Jane Bettinson’s brother listens to conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh. As a result, she says, he believes the White House is in very liberal hands. Her retort: “I would say, ‘No dear, I’m far left; Obama is not.’ “
Bettinson, a retired homemaker from Olympia, Washington, is right at home among the bloggers, activists, union organizers, and political digital mavens at Netroots Nation, the seventh annual gathering of political progressives that grew out of the Daily Kos blog site.
On the heels of defeat in the Wisconsin gubernatorial recall election, enthusiasm for fighting the good fight is mixed with frustration — at both their Republican opponents and the president they helped elect.
“I thought he was more to the left than he is,” Bettinson says of Obama. “Disappointed that he’s not, but I’m going to wholeheartedly support him. Because there is no one else.”
What do you think would be more effective, telling your spouse “I’m never gonna leave you but I want you to change” or “If you don’t change I’m outta here”? Once you announce you can be taken for granted there is no reason for them to change.
What happened to Netroots? The same thing that happened to the Progressive Blogosphere. They were assimilated into the Borg.
Back when blogging first started it was a wild frontier in cyberspace. All you needed to get started was a computer and internet access. You didn’t need a credential to have credibility. I didn’t matter where you went to college, or whether you went at all. Nobody was getting paid to blog. A few blegged for money.
Left Blogistan was united in opposition to George Bush and the Republican party. Everyone hated the wars and the abuse of executive power. Everyone wanted health care reform. The only real division was between the people who wanted to reform the Democratic party and those who wanted to replace it.
But as time went on the blogosphere became less democratic and more Democratic. A lucky few became salaried professionals. The “A” list became an exclusive club, no new members need apply. The “leaders” of Left Blogistan became more concerned with advancing their careers than issue advocacy.
Eventually everyone had to choose between assimilation or relocation. If you are reading this, chances are you chose to emigrate.
The Netroots are still there. These days they are just a subsidiary of DNC Inc.