to cling to the frame in which you came up -- traditional media people will never fully reconcile themselves to the blogosphere, talk radio people will always tend to view it as the center of the universe, and even denizens of the "new media" can become easily set in their ways. This is not unlike people who got rich on the housing bubble thinking it could never end. When things first start going wrong, it's always just a momentary blip, not a sign of an impending crash. Only a catastrophic collapse is usually enough to make people rethink matters.

Building critical mass behind an independent online movement on the right will probably require new people. The old blogs that have been with us since 2003 will not go away. But they'll need to be joined by people who care more about Indiana's 8th district than Islamofascism, and MN-SEN more than the MSM.

Building this infrastructure is largely human resources issue. The three founders of this blog all have permanent day jobs, and this time of year, more like the equivalent of 2 or 3. For my part, I wouldn't have it any other way, because part of that job is putting into practice some of the ideas I discuss on the blog. But stealing time for a post can be hard, and I'm cognizant of the fact that more good posts always equals more traffic.

Almost without exception, conservative bloggers are hobbyists, and those that aren't are usually employed by old line conservative media. A lack of politically sophisticated full-time bloggers, as well as dependence on existing center-right institutions, is holding the rightroots back from becoming a full-fledged counterpart to the netroots -- one that is not beholden to the Republican Party or the offline conservative movement.

Hawkins suggests trying something different:

On the other hand, you could have one conservative donor with deep pockets who could hand out, let's say, twenty $25,000 grants, for two years in a row, and they could double the size the blogosphere.

How?

Well, there are a number of bloggers who could go full time if they could add $25,000 a year to the money they're making off of advertising. There are other bloggers who could use that money to advertise their blogs. Some other people could use the money to recruit talent and do reporting. Given that the traffic in the blogosphere tends to be heavily concentrated in the top blogs, of which there are a relatively small number, you could see the size of those blogs dramatically increase with these grants.

There is merit to this idea. Unlike the right, virtually every influential left-wing blogger blogs full time. Between Kos, who can easily self-sustain on advertising and drop tons on polling, TPM (which uses with a self-sustaining ad model), Media Matters, and the Center for American Progress, you'd be hard-pressed to find a good lefty blogger who is not making a living at this. I can probably guarantee you that Nate Silver, the exception that proves the rule, will probably not need to be doing sabermetrics for much longer, though that sounds kind of fun, so who knows... 

But here's the caveat to Hawkins's idea: the money would need to go to bloggers committed to making a difference in the political process, not someone who is going to provide the 256th (and wittiest!) insta-reaction to Sarah Palin's wardrobe on Memeorandum. These people would have to be willing to find races, travel to them, and self-consciously think of themselves as full-time political activists who happen to blog, not mere bloggers.

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The real problem

One of the problems, with getting the GOP to engage in this, is that there's still a huge gap between the ecampaign people and the regular campaign people among Republican political operatives.

With a few notable exceptions, there aren't many ecampaign specialists who also have real on-the-ground campaign experience, and there are almost no top level or even mid level republican campaign consultants and operatives who really understand the blogosphere and how to integrate an Internet operation into a campaign or party apparatus.

Thus, the mentality on most campaigns or party orgs, is to hire an ecampaign guy and have him set up shop in a corner and go to work, rather then integrating the ecampaign into everything that you do.

When Ace says that it shouldn't be up to Hawkins to compile a list of GOP challengers, he's right.  But the problem isn't that there is no online liason.  The problem is that there's an "online liason" instead of a communications director or a political director who knows how to engage on the web.

The other real problem...

...is that people won't donate to a party with an uncertain message and future.  As the Palin pick has pointed out, there is a rift forming (or being fully revealed)...and what will the party look like and what will the message be after that is sorted out. 

I'm not sure that the christianist-republican party has all that much in common with the core conservative movement.  Until that is sorted out (heck, check out Patrick's "Stop the Circular Firing Squad" post for more), I think this is going to be hard to organize.

Of course, McCain may win and gloss over the rift for a while...or McCain may lose and it will be interesting to see what happens.

-Pain

 

 

What a sense of humor.

I'm not sure that the christianist-republican party has all that much in common with the core conservative movement.

Yeah, we should have booted that Bill Buckley guy out decades ago, as soon as he wrote that christianist tome "God And Man At Yale".

 

Go peddle your ignorant bigotry someplace else.

 

I can't wait until herr Obama

I can't wait until herr Obama chooses judges with the "heart, the empathy to know what it's like to be a teenage mom...etc etc [insert favorite minority group]..."

...thereby undermining the rule of law and equal protection, those pesky little things that are ACTUALLY in the Constitution, not just put there by social engineers.

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RE:

As a general rule, it's like pulling teeth to get the bloggers who explicitly agree to help to actually ask their readers for money and most of the rest of them bend over backwards not to link a fundraising effort. free online diploma | accredited diploma

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Re:

A lack of politically sophisticated full-time bloggers, as well as dependence on existing center-right institutions, is holding the rightroots back from becoming a full-fledged counterpart to the netroots. Master Degree | Accounting degree program

RE:

What would you define as politically sophisticated?

 

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Oh my god, you're doing a

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Nice

Nice analysis of the situation, Patrick. I'm thinking that the conservative movement may have greater success in the online forum through subdivision. The most enthusiastic members of the Republican Party usually are tied to one set of issues - fiscal conservatives, social conservatives, defense, immigration, etc.

 

Rather than casting a wide net, what if sites and donation systems were created to connect donors to candidates based on their key issues?

I agree -- the rednet should be divided

The rednetshould be made up of little subgroups
that may be dedicated to specific issues, with each, in

turn, networked to larger groups within the rednet

depending on the majority of the subgroup. In addition,

each subgroup should be automatically networked to the

party structure, starting at the street level, to the

neighborhood, to the precinct, to the city, to the district, to

the county party, to the state party, to the regional

district party structure, to the national party structure.

This party networking structure would be required for

anyone wishing to use the Party's rednet 
webware to connect to any other rednet within
the system.

The whole point of the structure is to induce online

participation. If such participation is positive, the

rednet will grow. With rednet growth, the
party will grow and so will party
contributions.

ex animo

davidfarrar

 

ps: of course my little exercise with the rednetis silly, but often times in an initial phase of a market campaign,a silly brand can be useful. In any case, I am sure Sarah Palin would appreciate the effort.

 

 

How come

you guys always pretend that Stephanie Herseth and Ben Chandler never existed?

*crickets*

*crickets*

I don't know what the hell by that comment

But I live in Chandler's district (have never voted for the guy and never will).  As I pointed out in another post comment, he is a so-called "blue dog" Democrat.  In other words socially cosnervative but fiscally liberal.  If the Democrats win big I will enjoy watching this putz (whose grandfather was one of the biggest racists in the history of Kentucky and it always fun watching him talk about granddaddy's legacy while simultaneously distancing himself from that) continue to march lockstep in the party while its cotinue leadership continues to move hard left.  He has broke ranks on the bailout, so I know this going to get interesting.

Read the post

Ruffini said kos went "0 for 16" back in 93-94. Both of those Democrats were elected back then.

Getting the facts wrong tends to undermine an argument.

"Getting the facts wrong"

 

Ruffini said kos went "0 for 16" back in 93-94.

 

No, he actually said this;

This was in some ways legitimate response to what was happening in 2003-4, when media surrender-monkeys were undermining the War on Terror, Republicans had a kick-butt political operation, and Kos was going 0 for 16.

Getting the facts wrong tends to undermine an argument.

Okay, so is "0 for 16" factually accurate?

I thought kos's point was that 2 won.

