Rightroots Challenge-- Halfway There!

Mary Katharine Ham
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Posted: Aug 02, 2006 3:12 PM

Well done, y'all.

Rightroots has raised almost $13,000 in two days. Keep it up!

UPDATE: John Hawkins is responding to criticism of Rightroots from MyDD, on the Left.

Chris Bowers' contention is that Rightroots is not all that Act Blue is. Well, frankly, it doesn't have to be. The Left has had Act Blue running since 2004, and it hasn't done them a whole lot of electoral good yet.

I think some of the Act Blue tools are great ideas, particularly the central, streamlined fundraising feature (that idea was so good, we used it!). On one hand, we got liberal bloggers complaining because we're copying them, and on the other, we got liberal bloggers complaining because we didn't copy them well enough.

John Hawkins came up with an idea that we could put together quickly, to affect this election cycle, and we rounded up some bloggers and a PAC to help us with the money end. It's as simple as that, and it doesn't have to be anymore complicated to make a difference. We got candidates, they need money, here's an easier way to give money, all in one spot, done. Why hold off on such a project because it's not as chock-full of "communitarian" perks as the Left's version is?

Everyone's always talking about how the right blogosphere lags behind the Left in online fundraising and community building and Web 2.0, and all the buzzwords, and we do in some respects. But one shouldn't overlook the fact that "lagging behind" in these areas hasn't kept our side from winning when it comes down to it. So, any progress we make in "catching up" in Web 2.0, judging by historical precedent, has the potential to have big electoral impact.

I like to think of us as the more efficient side of the blogosphere. Half the bloggers, twice the victory! Now there's something a fiscal conservative can get behind.

William Beutler and Bowers both give us some heat for being "too establishment."

Beutler:

According to this Dave Weigel snark, half of the listed House candidates are already NRCC-supported. In other words, they seem to be hedging their bets against finding themselves in the uncomfortable situation I alluded to yesterday, and as Weigel puts it, of backing “their own loser candidates.”

Of course, Weigel also questions the backing of Irey against Murtha, as does the Florida Masochist, because she's too much of a longshot, so I guess you can't please everyone.

Bowers says the selection committee isn't sufficiently grassrootsy:

Demostrating a bit more both how conservatives are afraid of the progressive netroots and how much of a top down effort this is, it is important to note that many of hte websites involved int eh project are riding the conservative pundit welfare gravy train. At the very least, as I was told over email, "Patrick Hynes of Ankle Biting Pundits is a senior account executive at Marsh, Copsey & Scott, a Republican consulting firm. Townhall is an 'independent' subsidiary of the Heritage Foundation. Human Events Online is Mellon-Scaife. Right Wing News is written by a Human Events contributor." These people are not grassroots--they are officially part of the Republican / conservative machinery.

Ahh, the gravy train. There were seven folks involved in the picking of candidates. Hawkins is a blogger from North Carolina who earned a spot as a Human Events columnist by being a great blogger. Erick Erickson is a former lawyer from Atlanta to whom the rise of blogging has given the chance to work as CEO of RedState. Patrick Hynes is a consultant in New England who rose to popularity by creating CrushKerry and AnkleBiting Pundits to deal with his election-year political addiction. Ed Morrissey is a veteran blogger in Minnesota. Lorie Byrd is a mom of two and political junkie from North Carolina.

Only Robert Bluey and I live permanently in D.C., so I would argue that it's tough to call the group "officially part of the Republican/conservative machinery." It's rather a nice mix, I think. Bluey does indeed work for Human Events, and I have worked for The Heritage Foundation in the past, but Townhall is no longer at all affiliated with that organization. Now, it's owned by Salem Communications, a Christian and conservative talk radio company (which just brings in a whole new kind of conspiracy theory!).

And, organizations like Human Events and Townhall are part of a conservative movement (which includes think tanks and talk radio) that has been battling for 40 years to pull the Republican Party and the country toward conservative values. Human Events, Townhall, and talk radio have been trusted sources of information for conservative grassroots for years. They are our entire audience. There's nothing ungrassy about them.

Ahh, well. In more fun news, we've gotten a ton of endorsements for the Rightroots list from tons of other blogs whose authors and readers the Left might just find grassrootsy enough for their liking:

La Shawn says Roll On, Repubs!

Willisms is in, and his favorite is Van Taylor.

First State Politics likes the idea because there are no incumbents involved.

The Irate Nation is chipping in.

Michelle Malkin linked it up (and had nice things to say about me. Thanks, Michelle!).

Sondra K's flying the banner.

Sissy tells me she's already thrown in for a couple candidates.

RightWing Sparkle thinks the effort is "very cool."

Beth at My Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy is saying, "please, y'all," and y'all can't say no to that!

The Bachmann vs. Wetterling blog is paying attention.

So is Kennedy vs. The Machine.

To the Right likes the Colorado races.

Slapstick Politics is also watching Colorado.

If y'all have any other posts about this, leave a comment or shoot me an e-mail. Thanks for all the help!