CPAC for the Left?
The four-day blogapalooza that is the Yearly Kos convention kicks off in the Windy City today. An estimated 1,800 conventioneers -- progressive bloggers who write about pols, pols who want bloggers to write about them, the media who's writing about the bloggers and the pols -- descend on Chicago to mingle, discuss the future and, for now, pat each other on the back. All signs point to the success of Democrats on the Web, at least for now. They're raising more money online for presidential candidates. They're rousing more support in social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace and YouTube. They're generating genuine, grassroots excitement on the Internet.
But we asked some online political strategists, both on the right and the left: Is there a Republican courtepart to Yearly Kos?
Robert Bluey, director of the center for media and public policy at the Heritage Foundation and a contributor to the conservative site RedState, thinks the Republican's answer is CPAC -- the Conservative Political Action Conference, founded in 1973. "While it was started long before anyone had ever heard of blogging, it's been catering to bloggers for years," Bluey said. "At this year's conference, blog row was overflowing with political bloggers and candidates making pit stops to make their case to the new power players." And as the Democratic contenders for the White House are doing at Kos this weekend, Republican candidates flock to CPAC every year to woo the right.
Markos "Kos" Moulitsas, the founder of Daily Kos and the namesake of the convention, doesn't think there's a Republican counterpart. "They all want to be next Bill O'Reilly, not actually do stuff," said Kos. "All talk, no action."
Micah Sifry, co-founder of the bipartisan group blog TechPresident, doesn't see a "real equilavent."
"Part of the answer is cultural -- Democrats tend to enjoy introspection and debate more than Republicans -- part of it is structural -- Republicans already built their own alternative information network in the 1980s around talk radio and then Fox, so they didn't need to develop anything when the Internet took off -- and part of it is due to the fact that they've been in power until recently and thus didn't have the same combination of frustration... and need to connect," Sifry said. "Now that the GOP is losing power, some of these conditions are changing and we may see the rise of an alternative communications network on the Right that rejects the Republican insiders and tries to build something new. However, that day still seems far away."
-- Jose Antonio Vargas
Posted by: paulchacko | August 4, 2007 11:40 PM | Report abuse
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