Sunday, October 16, 2005

Politicos Pay Attention to Blogs

[EDIT: Now Trackbacked at Basil, Point Five, Jo's Cafe, Cafe Oregano, Stop the ACLU]

The Political Teen has video of a CNN clip where they discuss the blogosphere's reaction to the Harriet Miers nomination. What's less important to me is the actual content of this discussion: It's a short point they make about the Republican National Committee.

[Background] Many bloggers [including myself] recently received an e-mail from Patrick Ruffini, he of the famous 'straw poll' on Decision 2008. He says in the e-mail:

I have some news. Starting this week, I'm starting on a new path and taking leave from the day-to-day work of writing my blog at I'll now be working at the Republican National Committee as their new eCampaign Director, helping make a driver of votes and volunteer action in 2006. Needless to say, it's a job that will require all the time I've got! My announcement post is here:
In the CNN clip, the reporters mention that the RNC actually sought out the opinions of the conservative blogosphere to better understand their issues with the Miers nomination. They contacted them, and by my understanding, had an open conference call with them to discuss the RNC's position and the bloggers' positions. While no minds were changed in this call, the call itself is impressive: I don't know of another instance where a major political party sought out the opinions and comments of portions of the blogosphere, especially by a major decision. Granted, this is in response to criticism, and it is post-nomination; but they are obviously paying at least some attention to the criticism levelled at them, and not just shrugging it off.

I don't particularly mind that nothing much came of the call, at least specific to the nomination. What's important is that the Republican National Committee is not ignoring their strong base in the slightest; on the other hand, they aren't required to agree with everything that the bloggers say, either. If they did rush to convince the President to pull the nomination or Miers to remove herself, I don't think that would be very wise.

What is important is the call itself: Hopefully, with Ruffini now running the eCampaign, a greater respect and acknowledgement of the blogosphere will exist within the RNC. While I have no clue if he played any role in this conference call, I would not be surprised. His own experience within the blogosphere allows him to show the rest of the RNC what the blogosphere is made of. Instapundit, Michelle Malkin, RedState, PoliPundit... These are people - constituents - who are seriously debating and questioning the decisions of their leaders. Sometimes, they agree; sometimes, they don't. But they have reasons, logic, and facts at their fingertips that factor into their decisions.

It will be interesting to see if this type of activity continues, and to what extent. If this begins to become a trend (we've seen a small number of politicians pay attention to PorkBusters - but only after receiving notice), we may see a re-shaping of the political world as we know it. I think that whichever party truly latches on to the idea - not through paying lip service, but by truly paying attention to the blogosphere - will become far stronger, and fast. This should not be done irresponsibly, as has been done in the past by Presidents (and others) who too closely followed national polls. But the logical reasoning of bloggers, their analyses, and their sometimes ingenius ideas should not be ignored.

The Republican National Committee has taken the first step. Will more follow?

We can only hope.

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  1. It's kind of hard to downplay the close ties between Kos, Dean and Clark in the insane left's echo chamber.

  2. That's a bit different, but I do hear the point... Kos and Dean, though they have hijacked the party, are less representative of most Democrats' ideals than the RNC is of Republicans'. At least, I hope so.

  3. ...though they have hijacked the party...

    I ain't complaining.