Herseth/Chandler

Kos had very little to do with two scions of political dynasties winning in those states.  Herseth had nearly won her state in the Republican mini-wave of 2002; Chandler was fresh off a (big loss) in the 2003 gubernatorial election (and it's not like a conservative Dem win in KY was unprecedented -- witness Ken Lucas in heavily Republican KY-04).

Chandler is no conservative!

He is at best a populist.  If you take away his professed pro-life, pro-2nd amendment, and anti-gay marriage views he is very liberal on a lot of issues.  Just look at his rating from the left-wing Americans for Democratic Action, they are nearly identical to 3rd district congressman John Yarmuth who is an unrepetant liberal.

Chandler's

Lifetime ACU is 31.  Yarmuth's is 0.  He's not as conservative as Herseth (lifetime ACU 43.7), but that's still pretty conservative (and saying "take away his pro-life, pro-2nd amendment, and anti-gay marriage views" (and support for funding the Iraq War and the FISA amendments) and he's a liberal is like saying that if you take away Linc Chafee's support for a gun ban, extreme pro-choice views, and support of gay marriage, he's pretty consevative).

I am not calling him a liberal.

I'm calling him a populist based on his socially conserative and fiscally liberal positions.

Why Isn't There a Rightroots Movement?

P.J. O'Rourke may have had the answer to why the right doesn't seem to engage in the same way the left does. The appropriate reference is in the acknowledgmets to "Parliament of Whores", published in 1991:

"How come," I asked Andy, "whenever something upsets the Left, you see immediate marches and parades and rallies with signs already printed and rhyming slogans already composed, whereas whenever something upsets the Right, you see two members of the Young Americans for Freedom waving a six-inch flag?"

"We have jobs," said Andy.

 

Exactly

I'm not going to take the day off from work to vote or get people to the polls because in this economy, my job is more important to me than my political activism because there are other people depending on my income besides me. 

On the other hand, if I could make the same money politically activating as I do at my job and get the same travel reimbursement I would if I traveled at work, well....now we're talkin' turkey. 

We need fairy godmothers and godfathers who are willing to fund a Republican revolution.  In addition to having individuals running around the country drumming up business for Republican votes, I imagine it would be really helpful to have a central command which would instantly deploy the closest blogger to a noteworthy event.  With today's social media technology, there's really no excuse not to be able to instantly deploy a person or group of people in the same way that we saw with #dontgo.  And that reminds me of how powerful it would be to have an army of techies who can put up an incredibly professional activist-themed website in one day flat like Eric Odom does without even breaking a sweat.  Then there should be a group of attractive and articulate bloggers of all ages who can represent issues on vlogs or Fox and other news channels - most recently I'm reminded of the bloggers on Palestra who broke the Ohio voter fraud story about the New York state Obama campaigners who illegally voted in Ohio after setting up a temporary residence. 

I heard a few minutes of Dennis Miller's show today featuring Ted Nugent as his guest, and Nuge said that regardless of who wins this election, there's going to be a huge opportunity for everyone to become an activist on the Right.  It's great to see Ace gettiing behind this concept also. 

Over the years I've collected a very extensive library of radical Left resources including history, strategy and tactics.  My goal is to report on traditional methods of how they've managed to achieve total academic and journalistic hegemony in the past 2 generations in America.   I think the tactics are important to understand generically, and then I'll leave it to the Web 2.0 experts to translate them into new technology.  That's exactly what the Obama campaign has done - take the same "in your face" tactics taught by Saul Alinsky and deploy them with modern tools like cell phones, websites, social media and email. 

There's not nearly as much movement-based information documented about the Right, but there are books like Suburban Warriors: The Origins of the New American Right, by Lisa McGirr.  According to a reviewer:

She [McGirr] focuses meaningfully on the activities within a specific congressional district, in Orange County California, where, she argues quite persuasively, the seeds of the neo-conservative revival were most fruitfully planted and sown. Within this district, literally thousands of affluent and educated suburban "warriors" combined to launch a powerful movement destined less than a decade later to propel Ronald Reagan into the White House. In the process they also helped to chisel a new agenda into the granite pillars of the American pantheon, one that helped to define the very nature of domestic political battles for decades to come.

