What the rise and fall of the Bush-era netroots movement can teach today's resistance

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/01/31/what-the-rise-and-fall-of-the.html

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I think far too often the ground game to control congress gets lots in the narratives that drive national stories.

Right now the focus should to be on the 25+ seats in the U.S. congress. If netroots is a major factor in guiding the win (and possibly even fielding candidates at this point), the party will be forced to listen.

Right now Democrat’s ground game across the country is horrific. That vacuum means infrastructure built now to organize effectively outpaces the DNC’s ability to control the situation. Net roots could potentially replace the DNC in importance, because it theoretically could gain power on the ground in key legislative districts where the balance of power resides.

It also means power is more disperse and movement based, rather than fixated on top down leadership. Just 500 or 1000 people communicating effectively with each other in critical districts over the next two years could make a huge difference. Also, people from safe districts could “adopt a district” and pitch in to help too.

If Hillary won most people would go back to their daily lives and we would have forgotten organizing to take congress (sad but true). But now, with all the protests, there is an opportunity to make congress work for the left.

But that takes leadership. The most vulnerable seats need identified NOW. Data has to be pulled in and registered voters need organized.

There is only 21 months to go before the election.

One concept I was thinking about is to use a forum based site that organizes around specific congressional districts. Here is a demo I was playing with to visualize it.


Yes. This isn’t black magic; Obama won in 2008, and “the netroots” failed to do anything to increase voter participation in midterms above its historically-abyssmal 40% waterline, so control of Congress was pitched back to Republicans. Its not about money, or where it comes from; big money and small money alike have thrown billions of dollars at the problem of low voter turnout, and nobody can quite figure it out, outside of the observation that presidential contests get far, far more coverage than congressional races.

As far as I can tell, the only solutions are radical changes to the structure of government, perhaps something like a parliament where who wins the congress places their president, but that probably won’t fly over here until things get far more bad than they are right now…

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Like the article states, removing Trump will only be temporary if controlling the party is lost.

The tea party essentially organized as white rage against a black president. Now the tables have turned, except the left isn’t loosing victory in symbolic imagery that makes it uncomfortable. It’s loosing institutions to a demagogue.

Now may be the time to get people who are politically inactive to step in and fight. My belief is that there are too many groups out their with various causes without enough structure to channel the energy at a local level. The left values whistleblower groups, journalists, and information sources but has failed to connect it all.

If now isn’t the opportunity to do so I don’t know when is.

The Tea Party never truly terrorized the GOP, it was astroturfed by the GOP.


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