How is the Netroots movement changing the Democratic party?

Matt Bai: Well the whole . . . I mean it’s . . . the Net Roots . . . The influence of the Net Roots is pretty profound. I mean right now, congressmen and senators who used to get their press clips news in the morning, they’re getting . . . they’re getting blog clippings in the morning and they’re reading through them all. Which is a little frightening when you think about it because it’s like 12 people posting on these blogs and, you know . . . and half of them don’t know a thing about politics, but you know they’re listening. And that’s a good thing, by the way. They should be listening. It should be more of a conversation. It should not be about politicians always telling people the way things ought to be. But so it’s . . . You know but it does have a great change on the culture of Democratic politics. When you put it together – when you take the bloggers, and the Move On crowd online, and some of the money guys who are getting involved – when you put all these groups together, what you see is a really changed conversation in Democratic politics. I mean just look at the top people in the Democratic field right now. Where John Edwards was in 2004 versus where he is today, having gone from sort of a centrist, cautious Democrat to an anti-corporate crusader in the William Jennings Bryan mold. And you know look at Hillary Clinton and where she was on the war and on trade. And look at how she . . . what she’s talked about in this campaign; how she’s tried to position herself as standing up to Republican autocracy and whatever else. And then you know you look at a guy like Obama who was nowhere a few years ago and didn’t even exist in the public mind in 2004, and that he could be, you know, such a viable candidate now. And you look at the way he’s tried to navigate between what he really believes I think, which is that both parties have failed America and that there needs to be a generational shift. And how he’s tried to navigate that in an environment where people don’t want to hear that both parties are a mess. People just wanna hear that one party is a mess. And it’s really kind of put him in a box. So I think if you look at the dynamic of this presidential race to this point, you’d have to conclude that the progressive forces inside the Democratic party have had a very strong influence on the conversation.

Recorded on: 12/13/07


Netroots has changed political conversations.

​There are two kinds of failure – but only one is honorable

Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.

Big Think Edge
  • Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
  • At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Keep reading Show less

Apparently even NASA is wrong about which planet is closest to Earth

Three scientists publish a paper proving that Mercury, not Venus, is the closest planet to Earth.

Strange Maps
  • Earth is the third planet from the Sun, so our closest neighbor must be planet two or four, right?
  • Wrong! Neither Venus nor Mars is the right answer.
  • Three scientists ran the numbers. In this YouTube video, one of them explains why our nearest neighbor is... Mercury!
Keep reading Show less

This is the best (and simplest) world map of religions

Both panoramic and detailed, this infographic manages to show both the size and distribution of world religions.

(c) CLO / Carrie Osgood
Strange Maps
  • At a glance, this map shows both the size and distribution of world religions.
  • See how religions mix at both national and regional level.
  • There's one country in the Americas without a Christian majority – which?
Keep reading Show less