Markos-Harold Ford Netroots Nation Liveblogging

Arshad Hasan of DFA is moderating. Hooray for DFA!

For a more amusing take on the whole thing, check out my friend Ned Resnikoff’s liveblog at Veritosity. Much more concise and easy to read.

Arshad talks about his status as a non-impartial person. But oh well.

Markos gives his standard speech. Talks about standing up / trusting Democratic core values. Talks about netroots, how its good for democrats electorally and morally, etc.

Harold Ford talks. This is interesting. He has a very lecturing / speechlike tone. Talks about the history of DLC, how it’s composed of elected leaders, etc. He’s pretty frank, talking about how he represents conservatives and moderates. Talks about how the DLC has people in the Clinton, Obama, Edwards, biden campaigns, etc.

I respect his demeanor. He’s not trying to kiss ass. He’s trying to speak his position / his mind. I still think he’s wrong, but at least he’s proud of what he believes in and not trying ot sugarcoat it. And isn’t that what progressives ask Democrats to do?

Arshad: Howard Dean talks about “not left vs right, but culture of incumbency vs culture of activism”. Harold, how do you encourage a culture of activism?

HF: Not really answering the question. Talks about how Obama, etc needs to attract people who don’t identify as proud Democrats.

Kos: Activists / Voters are encouraged to get involved when theres a real race. People have no incentive to vote in gerrymandered districts. We are the mainstream media. Tallk about the “traditional media”. When media asks about “Obama’s move to the center.” Media has a narrative, won’t listen to what I tell them. In one ear out the other. We weren’t upset about anything really except FISA. We pushed him to reject campaign finance. And we were mad because he didn’t move to the center. THere is no mass of people who want to be spied on. We support conservative candidates who represent their district if its conservatie, as long as they’re proud to be Democrats.

Arshad: How do we counteract narrative of Obama flip-flopping / moving to the center?

HF: Lots of people you got elected (special elections candidates, red to blue, jim webb, claire mccaskill) voted for FISA. Responds to Markos’ idea about ‘principles nd convictions”. Says that’s important.  I think government shold be held accountable for FISA violations, not companies. [ed note -This is, of course, kind of wrong. The only way to hold government accountable is through the telco companies, after all.]

Arshad: What’s the balance between supporting Obama and supporting accountability.

HF: other countries you can’t even discuss these things so be happy. If you don’t like what’s going on, don’t vote for people.

Bah. The whole point of citizenship is “do more than vote”.

HF: Straw Man about primary challenges. Make sure that you don’t force people to be too far left for their districts.

Technical Difficulties wiped out a lot of stuff. Whoops.

Question time –
Nate Lowenthiel, Executive Director of the Roosevelt Institution (my boss): You guys on se are diverse and so forth. But the people here at Netroots Nation aren’t. How d we take care of that?

Kos: Well, this is a specific convention on blogging. And blogging is just a small slice of the netroots. Latino’s use text messaging more than anything else. I’m not worried about not enough white people using SMS, and I’m not really worried about latinos using the speciic technology of blogging.

Lots of questions to Harold Ford on the lines of: “Why are you a weak-willed conservative?”
Waste of time.


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