Friday, October 24, 2008

Toward a Rightroots Movement?

While I don't discount a further last-minute tightening in the presidential race, nor even a McCain victory, I'm excited about the GOP rebuilding movement that's already underway among conservative commentators.

Here's this from
The Next Right:

Aaron Shaw at Fringe Thoughts responds to some things Patrick Ruffini and I have written recently.

A few recent posts at The Next Right have confirmed that John Henke and Patrick Ruffini are the only conservative bloggers I know of seriously considering how to build a netroots movement on the right. [...] The irony here is that Henke’s (and Ruffini’s) analysis mirrors the claims made by Markos Moulitsas over the past five years on Daily Kos as well as in his books Taking On the System and Crashing the Gate.

Actually, I don't think it's ironic at all that the analysis of problems on the Right is similar to the arguments made by the Netroots Left. For one thing, the "claims made by Markos Moulitsas" are in many ways intentional recycling of the movement on the Right.

The underlying systemic inputs are very similar. The political/electoral culture and incentives, and the emergence of the internet as an important social and technological phenomenon impacted both the Left and Right at approximately the same time.

The difference in uptake and evolution is predominantly due to the political cycle. Democrats went through the wilderness from 1995 to 2003; they found their way from 2003 to 2008. Republicans entered their wilderness in 2007, though I would argue that the Right has been in the wilderness for longer. How long the Right wanders in the wilderness depends, in large part, on how seriously they take the lessons they can learn from the Left.

I have to say, right away, that the comparison to Daily Kos is not only disgusting, but inaccurate and unproductive as well.

Markos Moulitsas is a diabolical loser. Over the past year, I've chronicled a number Kos posts that constitute some of the most represhensible political commentary on the web.

A quick check, for example, indicates that the annihilationist anti-Semitic post, "
Eulogy before the Inevitability of Self-Destruction: The Decline and Death of Israel," remains available at Daily Kos - and that's just one example. Conservatives will not emulate that level of hatred, I guarantee it.

Not only that,
Kos failed badly in his efforts to elect Ned Lamont to the Senate in 2006, and the record for House races is mixed (or at least it's awfully hard to generalize from a single case of success).

Certainly the online model of campaign fundraising that the netroots left is worthy of emulation, but web-based campaigning has origins that precede Markos Moulitsas' angry hordes.

Beyond that, on the deeper question of whether GOP partisans will organize as well as those on the Democratic-left have over the last few years, just repeat three words before answering: BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA.