Bloggers at the Gates

NYT editorial writer Adam Cohen has a glowing review of Crashing the Gate, which he describes as “a smart new book by two leading bloggers . . . Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, founder of the liberal blog, and Jerome Armstrong, founder of”

We learn that “Much of the authors’ criticism of the party establishment is dead-on.” He gushes, “The netroots’ power comes from the same network effect that made eBay a retailing phenomenon. Far-flung political activists now join together on sites like, and inject themselves into matters that used to be settled behind closed doors.”

For all the talk about having to crash gates, the netroots are well on their way to becoming insiders. Mr. Armstrong is an adviser to the political action committee of Mark Warner, a leading candidate for president in 2008. When dailykos holds an offline convention this June in Las Vegas, Harry Reid, the Senate minority leader, will be a speaker.

The Democratic establishment could not hold the netroots back even if it wanted to. Their ability to raise money, recruit volunteers and shape the debate will make them indispensable. What “Crashing the Gates” is short on is policy: ideas for providing health care, improving education, and all the other things that make it important which party wins. As the gates swing open, that should be the next item on the agenda.

Well, most political bloggers on both sides of the aisle focus on agenda rather than strategy, so there is little need to rewrite the agenda. Of course, considering that the brilliant netroots keep coming up with the likes of Howard Dean as the best candidate for president and face of the party, why anyone would heed their policy advice is beyond me.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Eneils Bailey says:

    �The netroots� power comes from the same network effect that made eBay a retailing phenomenon.”

    eBay offers products the average American want.

    “the netroots are well on their way to becoming insiders.”

    Once you get inside, they’ll take your money and ignore your policy.

    The democrats have a delicate balancing job ahead of them. Keeping these nuts placated while appealing to sane people.

  2. G A Phillips says:

    Democrats that are sane, please explain?

  3. Eneils Bailey says:

    I should have said “moderate democrats.” All of which are not necessarily sane.