Sunday, July 25, 2010
Netroots Nation: On Being "On the Scene"
You know what? This Netroots Nation thingy was quite something, wasn't it? Once upon a time, they were mocked as "nutroots"... But now, even the traditional "mainstream media" are noticing.
And so are candidates and elected officials all over. I heard from Congressional candidates in California, a Lieutenant Governor candidate in Texas, a Congressional candidate in Minnesota, a Congressional candidate in New Hampshire, and far more. Oh yes, and I heard from this guy. ;-)
Yep, that's Harry Reid, all right! Our friends at ProgressNow Nevada hosted a very special reception with Senator Reid at The Rio yesterday, and I had a chance to listen in on these quick comments. Oh yes, and I got that picture at the top. I think the Senator is starting to recognize poor lil' moi!
And that was before this...
Obviously, people were getting frustrated over what seems like the lack of progress on a number of issues, from climate & energy to LGBTQ equality to job creation. And I understand. Yes, there are times I'm quite frustrated. However, it hasn't been easy to accomplish what Congressional Democrats like Reid and Congresswoman Dina Titus have done since President Obama took office. As I was trying to explain to Steve Friess yesterday (It wasn't in full context, but I think my point still comes across), this has been the most productive Congress since the Depression Era, with much progress being made on health care reform, financial regulatory reform, economic recovery, and civil rights. However, there is still plenty of work to be done and it's our job as the progressive netroots & grassroots to build support for progressive change on the outside while urging those on the inside (like President Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi) to deliver that change.
And in the next couple days, as I share more of my thoughts and observations from Netroots Nation, I hope you'll see this. This was a chance for Democratic leaders to come and explain the progress they've been making on enacting a better, progressive agenda, and for "we the activists" to urge them to keep moving forward. I believe Reid got the message, and so did Pelosi and many of the other Democratic leaders there. And I believe activists are getting smarter on how to win campaigns, and on how to better choose winning progressive candidates.
It was just so awe-inspiring to be right in the middle of all of it. The rumors that GetEQUAL would disrupt Pelosi's and Reid's respective keynotes to ask about ENDA and DADT. The private chats with Reid himself at the ProgressNow reception. The breakout sessions on messaging. The candidate speeches in the main hall. The panel discussions on what to watch for in this year's Congressional elections. The Nevada Democrats' after party with Al Franken. I was inside. I was outside. I was all over the place.
And hopefully in these next few diaries, I can show you some more of what was happening while I was on the scene at Netroots Nation.
(And by the way, there's even more from #nn10 at my Twitter @atdleft.)