So we’re not going to the blogger brunch today, but instead taking time for a real redneck pleasure of tubing with beer down one of our outlying rivers. One the whole, the conference was, as expected, amazing. I’m amused to see that the mere idea that liberals are getting together and having fun in each others’ company makes the right wingers insane (and our troll comments click up a few notches), which just increases my sense that wingnuttery is grounded in the perennial resentments of people who suck and don’t even like to be around themselves, much less others like themselves. I was sad to say I couldn’t make it out to the right winger convention, because Marc and I were at Netroots Nation interviewing the overwhelming intelligent, opinionated folks hanging out there about what they thought about reproductive rights. We’ll have that video, and a highlight reel from the reproductive rights panel, up soon.
Our reproductive rights panel was interesting, but I won’t lie—I was stressed out over it. Not because of the panelists, who were overwhelmingly on top of their game. But because the panel before us (something about Obama) ran 20 minutes over time, and half the people that came by to come to our panel gave up hope that it would ever happen and left. We were thoroughly demoralized by this, and to make it worse, I had a panel on right after the reproductive rights panel, so I was basically running out the door as audience members were trying to ask more questions. And even then, the next panel had taken my chair away and had to bring it back, making me feel like the worst asshole in the world.
The next panel was the Meta panel, which is basically the panel about the year in blogging. The main topic was the Clinton/Obama primary and the state of the progressive movement in general. I think my major contribution was suggesting that the movement model was not a good one to describe what was going on in liberal politics. In general, I think too many things get labeled as movements. Movements have goals and a sense of structure, and I don’t think the progressive blogosphere, while mighty and growing, really achieves that in any substantial sense. But that’s why I think it’s strong, because it’s more like an uprising. It’s a moment in history where the real silent majority speaks up, and lo and behold, they’re liberals. I think this is better than a movement, because movements tend to fall apart after certain goals are met, but a shift in the zeitgeist has more permanence.
I can’t find the fucking videos because they’re not easily found on the Netroots Nation site. That, I do believe, should be changed. Hopefully I’ll have them up soon.