Obviously times and certain agendas have changed and "affluent and educated suburban warriors" now include blue collar and military conservatives.  Actually, when I heard that Ohio is allowing homeless people to use park benches as their voting addresses, I thought it might be a really good idea for local Republicans to campaign for their votes in case they ever wanted to go back to work and have a place to live that they could afford again. 

I sense there is little entrepreneurial anger on the right

I sense there is little entrepreneurial anger on the right. There's a lot of anger about RINOs and about folks failing to live up to their conservative principles. But there seems to be little energy to actually jump in the game and make them pay. People just seem willing to wait for the next white knight to come along.

Even this cycle, wouldn't it have been possible to identify a couple of races where we could have won a house seat against this tidal wave? Or at least have been ready to jump into the Murtha race when things got shaken up there?

Are we demoralized or are we simply not empowered to do it ourselves?

The Problem Is....

The problem this year was that liberals picked "our" candidate;  there were too many wishy-washy conservatives, and the media was promoting McCain wildly.  So McCain won the nomination claiming falsely to be able to attract "moderates", who turned out to prefer a REAL liberal to McCain's faux-version. The conservatives rallied around other candidates like Thompson, Huckabee, Giuliani and Romney - and split our votes so badly that we were left out.

So we have the worst of all possible Republican candidates, combined with a national "news" media acting like Obama's cheering section.  Why are we surprised?

Add in, if you need to, the spendthrift Republican congress from 2000 to 2006, and a president who couldn't FIND his veto pen for six years, followed up with McCain's refusal until very recently to say anything remotely unpleasant about B. Hussain Obama.  And Mark Foley.  And Larry Craig.  And Don Young, and Ted Stevens, all of whom make most people queasy just hearing their names, and (with the incessant media bias blasting Foley, but not his Democrat sex-harrassing successor, and a thousand other similar examples) and you shouldn't be surprised that we're losing.  And we ought to!

Bring back Newt Gingrich and write another "Contract with America".  FOLLOW IT. The GOP started its nosedive the moment they lost the focus of the Contract, and it showed. We don't need money; we need for the GOP to STAND FOR SOMETHING. 

Because right now, the GOP stands for "Obama-Lite".

Ready to Go!

Flap is ready.

Let's put it together.

Part of this is education.

The core of 'Republicanism' is fairly concise on most issues. Less taxes on all fronts, strong military/intelligence services, an opposition to 'preferential treatment' for any class of people. 

But there's a large chunk of nominal Republicans that aren't skilled at either expressing or presenting their view on a specific issue.  We have to acknowledge just how much 'social justice' and 'America isn't all that special' has seeped into normal education.

 

Take taxes. We have Heritage, who does a good job analyzing things. But they aren't focused on education really. Intellectual reference, perhaps. But there's a whole lot of people that are smart enough for basic microeconomics, the circle of taxation, and the core of the actual reason for the Laffer Curve, etc. If you look around, we see bloggers that -know- these things. But it isn't always communicated efficiently. Two sets really, one aimed at high school graduates who were just never exposed to this, and a second set aimed at college types.

 

The whole 'education' effort doesn't need to directly be 'Republican.' You aren't going to convince someone of the benefits of any shift away from socialistic policies by starting off "Bush says..." or "Republicans say..." The goal isn't argument from authority, the goal is a persuasive concise statement and evaluation of the options. Preferably with references and everything for further study.

The Left has completely hijacked education and journalism

Over the past 2 generations.  Fighting that trend is going to be a very tough slog.  Have you guys actually ever read a textbook by Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky, Samantha Power, William Blum, et al?  It's a real eye-opener, let me tell you.  Education is a very high priority - first we need to find out what they've been using to indoctrinate our kids, and then we have to inspire young conservatives to go into the fields of education and journalism as well as economics, law, high-tech, engineering and blue collar work. 

