Sage advice from Atrios:
Well, 48 hours or so from now I’ll probably be contemplating my exit from our little CNN sponsored election night party, either so I can go celebrate in style away from the camera eye or to run away from the taunts of krempasky or boxturtle ben or assrocket or Captain Ed or who knows what kind of weirdass people will be there.
And, then, the next day we get to work. The big mistake in 2004 was that the netroots or whatever the hell we are at some point started deferring to the powers that be, and then post-election disillusionment combined with a leadership vacuum from those powers meant that things stagnated.
Either way, not this time. Time to keep marching. Worry about, and try to affect, the things you have some control over right now. Wednesday morning you can figure out how to do it better.
Last night after the show, us drunken bloggers stood in the rain while Mollie had a smoke, and we chatted a bit about our post-election narrative. I still think the Dems are going to pick up 30 to 40 seats in the House, and have a good shot at controlling the Senate. I also think that between Peter Goldmark and Darcy Burner we’ll pick up at least one seat here in Washington state. Statewide, I expect both evil initiatives (920 and 933) to go down in flames, while Democrats make modest gains in the state Legislature.
But there are many possible scenarios ranging from total victory to crushing defeat, to mixed results that given my high expectations will leave me feeling much less happy than I’ll have a right to be. Whatever the national results, if both Darcy and Peter lose I expect the (u)SP type folk to tease me mercilessly, but then, they’ve always missed the point: personally, as a liberal blogger and netroots activist I already won. The local netroots played a huge role in helping both Darcy and Peter make their races competitive beyond all the expectations, and while it is true that macro forces were largely responsible for creating the political climate that threatens to sweep the Democrats into power, if not for the netroots, half of the 50 most competitive House races would not have had Democratic challengers in a position to take advantage of the opportunity. This time last year, nobody in the political and media establishment could have anticipated the impact the liberal netroots would have on this election. Hell… I didn’t anticipate the impact we’d have.
I may slow down for a couple weeks after the election, just to take a breather and collect my thoughts. And maybe clean up my house. (Metaphorically and literally.)
But I promise you, this is only the beginning. Whatever Tuesday’s results, we will come back stronger and smarter and most definitely, better financed.
Ten years from now pundits will look back at the 2006 election as a turning point. From the class of Democratic freshmen elected this year will rise a new generation of political superstars and congressional leaders. And from the class of bloggers and net activists who helped elect them will rise a new generation of pundits, media personalities and party power brokers.
I honestly don’t know what my role will be in all this. A few years ago I was just some guy angry at the direction our country was going; I had no idea that a joke initiative, born of frustration, could launch me on a path where I could help shape headlines and influence elections. It’s been an enormously gratifying journey, though it’s left me flat broke with little income, at a time when I should be enjoying my peak earning years. If I can’t find a way to monetize my efforts, I’ll have no choice but to step back from full-time blogging and take some paying work, however trivial it might be.
But at this point I am absolutely confident that nothing can stop the netroots revolution from reshaping the Democratic Party and the way the media covers politics.
Enjoy tomorrow’s election, whatever the results. You are watching history.