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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Greetings From Austin

I’m in Austin today attending the annual Netroots Nation gathering (formerly known as YearlyKos), along with roughly two thousand bloggers, activists, wonks, politicians and reporters. This is the third of these events; the first, in Las Vegas, was a bit of a netroots “family reunion;” the second, in Chicago, featured a presidential candidates’ forum. The Austin conference doesn’t quite have the obvious central focus of the first two, particularly given Barack Obama’s absence (he’s beginning his big overseas trip tomorrow). But as usual, there will be a vast number of panels and workshops on about every topic you can imagine.
My own focus here will be party unity. A lot of the buzz here is over the recent FISA vote, which most if not all netroots activists are regarding as a development somewhere on the scale that runs from “major disappointment” to “calamity.” Aside from the issues directly involved in FISA, the controversy (and especially Barack Obama’s FISA vote), has revived a lot of old conflicts in the Democratic Party, not to mention the more recent conflicts that occasionally surfaced during the long presidential nominating contest.
A lot of talk about the nature and future of the party will be percolating around Austin throughout this event. But one obvious lightning rod will be the forum today featuring DailyKos founder Markos Moulitsas and DLC chairman Harold Ford, Jr. This is a sequel to Markos’ appearance at the DLC annual meeting in Chicago last month (on a panel I happened to moderate). And while the ostensible topic of the Markos-Ford discussion (being referred to by some attendees, anticipating a Markos demolition of Ford, as the “Texas Smackdown”), party infrastructure, is one on which the two men can probably find a lot of common ground, there will be questions from the audience, and no telling where it will go from there.

4 comments on “Greetings From Austin

  1. Chris B on

    After the huge mess that the Republicans have made of the economy. Anyone who supports, McCain or the Republicans is a danger to the economy.

  2. Chris B on

    There are some Democrats that are not doing as well in their seats, such as Minnesota and Maine in the senate.
    My thoughts on those seats. If the tidal wave is big enough, any fish no matter how big and strong, that is swimming in the opposite direction, will be swept along with tsunami.

  3. Chris B on

    Hi from Australia.
    Further to my previous comment, with the co-operation of your European friends (and Australian help). It would not be difficult to double the size of your presence on the net. We all want the same thing you want.

  4. Chris B on

    Hi there, I would like to suggest tapping into the huge amount of support in Europe. They can run there own political blogs and they can make there own You Tube promotions. Including music video’s maybe even more Obama Girls, cartoons and satire, as well as political commentary.


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