Wednesday, March 02, 2005

The Online Insurgency- MoveOn has become a force to be reckoned with (A Fisking)

Drudge reports that this is the title of a piece in the latest issue of Rolling Stone

Some key excerpts follow along with my comments:

They signed up 500,000 supporters with an Internet petition -- but Bill Clinton still got impeached. They organized 6,000 candlelight vigils worldwide -- but the U.S. still invaded Iraq. They raised $60 million from 500,000 donors to air countless ads and get out the vote in the battle-ground states -- but George Bush still whupped John Kerry. A gambler with a string of bets this bad might call it a night. But just keeps doubling down. Stubborn or dumb?

Now that Howard Dean has been named chair of the Democratic National Committee -- an ascension that MoveOn helped to engineer -- the Internet activist group is placing another high-stakes wager. It's betting that its 3 million grass-roots revolutionaries can seize the reins of the party and establish the group as a lasting political force. "It's our Party," MoveOn's twenty-four-year-old executive director, Eli Pariser, declared in an e-mail. "We bought it, we own it and we're going to take it back." The group's new goal is sweeping in its ambition: To make 2006 a watershed year for liberal Democrats in Congress, in the same way that Newt Gingrich led a Republican revolution in 1994. Newt had a Contract with America, Dean has only scream and hate.

MoveOn has already revolutionized Democratic politics, energizing the party faithful in ways Karl Rove would envy. How envious is Karl Rove of an organization that hasn't won anything?

Moveon is guided by a tiny, tightknit group of leaders. There are only ten of them, still deeply committed to the Internet start-up ethos of working out of their homes and apartments in better-dead-than-red bastions such as Berkeley, California, Manhattan and Washington, D.C. Just like the internet start-up implosion of a few years back, we are now witnessing the implosion of the Democrat Party.

Wes Boyd -- the software entrepreneur who used his fortune from creating the Flying Toaster screen saver to co-found MoveOn -- blithely acknowledges the need to produce some electoral wins "in the classical sense. May I suggest MoveOn get completely behind Ted Kennedy's reelection campaign. Should be a sure way to guarantee a win. And who knows, maybe they will screw this up as well.

Tom Matzzie, MoveOn's twenty-nine-year-old Washington director, says the ads are aimed at the president, whom he bluntly calls a "son of a bitch." I can just sense the swell of red state support for an organization that is led by someone who publicly calls Barbara Bush, the most beloved first lady of our time, a bitch.

So who is MoveOn? Consider this: Howard Dean finished first in the MoveOn primary. Number Two wasn't John Kerry or John Edwards -- it was Dennis Kucinich.
All I need to know...Dean and Kucinich...the dynamic duo.

MoveOn's values aren't middle-American values. They're the values of an educated, steadily employed middle and upper-middle class with time to dedicate to politics -- and disposable income to leverage when they're agitated. That sentence therefore concludes that those with middle-American values (i.e. those that decide who wins and loses) are uneducated, not steadily employed, not dedicated to politics and have no money to contribute. It sort of pisses me off.

Like so many other Internet start-ups, MoveOn has raised -- and burned through -- tens of millions of dollars, innovating without producing many concrete results. Any reasonable analysis shows its stock may be dangerously overvalued. Those banking on MoveOn had better hope it is more Google than Because should the group flame out, the Democrats could be in for a fall of Nasdaq proportions.
With their track record to date, seems much more likely that MoveOn will follow in the footsteps of When originally selecting '' as a name, was '' not available?

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