Maybe we need more conservative universities that are more secular but are firmly founded in conservative values and the type of history written by Paul Johnson instead of Howard Zinn - or at least represent both sides.  It's going to take 20 years to reverse this trend, if it can even be done within that time frame. 

When the sixties were over, I thought "oh thank God that ugly era's finally over" and didn't give it a second thought again until all the Marxist code phrases from those days ("social justice" is a prime example) started popping back up into the national conversation in just the past six months.  I had no idea that the old SDS radicals and their fellows have been patiently plodding along, biding their time, obtaining their tenure in the universities, building their media careers, and generally influencing 2 generations to the point that half the nation is now willing to abrogate personal responsibility, freedom and center/right values in favor of statism. 

When we've got Barney Frank, one of the major perpetrators of the economic meltdown, claiming he's one of the heroic Democrats engaged in repairing the damage that Republicans have done for the past 8 years, this is when we know that the world has truly turned upside down and lies are being sold like candy to children.  The children will buy anything that looks tasty and is wrapped in something shiny.  We've got to offer them something wholesome, with crunchy conservative goodness. 

you could grow your movement a tiny bit

with a blog roll and more links and crosspostings. Providing access to good alternative blogs might even help to shake off nonconservatives who litter your threads with trollish comments.    I had a easy time finding dozens of good progressive blogs this way, but am having much more difficulty in my search for conservative blogs I like (probably mostly due to my bias)  I thought linked Hawkins blog is definitely worth a return visit and believe I saw a blog roll there to branch out further.

The reason that liberals picked the GOP candidate . . .

. . . is that the GOP doesn't have effective leadership. I don't see Bush's tenure in the Oval Office as having been that bad, but he was absolutely vacant from the task of leading and defending the party. If the best the GOP can muster for a President is incapable of leading the party while serving as President, the party leadership role can't be left unfilled.

I can't say that the DNC has done much better with leadership, but at least they got their 2008 campaign underway on or about 12/1/04, rather than waiting till 9/1/07.

The other place where the Right loses out is by obsessing with "purity" tests on issues, many of those issues being unsolvable wedge issues, whipped up by the lefty media to factionalize the Right. And the Right seems to fall for it each and every time.

With that said, to get back to the RightRoots Movement, if the core aligns on the real issues: protecting capitalism, a strong national defense, limited goverment, lower taxes, that sort of momentum can take the splinters and make them into a movement. If the factional issues like abortion, immigration and marriage/partnership rights must be addressed, address them as special-interest sub-groups, don't try to shove absolute purity on all issues on the entire movement, or it's right back to the current situation that doesn't work.

As for up and coming net experts on the Right, check out the David All Group.

 

 

It will hapen naturally

Two strains of conservatism (among others) have been allied in the Repulican party, but they have very different requirements in terms of massing a movement.  The liberatarian strain is almost impossible to organize as anything other than an opposition force.  "Spend your life in government because you hate government" is a bad recruiting slogan.  You need a Soviet Union or a statist Democratic party hegemon (will we have both?) to rally this type of opposition. 

There is also a movement that is currently seeking to use the power of the state to restore "traditional values."   The "more Catholic than the Pope" authors at the National Review and Mike Huckabee's supporters are two of the powerful forces in this direction with in the conservative movement. 

For those of you too young to remember, these forces were allies thrity years ago because their enimies were so strong.  A lot of people who liked the idea of state power when the Republicans controlled everything will become libertarians if Obama, Pelosi, and Reed have power for eight years. 

This is the key problem with building a base out of a coalition of libertarians and traditional autoritarians.  The coalition only works in oposition.  It dies whenever we win.

