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Must Reads for Political Junkies

Patrick Ruffini and Mark Tapscott have must-reads for political junkies this weekend. Ruffini explains how those complaining that the right does not have an equivalent of the liberal netroots are not looking at how they came to be.

Who is jealous of who here? YearlyKos, and also the Take Back America Conference, were almost certainly borne of the question "Where is our CPAC?" Some of those covering this act as though the idea of a conference with thousands of grassroots activists and Presidential candidates falling all over themselves to speak is totally unheard of on the right. Um, no. The netroots was built on Xeroxing the Goldwater-Reagan Revolution in the Republican Party. Almost always, it was conservatives who were the initial innovators.

When covering the netroots vs. the rightroots, reporters look at things through a particular frame that by definition excludes the vast majority of grassroots activity on the right. For something to be newsworthy in this space, it must be blog-based, it must have emerged in the last five years, and it must be focused on elections over legislative or policy outcomes.

The problem with this angle is that most of the conservative institutions online emerged in the late Clinton Administration or immediately after 9/11. At their peak, they were larger than Daily Kos, and arguably some still are. And they rarely receive any scrutiny because they don't fit the frame. From a macro movement-building perspective, the left catching us to us is being covered as a need for us to catch up with something the left has invented anew.

And despite how unfair that narrative is, there's something to it. The conservative analog to YearlyKos is 30 years old. The 800lb. gorillas of the conservative Web initially went online in the 1995-97 timeframe. And many have failed to innovate. They are still Web 1.0, where the Left jumped directly into Web 2.0 in the Bush years.

Mark Tapscott gives some more perspective about the history of left and right activism:
Let me offer an additional frame of reference for this discussion: The so-called "New Left" of the Sixties Generation were the darlings of the mainstream media back then and have remained a powerful symbol in the conventional wisdom's version of that decade.

But while the New Left was burning down American college campuses and helping condemn Southeast Asia to decades of communist tyranny, those of us in the conservative movement on campus were far more numerous and after we graduated, married and started families, got jobs and put down neighborhood roots, we helped elect a president, Ronald Reagan, who actually changed America for the better, won the Cold War and put most of our issues front and center on the nation's political agenda.

The New Left generation can claim no comparable achievements. None. Nada. Zero.

The difference is the mainstream media is continually pushing its conventional wisdom narrative of the New Left as the central historical fact of the Sixties while ignoring all those legions of YAFers, College Republicans, ISIers and other young Reaganauts.

Read both excellent pieces.


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Comments (19)

"The difference is the main... (Below threshold)

"The difference is the mainstream media is continually pushing its conventional wisdom narrative ...."

... because the media is comprised, mainly, of the aging members of the New Left, or their off-spring. Big surprise.

"None. Nada. Zero."

I'd disagree with that. Stating that they've accomplished nothing ignores all of the damage caused by the New Left.

A slew of cry-babies, the lot of 'em.

Oh, and by the way ..., loo... (Below threshold)

Oh, and by the way ..., look at the pic in the below link; the soldier depicted is one of the murderous, idiotic members of our military the New Left and their ilk keep talking about:


Lorie, conservatives do hav... (Below threshold)

Lorie, conservatives do have some very gifted blog writers like you and DJ Drummond, to offer a strong defense for modern conservative-leaning policies since the Goldwater movement with modern electronic media. Some of the roots of the left in media date back to the early 1900's by comparison and are a far older movement and have some early organizational advantages in a few, but aging media, areas.

Back to bed with me. I'm still recovering from pretty serious motor scooter accident injuries when a wheel bearing failed the other day and threw me over the handlebars and my scooter ran over me at full legal street speed.

Paul:I have to agree... (Below threshold)
ThreePuttinDude Author Profile Page:

I have to agree with your whole post. I would like to add, the neoLibs of today seem to realize they now have competition for the posting of ideas in the blogishpere.

That being said, libs live their political lives, conservatives have more to do that protest at Military funerals, and patriotic festivals and parades.

my 2 cents.

Hooson:Back to... (Below threshold)


Back to bed with me. I'm still recovering from pretty serious motor scooter accident injuries when a wheel bearing failed the other day and threw me over the handlebars and my scooter ran over me at full legal street speed.

So, I guess that means you have two reasons (the first being a seller of cheap assed scooters, the second almost getting killed by one) for not pimping your Chinese made scooters.

The netroots was b... (Below threshold)
The netroots was built on Xeroxing the Goldwater-Reagan Revolution in the Republican Party.

Goldwater invented conferences much like Gore invented the internets

Sorry to hear about the acc... (Below threshold)
Lorie Byrd:

Sorry to hear about the accident, Paul. Get better soon.

Of course, what people like... (Below threshold)

Of course, what people like Patrick Ruffini is that all of the demographic changes in the U.S. favor the Democrats and make the future for the
(i)gions of YAFers, College Republicans, ISIers and other young Reaganauts(/i) very dim.

