Friday, February 25, 2005

Dear Howard Dean:

Can I call you Howard? Thanks.

Man, you are in the news lately. Evidently Liberal groups are keeping an eye on you to make sure you're going to keep your backbone, or so say many newspapers this morning, including Newsday. Perhaps they are secretly afraid you'll becoming absorbed by that polite debating society that is the Democratic Party. Perhaps they are worried you will lose some of the bite that infused your voice during that dynamic campaign you waged last year. Heck, they're worried that you'll forget to break out into the scream, maybe, even that the "scream" was a fake? Holy Conspiracy Theory, Batman! Perhaps those worries are legitimate, but you've got a bigger one.

Remember all that money you raised through harnessing the internet? Well, we're still here, the Bloggers who helped energize your campaign and the Presidential race, and we're just not that easy to understand, and shy of taking the harness to be simply "used" in a campaign. Still, we're contributing daily, often driving the debate. DailyKos and dozens of the writers of Left Blogistan, for instance, have spearheaded the drive against Mr. Bush's Social Security boondoggle, which should be hereafter known as the Wall Street Welfare Act (Kos used a similar term more than two months ago in describing this issue). The Bloggers of Left Blogistan are also responsible for exposing the Republican embarrassment that is Jeff Gannon/Jim Guckert and the fake news that is so rampant in far more right wing sources than Talon News, which has evidently shut down.

To borrow phraseology from the radical gay movement, we are here, we are BLOGS, and we aren't going anywhere. But here's the news: you aren't liable to be going anywhere either without starting and vigorously maintaining the discussion with us. Yeah, you need us, both the big Blogs like DailyKos and DemocraticUnderground and Atrios Eschaton and MyDD, and also the less major players, like our own Allspinzone and Blondesense and Jesus' General and Suburban Guerilla, and even specialized or more "literary" Blogs, such as Rittenhouse Review or PublicOrgTheory. And you don't just need these folks because of the hard news they develop. You need us because of our potential to develop and popularize themes, to create groundswell, to raise money, and to raise the energy level of the progressives in this country. But first you have to understand us. And in discussions here and at over the last couple days it has become vitally clear that understanding the morals and motivations and organizational workings of Left Blogistan enough to creatively and productively employ our work to full advantage.

Howard, you need to start the dialogue and participate in it, not necessarily online as a commenter, and certainly not by starting your own blog, or hiring a few good bloggers, but through grass roots connections. You and several of your staffers need to come out and talk to us face-to-face. As such, I recommend you make the Drinking Liberally Tour. And noticing that a huge group of the Blogs I mentioned above are from Philadelphia, I suggest you send some folks to Philly to take the pulse of the Blog world. Of course, you're a Doctor, so you're practiced in taking pulses.

Remember this, though, because you and the Democratic Party run a huge risk of figuring out the dynamism of Left Blogistan through so-called experts who describe us falsely. We are not a pack of wolves, we are not one voice, and we are not a nameless horde. We do not work in our pajamas, often, and we are not disconnected nodes just yammering. We are definitely not sheep, as the Wing Dingers of the Right so often seem to be. We've flexed our power and we've shown you what we can do. It is incumbent upon you to figure us out, because you're going to want us by your side in the next couple years.

Oh, and as a special favor, can you guys give extra attention to helping get rid of Senator Santorum in the '06 election?



Folks, what else do you think Mr. Dean needs to know about Left Blogistan?