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How Important Are Bloggers ... <em>Really</em>?

If you haven't seen it yet, over at The NY Times, David Brooks implies the netroots are over-rated ...

Now it’s evident that if you want to understand the future of the Democratic Party you can learn almost nothing from the bloggers, billionaires and activists on the left who make up the “netroots.” You can learn most of what you need to know by paying attention to two different groups — high school educated women in the Midwest, and the old Clinton establishment in Washington.

In the first place, the netroots candidates are losing. In the various polls on the Daily Kos Web site, John Edwards, Barack Obama and even Al Gore crush Hillary Clinton, who limps in with 2 percent to 10 percent of the vote.


As you might expect, liberals are upset at what they refer to as, "Brooks' Beltway Wisdom" ...

Of course, you can forgive bloggers and new media types if we overstate their influence and predicting that every year will be the year of the internet.  For example, I saw this brief on a recent internet conference, and thought it was funny:

Jack Shafer, editor at large of the pioneering online magazine Slate, was the moderator. He stated flatly that, "2008 is going to be the Internet election," before allowing that he has made identical claims for every presidential election since 1996.

I still think conservative bloggers who helped stop the Harriet Miers nomination may ultimately have made a bigger impact on the future than anything the so-called netroots has done ...

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