GOP Out of Touch with the Blogosphere and Internet's New Media
by Jim Kouri, CPP
Say what you will about the left-wing bloggers and lefty Internet news websites, they are a power to be reckoned with. And Democrat politicians with dreams of sitting in the Oval Office know it.
ABC News reported that over this past weekend, close to 1,000 bloggers assembled in Las Vegas "to gear up for the 2008 presidential race." The big news was that several potential Democrat candidates were there, as well. And they were kissing up to their new media base while receiving feedback regarding their political positions on key issues viewed as important to these "pajama journalists."
The weekend jamboree was organized by Markos Moulitsas, the founder of the far-left blog DailyKos.com. Democrats who attended included former Virginia Governor Mark Warner, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack, and former NATO commander General Wesley Clark, all potential Democrat presidential contenders.
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, New York's gift to the nation, was absent from the convention, but that's because she's either notoriously disliked within the radical left blogosphere because of her support for the war in Iraq, which she uses in order appeal to moderates; or perhaps it's just an act to make Hillary appear more electable to the Democrat National Committee.
One source told ABC News that the left-wing blogs will play a big role by hurting Democrats who attempt to move to the center of the political spectrum.
"If you read the right-wing conservative blogs, well, they're all about ideas, whereas liberals do nothing but snipe and gripe at George W. Bush [and the Republicans]. They're all about power, winning the next election. Nothing else," said one attendee.
The DailyKos -- said to be the most visited political website on the Internet -- became a big supporter of Howard Dean in the last presidential cycle because he was willing to speak out against the Iraq war. It was largely through Dean's support on the Internet that he became, for a while anyway, the Democratic front-runner in the 2004 primary. By autumn 2003, he had raised $40 million with help from online advocates.
Dean's popularity on the Internet soon garnered him an enormous amount of attention by the mainstream news media, or "old media," to the point that his mug showed up on the covers of many newsmagazines such as Time. The Dean Machine ran out of steam because ... well, he was Howard Dean, and Howard can't help being Howard.
It's not only at conventions that there's collaboration between Internet left-wing websites and left-wing politicos in the Democrat Party. For instance, during the confirmation hearings for US Supreme Court Associate Justice Alito, bloggers fed Democrats their research on Alito, complete with half-truths, innuendo and out-and-out lies.
While conservative bloggers and Internet news websites present ideas and solutions to problems, those on the left denigrate, smear and ridicule those with whom they disagree. Yet, most Democrat officeholders on the national level know that these radicals on the net are an important part of acquiring more power.
There is a major problem, however, between so-called conservative politicians and the conservative bloggers and commentators. The problem is there is no relationship to speak of. There's no building of relationships, no cooperation and, if anything, the GOP attempts to avoid contact with the blogosphere. Why are they so slow in discovering what Democrats discovered long ago?
I believe it's because most Republican officeholders in Washington turned their backs on their conservative roots as well as the conservative movement in general. While most Americans are duped by the mainstream news media into believing that "Republican equals Conservative," the truth is the current GOP is run by its RINO-wing (Republicans In Name Only).
Had some of the folks from the conservative-right blogosphere put together a convention, does anyone believe Senator John McCain, Senator Chuck Hagel, Rudy Guiliani and other potential candidates would attend? Sure McCain et al, aren't conservatives, but Richardson and Vilsack aren't far-left politicians either, yet they court the radical wing of their party especially the bloggers.
It may take the loss of the House of Representatives and the Senate to bring the GOP back to its Ronald Reagan roots. And it may take a loss for the GOP to start creating a sincere relationship with conservative bloggers, commentators and journalists.
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for a number of organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. He writes for many police and crime magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer, Campus Law Enforcement Journal, and others. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com, Booksamillion.com, and can be ordered at local bookstores. Kouri holds a bachelor of science in criminal justice and master of arts in public administration and he's a board certified protection professional.