The right side of politics has failed to realize that they reach the high point in the year 2000 when the middle class, middel age white vote was at its zenith. In the future, as the U.S. become more black and hispanic, the College Republicans and YAGers will become irrelevent. Does anyone think that the College Republicans are relevent in California today. Image when the entire U.S. has the demographics of California.

Actually, Superdestroyer, t... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:

Actually, Superdestroyer, the trend is towards a more conservative populace. And it has to do with Roe v. Wade, believe it or not.

See, lefties are far more likely to abort babies than conservatives are. That leads to fewer kids being raised in lefty homes vs. more being raised in conservative ones.

And those un-aborted conservative kids have started to vote, and more will be voting every election.

I find it nicely ironic that one of the centerpieces of the Dhimmicrat platform might be helping to remove their voter base.

C-C-G, What you ar... (Below threshold)


What you are claiming has been disproved. The analysis confused red state growth in places like Texas with Hispanic population growth. California will probably never vote Republican again in a Presidential election.

Remember, by 2050, the U.S. will be more than 50% black and Hispanic and neither of those groups vote for Republicans.

marc, maybe that's populati... (Below threshold)

marc, maybe that's population control. Be nice to Paul H. He's my pet.

Ooh eeh, ooh ah ah, Tom Tamm, walla walla bing bang.

Yeah, sd, but the Latina di... (Below threshold)

Yeah, sd, but the Latina didn't come here to work on the plantation, and there is no intrinsic reason blacks will remain there.

Kim, blacks vote 90% for De... (Below threshold)

Kim, blacks vote 90% for Democrats and have for over 50 years. Most adult blacks have never voted for a Republican.

The Latina may not want to be on the plantaion but when the Democrats give her free healthcare, they will lock her vote in for decades.

If the Democrats pass another round of campaign finance control and bring back the Fairness doctrine, 2112 may be the last election where the Republican are the least bit relevant.

Superdestroyer, please prov... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:

Superdestroyer, please provide links for your supposed "disproving" of my statement.

Without evidence, your words are irrelevant and immaterial. I can say that I know there are Martians, but no one will believe me without evidence.

I can, of course, provide links for what has been dubbed the "Roe Effect" if needed, but since you chose not to request them to begin with, any request now will appear somewhat like "sour grapes."

C-C-GFrom <a href=... (Below threshold)


From http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/population/001720.html

The nation's Hispanic and Asian populations would triple over the next half century and non-Hispanic whites would represent about one-half of the total population by 2050, according to interim population projections released today by the U.S. Census Bureau

In 2050, even if the Republicans most of the white votes, there still will not be enough to overcome the demographic changes of the U.S.

From http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A1570-2002Mar9?language=printer

Matthew Dowd, director of polling for the Republican National Committee, has worked in Republican and Democratic politics in Texas for many years and predicts that demographic trends eventually will make the Lone Star State a competitive swing state again.


Hispanic voting power eventually will blunt the Republican rise in Texas and bring the Democrats back to parity in a state they dominated for most of the last century, unless GOP candidates can consistently win a larger share of the Hispanic vote than they do now, according to political analysts

Remember it is easy to convince an upper middle class white kid to become a Democrat and it is to get blacks or hispanics to vote Republican.

'than it is to get'<p... (Below threshold)

'than it is to get'

I hope you are wrong, sd, but fear you are right. As I say, there is no intrinsic reason blacks will stay pawns of the Democrats, but you do have history on your side. I suspect the Latina will refuse to be victims. Here's hoping.

SD, please explain why in 2... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:

SD, please explain why in 2004 Dubya got more votes than any President ever before, including Reagan, if the country is sliding leftward?

C-C-G, I see that you know ... (Below threshold)

C-C-G, I see that you know the activist routine of nitpicking the other guy without offering much yourself.

2000 was probably the high point for the Republicans. I believe that bush got about 55% of the white vote. However, Bush only received about 10% of the black vote and set an all time high of getting somewhere between 35 and 40% of the Hispanic vote.

However, as the black and hispanics (and the Asian) populations grow relative to the white population the Democratic Party has and will continue to have a huge demographic advantage.

The Republican had virtually everything working for them and barely got 51% of the vote. As the middle class white become a smaller segment (percentage-wise)of the population, the maximum number of votes that the Republicans can expect to get will slip below 50%.

Karl Rove thought he had a winning formula that empahsized niche marketing and voter turnout. But as 2006 demonstrated, a formula cannot make up for bad candidates, bad issues, and demographic changes.

And, SD, I see you've maste... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:

And, SD, I see you've mastered the lefty art of the ad hominem when you're running out of ammo.

By the way, Sean Trende pretty much debunks your whole theory.

Read it and weep.






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