In Sunday's Washington Post, journalist Brian Faler provides what can only be described as a fawning push-piece aimed at exciting the liberal activist and elite--both state and nation-wide.
In a piece titled : "Dean Camp's Tactics Applied to Colorado," Faler contends that what Howard Dean started in his aborted presidential run in 2003/2004--namely huge Internet participation--local activist will now continue, as they start web sites to organize liberal activists.
In the article, Faler highlights a Colorado-based progressive site called ProgressNowAction.org, in which he says: "The goal is to create a go-to site for Colorado activists -- a sort of online hub for everyone from environmentalists to abortion rights advocates to those concerned about the direction of their school boards. The group hopes liberals will use the site (ProgressNowAction) to find each other, organize and meet people working on other issues. In the process, it hopes to assemble a statewide network of activists and, ultimately, give Democrats a new and easily replicated model for local political organizing."
The above might be said to be a "Mission Statement" of sorts regarding ProgressNowAction, and, as Faler states, gives "Democrats" new outlets and avenues for political organization.
But in the very next paragraph, Faler states that:" It is one of the more unusual -- and ambitious -- efforts in grass-roots organizing at the state level. Notably, the group has no connection to the Democratic Party, which has launched its own effort to rebuild its state parties. The site is run by what in political action lingo is a "501c4," after the section of the federal tax code that governs its finances. Those organizations may accept unlimited financial contributions but cannot coordinate their efforts with a political party.
So, after stating that these sites "give Democrats a new and easily replicated model for local political organizing," Faler than says that these "501c4" groups cannot coordinate their efforts with a political Party. Is this a distinction without a difference? You decide.
Conservatives have had local and state-wide web sites, and very successful ones at that, that have received little to no press regarding their grassroots’ movements and political organizing. Such a site would be Townhall.com, one of the premier political sites on the Internet today, and Freerepublic.com, probably the best known site for public and party advocacy.
Yet, the mainstream media waste little time and ink with regards to these two long-time established political activism-type sites. Furthermore, these sites do not pretend to be something they are not. The 501c4 labeling aside, sites like the ones Mr. Faler and the Washington Post are advocating, like ProgressNowAction.org are in fact liberal and Democratic advocacy groups that support anyone running on the Democratic ticket during election.
Indeed, even MoveOn.org, the premiere Liberal/Democratic support group of the times, is behind ProgressNowAction.org, as stated in Faler's piece. In fact, the power behind ProgressNowAction.org reads like a who's who in Democratic election and fundraising circles.
Because of the president's low poll numbers, and the Republican Party's less-then-stellar press as of late, the Democratic Party believes itself positioned well for the 2006 elections.
In this article, The Washington Post, and Mr. Faler, seek to push the idea that not only is liberal activism necessary, but that it will be coming to a town near you; if the Washington Post has anything to do with it.