I was struck on Thursday and Friday of last week by the extent to which activists on the right were deeply engaged on the Cap and Trade bill that narrowly passed the house last Friday.
The thing is, the media has not played this issue up. The same week that the House voted on the bill, President Barack Obama held a prime-time townhall on healthcare. Even the conservative media was mostly engaged primarily with the healthcare debate. Obama and the Democrats played and won the media cycle war.
But the conservative groups, especially Americans for Prosperity, and conservative blogs like Redstate and others kicked in. From both Republicans and Democrats, we heard about enormous call volume coming into the House. This provided a robust whip-like mechanism.
Activists understood that they were the difference between this bill passing and not.
Now the fight moves to the Senate. Already, we see Obama caving on key provisions of the deal that kept protectionist Democrats together. It is hard to see how the Democrats find the votes, especially when they need full support from the Midwest to keep their caucus together.
And next time, it is hard to see how the issue is kept under the radar. The American people will be much, much more deeply engaged.