Thursday, November 01, 2007

How Powerful is the Netroots?

There's an interesting symmetry right now in the blogosphere, in the cases of Albert Wynn (D-MD) and John Doolittle (R-CA). This is a post yesterday over at FireDogLake:

So I have to ask — if we’re to accept Pelosi and Reid’s assertions to the effect that they can’t get anything done because they don’t have the votes, why is Pelosi sticking her nose into a primary to help get reactionary Al Wynn re-elected?

We’re going to try and raise money for Donna Edwards like we did for Darcy Burner before her...

So it’s up to you. Donna is a fantastic candidate. If you want to mitigate the effect that people like Pelosi and Reid have on keeping Bush Dogs like Al Wynn in office and in power, please consider giving to her campaign.

It’s a nice way to tell Nancy Pelosi to stop abusing her position to give reactionary incumbents an unfair advantage.
This is from a somewhat-dated post from RedState:
Meet Eric Egland. You might know him already. He started to deliver resources to our troops in harm's way. He's been on CNN talking about his book, The Blog of War. He's been interviewed by Michelle Malkin. And most importantly, Eric Egland has fought in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

He's a pro-life conservative in a very Republican, conservative district. In fact, he's running against a Republican and we want you to help us help Eric Egland.

Eric is running against the corrupt, embattled John Doolittle, the national face of Republican scandal. Doolittle had to step down from the House Appropriations Committee because of the pending investigation against him. The FBI has already raided his home. But Doolittle won't retire because if he gets re-elected one more time he can get his full congressional pension.

This is a seat that will stay Republican. But, should Doolittle stay in it, it's a seat that could drag down other Republicans because of Doolittle's scandal. In 2004, Bush won it with over 60% of the vote.

Eric Egland is a stellar candidate, a small government conservative, and our choice for CA-04.
For all the attention to the Democratic Netroots -- the teams at DailyKos, FireDogLake, MyDD, OpenLeft, and elsewhere -- it's not at all clear to me that they have any more influence over the policies of their party in Washington than do the blogs of the Right. As righty bloggers seek to grow our influence inside the beltway, it's important to keep expectations reasonable. It's probably also important that bloggers attempt to continue to grow hand-in-hand with existing conservative institutions -- such as Heritage, Club for Growth, as well as business associations such as NAM, the Chamber, NFIB, and other right-leaning lobbies.

To the extent that conservative blogs can stay on the same page as existing powers in the party, it increases our ability to wield influence effectively.

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