What happened to Netroots?

Not much diversity here

Enthusiasm, frustration at Netroots Nation

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.

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26 Responses to What happened to Netroots?

  1. myiq2xu says:

    Kathleen Parker:

    Dominoes, anyone? The chips, indeed, are beginning to fall. They fell in Wisconsin, where Democrats failed to unseat Gov. Scott Walker in the recall election. Not incidentally, Obama was MIA in the run-up to the election. Might he have sensed that things would not go well for Democrats and thus decided to step out of the frame? When the going gets tough, the survivors vamoose.

    All of which is to say, Obama has had a bad couple of weeks. Job numbers are still lousy, and the Supreme Court may soon drop a daisy cutter on the president’s signature achievement, the Affordable Care Act.

    But the fact that Obama’s surrogates can’t stick to the script may be the best barometer of his perilous incumbency. In the political jungle, where people tend to be more Darwinian than divine, he is wounded and the pack is beginning to turn. Former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell, who could be a hockey mom if he wore lipstick, recently told CBS’s Charlie Rose that Hillary Clinton would have been a better president.

    Yes, that is blood you smell.

    • cj says:

      Dominoes is right. But is it that cascading thingie you talked about, or are some unseen forces behind the push?

      • Lulu says:

        Preference cascade? This is when everyone figures out that they are not the only one that does not like (or hates or despises) someone even when the popular culture, the mass media, or political elites tell everyone how well liked and personally popular dear leader is. One day they are the most interesting man (or woman) in the world and the next they are Ceaușescu.

    • r u reddy says:

      Before Obama began badgering and insulting the Court’s honor, I would have predicted that the Roberts Court would find the Forced Mandate to be comPLETEly constitutional. I still believe they would like to find it constitutional . . . if they don’t feel so institutionally dishonored by Obama that they have to rule against Forced Mandate
      to redeem their insulted honor. Dishonor, humiliation, and revenge are the great overriders of mere material interest in human affairs.

  2. cj says:

    What happened to the Netroots? They fell in love. Irrational, head-over-heels, orgasmnic, Obama love.

    I almost feel sorry for them, the break-up’s going to be a doozy.

  3. Lulu says:

    They sold their soul to the devil. Now they have to go to hell.

    • r u reddy says:

      Well maybe they just rented their soul to the devil and only have to spend a while in purgatory.

      • leslie says:

        Maybe, but that stay in purgatory should be a loooong stretch. They injured and devalued and disrespected and labeled and most likely libeled so many, many people – good people, honest people, people that until May 31, 2008 . . .

  4. HELENK says:

    I will never understand why they did not understand that may 31,2008 was more then Hillary Clinton, it was telling 18 million voters your vote does not mean shit to the democratic party. If it could take away the vote of 18million, what makes them so special that they think they will not lose rights. They have become useful tools, too blind to see they are being used. But in their blindness they hurt the country.

  5. Lola-at-Large says:

    Great news for GLB community. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/10/opinion/sunday/the-gops-gay-trajectory.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all Women could do this too. Any group could, and it’s always to their benefit, especially if they are a statistical minority, to have more people on your side.

  6. DeniseVB says:

    From the #NN12 thread ….

  7. HELENK says:

    I want this bumper sticker. it is one of the best ones I have seen


  8. HELENK says:


    this article about data mining was very interesting

    data mining goes so far beyond politics

  9. WMCB says:

    The Nutroots are all over twitter whining about “conservative plants” at their convention. All of whom are conservative bloggers and news amalgamators who openly registered under their own names, lied to no one, and are cheerily attending and not being disruptive other than asking difficult questions. You know, the usual definition of some super-secret infiltrating “plant”.

    The whiny Kossacks need to toughen up. Liberals have been covering conservative functions for decades, and the conservatives just put up with it. I was a member at DailyKos, and there were threads and threads and threads about getting our bloggers to CPAC, or a Heritage convention, or whatever, and reporting/taping what was going on.

    Sorry, mewling babies, but just because you have become accustomed over the years to no unfavorable media does not mean you have some kind of right to no unfavorable media.

    Man, the Left gets SO pissy and tantrumy when the other side does the exact same things, and uses the exact same tactics, that they have employed forever.

  10. HELENK says:


    Karma shows up where you least expect her!!!!!!!!!!

    I do love Karma she is such a bitch

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