 

A tired cliche

Every pretend political expert likes to talk about the alleged tension between the "religious right" on one side and the "libertarians" on the other.

In real life those two factions don't  exist. The politicians most dedicated to fiscal conservatism are usually the same ones most dedicated to social conservatism, and vice versa. The voters most dedicated to fiscal conservatism are usually the same ones most dedicated to social conservatism, and vice versa.

Rick Santorum was far more socially and fiscally conservative than Arlen Specter. Jim DeMint is vastly more socially and fiscally conservative than Ms Lindsey.

The real problem with this bogus "libertarian vs religious right" claptrap is that it diverts peoples attention from the faction which is in reality running the show, and screwing both libertarians and conservatives. That would be the business wing of the party.

But so many libertarians have drunk the Randian Kool-Aid that they can no longer see business as the enemy, even as it destroys them.

 

 

You guys don't get it!!!

 

For the most part the bases on the left and the right don't pick the president in a country that is pretty evenly divided between democrats and republicans.  It's the rational 20% in the middle that can separate the BS from the real thing and pick the person they think is best for the country.  The people in the middle are the king makers.  They are not hard core idealogs that are so wrapped up in their party that they can't do anything except follow the party line like lemmings.  This country gravitates to a rational central position, for the right wing nuts that think they need to get back to the core beliefs and put some neo-con up for election and get in is pure fantasy.  The harder you run to the right the more insignificant your candidate becomes. I’m not sure who will win the election, it will probably be close, but one thing I am sure of, the republicans do not deserve to win after the last eight years—and we all know that is true down in our guts!!!!   
 

 

As you usual you don't "get it"

Obama wasn't picked by a majority of Democrat voters ( he didn't even have enough of the delelgates to legitmately claim the nomination), it was the party elites who decided for Obama (the unqualified, unaccomplished and inexeprienced affirmative action, empty-suit candidate with very questionable associations) because they wanted to "rid themselves" of the Clinton legacy once and for all.  They did it with the so-called superdelegates.

Just like, McCain, as previous commenters have written, was not picked by the GOP base but by the media, and Democrat and Independent crossover voters in open primaries with the help of fractured base.

Niether candidate represent a majority of its party's supporters and neither really chose them.  Obama is more hard left (pretending now to be centrist in order to win) and McCain is more center left than center right.  He is now trying to appear more conservative (and why the Palin pick was the absolute right thing to do to help accomplish that).

By the way you can say what you want about the last eight years  all you want but looking at this incompetent, nutroots-owned Congress of the last two years, the Democrats do not deserve to win anything.  And since they are going to be re-elected, America will certainly be more than punished for any supposed sins of the Bush years, real or imagined.

1/2 right

you are kind of right about the delegates, but that system has been in place for years (as usual, gov't can't adapt to new scenarios) and this year, you have to admit, was extremely unique, so yes, superdelegates played an important role.

but come on, the "media" did not pick these candidates. maybe 10 years ago, but with the internet, the "media" as this major institution just isn't as strong as it used to be. the media actually "picked" hillary and giuliani, remember? mccain's campaign was "dead" over the summer, fred thompson was leading in the polls....and what happened? people voted. And we are where we are because of that. Every state has different rules, regarding letting independents/dems vote in the primaries, but mccain was selected by the voters. you can argue that voters were split between romney/giuliani, etc. and maybe that is why mccain won, but saying the media picked him ignores all the other factors in the race, and hurts the discussion going forward.

BBs big brain!!!

BB, use that big brain for something besides a paper wieght.  I didn't say the bases did not pick the candidates, I said the middle picks the president.  Do I need to write bigger or slower for you!!!!

GTS quit acting like your smarter than you actually are!

You basically said that the majority of each party's voters picked the candidates (which is what we both know yo meant when you speak of this so-called "middle" ) and they really didn't for the reasons I laid out in my post.  They we're picked by the media and party elites with their rules.

