CHICAGO--Bill O’Reilly has said liberal DailyKos blogger convention brought together the “angriest, activist core” of the Democratic Party, but the attendees weren’t the typical hate-spewing, left-wing protesters epitomized by Code Pink and Cindy Sheehan.
Rather, the extreme left has grown into an organized, radical 21st century online force, more interested in raising taxes to fund universal broadband than donning hippy headbands.
The conference, heavily backed by special interests, was attended by 1,500 well-dressed, laptop-carrying liberals who believe abortion is a human right, want to expand union membership and are demanding universal healthcare on the government tab. All of them were committed to harnessing the power of the internet to lay the foundation for a major takeover for extreme liberal politics--reinforcing the conference’s billing as “YearlyKos: Building a Netroots Nation.”
One of the most popular speeches given at YearlyKos was a Thursday evening keynote address delivered by Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean. As architect of the 50-state strategy to systematically party-build at local, state and national levels, he cheered the political internet organization that has benefited the Democrats.
“I want to say a few things about the ’net,” Dean said. “Even after the campaign four years ago, I didn’t realize what a powerful tool this is. This is the most extraordinary invention for empowering ordinary people since the invention of the printing press in the 1400s . It has re-democratized America. There is an enormous shift in power.”
After Dean’s keynote speech, a bevy of workshops and panels were held over the next few days to help bloggers understand polling research, get financial backing and become more effective in local politics. There was even a meeting that contemplated creating a blogger union to help bloggers get jobs, conduct collective bargaining and buy group health insurance.
One of the chief benefits of the conference was the opportunity it provided bloggers to seek advice from each other. At the “Blogging While Female” workshop, featuring the controversial Pandagon blogger Amanda Marcotte, formerly of the John Edwards campaign, and Feministing’s foul-mouthed Jessica Valenti, one participant in the “abortion business” cautioned others to buy up several domain names for their sites. She said that a right-winger had bought up variations of her site and filled them with pro-life propaganda.