Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...


Monday, November 17, 2003  

Conference miscellania

Gather 150 of the wonkiest, most engaged liberals for a weekend, and you notice some interesting themes. I jotted down a few.

Blogs
I hate to say it, but blogs may not be quite as influential as we imagine. I would guess that fewer than half the people I spoke to knew what they were, and the half that did were generally younger and often connected to Dean. Of those who knew what blogs were, some far smaller percentage actually read them on a regular basis. (With luck, a few more will be reading them in the future.)

Wal-Mart
I heard Wal-Mart used as an example of just about every evil at the conference: employment abuses, rural opportunism, environmental decline, drain on the economy, and on and on. Most of the time, the metaphors were right on. I'm not sure what to make of it.

Party decline
There were a lot of Democrats at the conference. Former Secretary of State Phil Kiesling, Representatives Earl Blumenauer and Peter DeFazio, County Commissioner Diane Linn, and members of Democratic parties from across the state were all there, but there was little confidence that Democrats would emerge as the agents of change.

Dean
You will not be surprised to learn Dean was the big fave. A few Clarkies and a few Kucitizens, but mostly people are pinning their hopes on the Doc.

American flags
I'm not sure what this means either, but I saw nary a flag at the conference, nor much red, white, and blue. This was a group extremely committed to trying to save the country (that is the literal view most of us have), and yet overt signs of rah-rah patriotism were absent.

posted by Jeff | 10:07 AM |
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