You can write however you like but you are still a pompous egotist, who as the old cliche goes "is all hat and no cattle".

Getting It

For the most part the bases on the left and the right don't pick the president in a country that is pretty evenly divided between democrats and republicans.  It's the rational 20% in the middle that can separate the BS from the real thing and pick the person they think is best for the country.  The people in the middle are the king makers.

While that sounds great, that's not the problem.  The problem is the guy that lives down the street from me.  In his yard are two signs - Frank Wolf for Congress and Barack Obama for President.

Frank Wolf has a lifetime ACU rating of 80.3.  Barack has a lifetime rating of 7.7.  In what universe does it make sense to the "guy in the middle" to unite those two on one yard?

The "middle" has been sold a bill of goods by a guy who claims to be a centrist, but is further to the left than a bicyclist on the autobahn.

As other commenters have noted, however, our side has picked John McCain - a guy willing to sell out his own party on more than a few occasions.  A guy who is great at dragging our guys left, but not so good and dragging their guys right.

The "centrist" choice, would be John McCain.  If this is all about the 20% in the middle, he'd be their guy.

Your problem

You say: 

Almost without exception, conservative bloggers are hobbyists, and those that aren't are usually employed by old line conservative media. ... Unlike the right, virtually every influential left-wing blogger blogs full time.

 Influence and hits are two different things. Yeah, kos and atrios and openleft are go-to blogs. But "influential" lefties encompass a large number of non-professional bloggers with low hit counts that still affect what people are thinking. You guys probably just don't read them, so you don't know they exist. (Also, the "liberals can blog because they're unemployed" thing is both stupid and insulting, mainly stupid.)

I don't think finding some fatcat to pay you to blog is the solution. The only reason someone should write is because they have to. The problem is that your audience just doesn't come to blogs with the same energy and motivation that liberals do. Conservatives seem interested in reading things that confirm their world view, tell them they're right, and that's it. Liberal blog readers are looking for ideas on what to do. We don't approach conversations - which all blogging is, after all - with a strong desire to be right, but to become smarter and more effective. For example, if I didn't read blogs (and write one), I doubt I would have become a precinct leader for MoveOn 4 years ago. And I almost certainly wouldn't have become as deeply involved as a volunteer with Obama.

The "rightroots" problem is not lack of bloggers; it's lack of a "rightroots".

Snicker

Liberal blog readers are looking for ideas on what to do. We don't approach conversations - which all blogging is, after all - with a strong desire to be right, but to become smarter and more effective. For example, if I didn't read blogs (and write one), I doubt I would have become a precinct leader for MoveOn 4 years ago. And I almost certainly wouldn't have become as deeply involved as a volunteer with Obama.

 

Sure, your postings here just overflow with your intense desire to learn and become smarter.  People like you are the typical Nazi Party "precinct leader".

 

I thought Obama was a Marxist

Nazi Party? Mine isn't the party putting citizens in jail without charge and running a torture operation.

Anyway, you all have wrecked your party and brought harm to the nation in the process. Doubling down on stupid is not going to help anybody. Maybe you can come up with something constructive that would appeal to the center? I would really like to see the Republican party reconstitute itself as the party of reason, for the good of the country.

Neither is mine.

Mine isn't the party putting citizens in jail without charge and running a torture operation.

In fact, no such party exists in America today. You'd think that a member of the so-called "reality based community" would have at least a toe-hold in reality.

The difference between the Nazi's and the Marxists was one of semantics. The real word application of their doctrines was essentially identical.

 

 

 

Ahistorical much?

Let me check: Which party do George Bush and Dick Cheney belong to again? Oh yeah, the GOP. Which supported putting American citizens in prison without charge and torturing prisoners. I don't remember the rank-and-file Republicans leading the charge to remove the torturer-in-chief from office.

The difference between the Nazi's and the Marxists was one of semantics. The real word application of their doctrines was essentially identical.

