progressive blog post-mortem

Ian Welsh on the failure of the progressive blogosphere. A couple of stalwarts who folded their blogging tents in the early Obama years, Matt Stoller and Jerome Armstrong, add their thoughts in the comments.


The reason is simple: we could not elect enough of our people. We could not instill sufficient fear. We could not defeat incumbents. We did not produce juice. Clark and Dean didn’t win the 2004 Presidential nomination. Dean was taken out in a particularly nasty fashion (via the manufactured Dean Scream.)


But, I view the clincher happening a bit later, with Bill Halter’s loss in the 2010 Democratic primary in Arkansas. That is when it really ended. The whole Labor-Netroots coalition, Accountability Now, the blogs went all-in big (still barely united) and MoveOn and PCCC. Over $10 million to defeat a BlueDog that gave us this crappy corporate ACA debacle. But Obama did all he could behind to the scenes to defeat Halter.


After Lieberman won, and I remember that moment very well, it was all downhill. Clinton and Obama realized they didn’t need the netroots, and openly smacked us around with the retroactive immunity policy lie.

Facebook also happened around the tail end of the Bush years, siphoning a lot of audience share from the blogosphere's "sidebar network" of indie publishers. Initially Facebook was seen as a place to organize politically but that became a joke when all the privacy stuff started to come out. Now you can't even run pictures of an anti-GMO protest.