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Daily Digest: Netroots Gnaws on Itself

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, March 10 2008

The Web on the Candidates

* John Heileman interviews former Edwards strategist Joe Trippi by instant messenger (so says the headline) in New York Magazine, but oddly, neither of them :>) or ;>) during the whole chat. Trippi repeats his now well-noted observation that "the Clinton campaign is the last top-down campaign on our side," but also observes that no matter what the medium used, Obama could be doing better with blue-collar Democrats.

* The netroots left keeps gnawing on itself as the Obama-Clinton contest plays out, with MyDD ur-blogger Jerome Armstrong mocking the enthusiasms of pro-Obama voices like OpenLeft's Chris Bowers, and it's getting more than a little nasty. Over at FireDoglake, which has stayed officially neutral in the nomination fight, frontpager Pachacutec tries to move the discussion to a new plane for all sides, asking: "whoever gets power, what will you hold your winning candidate accountable for once in office, assuming s/he wins? If your winner gets some accountability fire from people who once supported your opponent, will you simply defend your winner, or will you join in for merited criticism?" That's probably the most important question in the long run.

* Zack Exley has been going deep into the emerging phenomenon of evangelical progressivism, and he points to a very interesting discussion among leaders of that movement over whether to get political (by supporting Obama, whose rhetoric and style are most attractive to them) or to avoid the corrupting world of politics (seeing what it did for the evangelical right). This is going to play out for a long time, but the rise of the "emergent church" and its tilt toward the Democrats might well be a significant factor in 2008.

* Larry Lessig isn't running for Congress, but he is launching a new effort to Change Congress. National Review Online's Mark Hemingway has a fascinating interview with the iconoclastic professor here.

* If you ever thought bloggers needed more sunlight and perhaps a trip to the laundromat, this story from the New York Times Style section Sunday will confirm all your prejudices. Apparently, the old DC tradition of group houses for young political types has been upgraded to "blogger flophouses." One of the bloggers profiled, Matthew Yglesias, mocks himself here. For the record, the techPresident team blogs from a chic aerie in SoHo. No flophouses in sight.

The Candidates on the Web

* If you want a glimpse at how Barack Obama's field team made the sausage in Texas, check out this site: It's their "TexasObamaPrecincts" home on Central Desktop, and while there aren't any great secrets to uncover here, it's pretty interesting to see how well Obama is melding online technology to on-the-ground organizing.

* Ron Paul says his campaign will never be over. OK, glad to get that cleared up.

In Case You Missed It

We've made some changes to our charts, including a new Technorati track for the many politicians whose names are bubbling up as potential VP candidates.