Oh, good Lord. They both were deeply immoral in their actions, but the difference between a nationalist/racist ideology founded on hysterical romanticism and an international, class-based ideology founded on a ludicrous scientific determinism is not one of "semantics." You might as well argue that the U.S. is worse than China because we put more people in prison.

And calling center left people like me Nazi Marxists is one reason your party is going to get trounced in about five days, and why Patrick is looking for ideas on a "new Right", so ... maybe you should stop?

You're confused.

You might as well argue that the U.S. is worse than China because we put more people in prison.

No, I might not. That would be your line.

an international, class-based ideology founded on a ludicrous scientific determinism ...

.. which in reality engaged in racial pogroms much like those of the Nazis. Funny how that works.

 

the GOP. Which supported putting American citizens in prison without charge and torturing prisoners.

Your repeating your infantile views does not make them respectable. The GOP does not and did not "support putting American citizens in prison without charge" and "torturing" them.

You are confusing us with the party of FDR, which imprisoned vast numbers of American citizens for the crime of having Japanese ancestry.

 

And calling center left people like me Nazi Marxists

You are a totalitarian thug. The Nazis were elected into power, and the Communists were quite popular in Russia for a long time.

Thanks

You are a totalitarian thug.

Right. Oooookay. What a great conversation this has been. Enjoy losing.

If you're curious what an intelligent, principled conservative looks like, check here.

You're welcome.

I've enjoyed watching a self-described  "precinct leader for MoveOn" pretend to be some sort of moderate centerist who'd be a Republican if not for the GOP's fictious love affair with torture.

Your command of the facts is as wobbly as your ability to reason. You are here to spread lies, nothing else.

 

Really, now?

Non-US citizens who are enemy combatants against are troops (who belong to terrorist organizations and are not operating under any national flag so that they would technically not have the benefit of the Geneva Conventions) are now Americans?

Allegations of flushing pages of the Koran down the toilet and making inmates wear panties on their head is "torture".  I guess fraternity hazing rituals now qualify as a human rights abuse.  And this is supposed to be as bad as when these groups kidnap and decapitate individuals who have nothing to do with their supposed greivances?   Man, I swear I will never be able to play moral equivalency games, admitedly I just don't "get it" I guess.

Did you read the link?

Jose Padilla is a U.S. citizen who was arrested in the United States and held without charge in a navy brig for months. The Bush administration said that it had the power to determine who did and who did not deserve constitutional rights by applying the label "enemy combatant" in its own discretion. And the Republican Party called people traitors for opposing them.

More dishonesty.

Jose Pasilla, aka  Abdullah al-Muhajir, aka Muhajir Abdullah, is a convicted terrorist.

But it's hardly surprising that a "precinct leader for MoveOn" would not be interested in that minor detail.

 

I actually feel sorry for you all

You didn't know Jose Padilla's name until you googled it, then you missed the point that he was held without charge for many months, until liberals - who believe in the rule of law - forced the government to either charge him or release him. Also, you think MoveOn is a radical group, when it's main positions over the years have been (a) the impeachment of Clinton was ridiculous, (b) the invasion of Iraq should never have happened, and (c) Bush and Cheney should be held accountable for trashing our Constitution. All of which are strongly supported by the public.

You go ahead and have the last word.

HaHa, MoveOn is not a radical group.

Yeah, and I have some beachfront property in Montana I would like to interest you in.  You guys aren't in the rule of law (you support the ACORN voter fraud for instance).

As for your (a), you honestly thin perjury is not an impeachable offense? As for your (b), all I can say is it is damn good thing people like you weren't around in 1941 or we would be speaking German, saluting Nazi flags and a lot of people would have been put to death in the genocidal pogroms that followed. And as for (c), give me a break you people don't care constituion says, that is why you favor the living document intrepretation rather than its actual intrepretation.  In others words you claim it is a "living document" and prove it by killing it with your tortured logic.