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January 29, 2006

Feingold calls internet "miracle for progressive politics"

Russ Feingold
Originally uploaded by Lindsay Beyerstein.
I attended Russ Feingold's address at the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law in Manhattan, Sunday. He was speaking about the PATRIOT Act and the NSA domestic spying program.

Feingold pressed for a special prosecutor to investigate the domestic spying scandal, arguing that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales could not be trusted to investigate the matter impartially, given his own integral role in the program.

Feingold said that it was "conceivable" that Bush could be impeached for his role in the warrantless wiretapping, but he stressed that Democrats' immediate goal should be to gain ground in the 2006 elections. He reminded the audience that Democrats can't even initiate hearings, much less impeachment proceedings as a minority party.

During the question-and-answer session, an audience member asked Feingold about the role of blogs in publicizing the NSA domestic spying story.

Feingold said that blogs had been "very helpful" to him in advancing issues that he cared about, including the warrantless spying issue.

"It's a miracle," he said. "The internet is a miracle for progressive politics."


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"It's a miracle," he said. "The internet is a miracle for progressive politics."

Has the Left made better use of the Internet than the Right? - For example: There's nothing on the Right as organized or as useful as Daily Kos is, I don't think. -

The only Rightish blog I skim is Volokh Conspiracy. Sometimes there are interesting points, but nothing that outrages or really grips me.

I dunno. Anyone care to enlighten me on this?

You know, I've often thought that Feingold would make marvelous presidential material.

Me too, Julia. I discovered today that he has a little-known neurological feature that will aid him in his quest to be the POTUS: The man is immune to red eye. As in, completely, totally immune. Maybe his retinas aren't even red.

Maybe he's a Cylon.

Ashok, I'm not so sure you can measure the "value" of right-wing blogs in the same way you measure left-wing blogs. The right-wing blogs generally aren't targeting the armchair policy wonks out there--hence Volokh is pretty unrepresentative within the right-wing blogosphere. Most of the prominent right-wing Internet (Malkin, LGF, Lashawn Barber, the Corner...) falls somewhere on the spectrum between political hackery and a virtual brownshirt rally.

Damn--I missed that!

With the MSM media being so completely controlled by their parent corporations and the WH, the only place that freedom of information is actually practiced is on the internet. It is the last bastion of the free press in the US.

I see blogs as being a more accessible form of the old news letters. Not surprisingly, the better leftist blogs resemble I.F. Stone's Weekly, while the blogs on the right are more like The Spotlight.

There are also various conspiracy, ufo, natural healing, and weird science blogs, just as there were once newsletters for that sort of thing.

The big differences are decreased production cost, which enables me to "subscribe" to several "newsletters," and immediate feedback. Now, I can not only read the information that the mainstream media skips or glosses over, I can discuss that information as well.

Noam Chomsky used to point out that, while the information needed to educate oneself about the world was available, one had to spend hours every week at the library in order to get it (or wait 6-7 weeks for Chomsky to publish yet another book). Now, I just fire up my computer and read NYT, WaPo, my local paper, The Economist, and my "newsletters."

Perhaps most importantly, blogs serve the same organizing function that the old newsletters did, but they do it much more effectively. I don't know if the push to dismantle Social Security would have been stopped without the blogs, and if Alito is blocked, that will have been made possible by the blogs also. The opposition to the Iraq War is now at the point that the Vietnam War opposition was at after we'd been involved for almost 10 years, and we had the draft back then.

So, I think Feingold is right to find hope in the blogosphere.

Run Russ Run!

He sticks to his guns and isn't afraid of this administraion. He is a deficit hawk and won WI in 2004 by 3000% more then Kerry. There was over 300,000 pro-bush people voting for Feingold.

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