Newsy Notes On Netroots Nation

In case anyone missed me for the past five days, I was attending the Netroots Nation conference in Las Vegas. This was the fifth annual gathering with its largest attendance ever. Both the audience and the roster of speakers and analysts represented the rich diversity of America by any standard. And there was an infectious enthusiasm that permeated the conference.

Somehow that enthusiasm didn’t transfer to certain members of the press. And I’m not talking here about the usual suspects in the rightist media who live to disparage their lefty enemies. I’m talking about the so-called liberal media like:

CBS: Can Liberals Match the GOP’s Enthusiasm?
…the movement that gained its footing opposing the Bush administration and a Republican Congress is now coming to grips with the disappointment many have with the Obama administration and the current Democratic Congress.

And MSNBC: Discouraged, progressives look beyond Obama
President needs to display more leadership, say Netroots activists, but they’ve got a 30-year plan.

Progressives helped elect President Barack Obama, but some of those who gathered in Las Vegas for the annual Netroots Nation convention over the weekend were less than thrilled with his performance so far.

Both of these articles rattled off a list of agenda items that are unfinished or whose results were not entirely satisfactory. The conclusion being that every piece of the progressive agenda has to be completed with 100% compliance to demand or disappointment and disparagement will ensue. Sure, progressives wanted a public option in the health care bill, and they want to see Guantanamo shuttered, but that doesn’t mean they are despondent or have abandoned their fight for more justice and compassion in our public institutions. It just means that, like everything in politics, the fight isn’t over.

What these articles leave out is highlighted in their own sub-headings. CBS makes a note of the disappointment in the Democratic congress, but fails to mention that, while polls show congress with low approval ratings, when broken down by party it is the Republicans who fare significantly worse.

MSNBC’s article notes a desire for more leadership from the President, as if that isn’t a perennial objective for any president and party. And the ominous reference to a having a thirty year plan turns out to be from an off-hand quote attributed to an intern at a DC advocacy group.

What both articles missed was that, contrary to their observations of pessimism, the conference was abuzz with excitement, anticipation, and renewed energy. It was an overwhelmingly positive affair that included uplifting speeches by progressive rock stars (i.e. Ed Schulz, Elizabeth Warren, Van Jones, Alan Grayson, Markos Moulitsas), political leaders (i.e. Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Brian Schweitzer, Al Franken), and innumerable panels that were both enlightening and entertaining (I attended two – count ’em, two – panels on satire and snark!).

If anyone should be depressed it’s the losers at RightOnline, a conservative pack of wannabees who follow Netroots Nation around every year. Erik Telford of Americans for Prosperity told his rapt audience that they outnumbered the Netroots crowd. And consistent with right-wing practice, he lied. The figures he gave for RightOnline were “between 1,000 and 2,000.” So he wasn’t even able to narrow it down to within a 100% margin. He might as well have said it was between 1,000 and 100,000. The actual number of registrants was 1,100. Netroots Nation pulled in nearly twice as many with 2,100. So not only are they liars, but they can’t count.

Fox News covered the conferences in their trademarked “fair and balanced” way by leading off with the success of RightOnline:

“After years of being overshadowed by organized, liberal bloggers dominating the Internet, hundreds of conservative writers descended on Las Vegas this weekend for a conference held in the shadow of their rivals.”

The implication in that introductory paragraph is that the conservatives are being overshadowed no more. Fox noted that RightOnline attracted 1,100 attendees but did not mention the 2,100 who attended Netroots Nation. Furthermore, the Fox column quoted Telford from AFP/RightOnline, but no one from Netroots Nation.

Another article on the Fox News blog underscored the stark differences between the truly grassroots assemblage at Netroots Nation and the AstroTurf crowd at RightOnline. At the conclusion of NN attendees were dispatched to a Day of Service where they volunteered to help ThreeSquare, a local program that supplies meals to the underprivileged in the community. The RO crowd was herded into AFP-provided buses and driven to the Clark County suburbs where they went door-to-door handing out anti-Harry Reid literature and canvassing for Sharron Angle.

I can’t help being grateful that the folks I associate with at Netroots Nation are committed public servants and activists for peace, justice, and the welfare of all Americans, and all people of the world. The alternative is dominated by cranks like Michelle Bachmann and Dick Armey who are committed to selfishness and greed, and are activists for corporations, racists and the entitlement of the privileged.

I would encourage everyone to attend Netroots Nation (next year in Minneapolis). It is inspiring, educational, and fun. That said, I’m glad to be home where the temperature isn’t 108 and slot machines aren’t taunting me at every turn.


3 thoughts on “Newsy Notes On Netroots Nation

  1. You forgot to mention that We(GOP) infiltrated your little fa66ot get together of weirdo computer dweebs the type you see at coffee shops that waste their entire lives technogeeking each others alternate universal ideas from lala land. Mean while back into reality mainstream Right Online were rechecking the polls seeing a 2010 GOP Elections Landslide within grasp in every state going RED from blue. Thank god for Corporate America allowing Us(GOP) to Buy or STEAL another election from a bunch of fa66ot ni66er lovers or ni66er lovin fa66ots with spit flying from our mouth take your pick. REPEAL everything for past 4 years,deport All Illegals, Defund All Federal Funds from any Blue State with santuary cities, prosecute & incarcerate any federal,state or local official that sanctioned, Prosecute any democrat official that allows voting past 7pm deadline & disallow & void any vote past deadline regardless of leftwing sob stories. Bottom line the rosenberg (jewishtraitorsexecuted)
    controlled democrat party with white trash catholics collusion are society outcasts forcing ni66ers back into the ghetto fa66ots back in the closet The Future is Looking Promising…

    • That’s either snark or the best argument for post-birth abortion of rightist bigots I’ve ever seen.

  2. Wow, what a compeling statement. I wasn’t sure who to base my life of hate upon. Now my eyes have been opened. Lets see, hate certain (probably poor) white peole, hate the Mexicans, hate the negroes, hate the Catholics, hate the Jews, hate the homosexuals, hate people standing in line to vote past 7PM, hate disabled people, hate the elderly and infirm. You didn’t mention one armed men. Should I hate them too?

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