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"America has two great dominant strands of political thought - conservatism, which, at its very best, draws lines that should not be crossed; and progressivism, which, at its very best, breaks down barriers that should never have been erected." -- Bill Clinton, Dedication of the Clinton Presidential Library, November 2004

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Tuesday, August 12, 2003


The trouble with astroturf...

posted by annatopia at Tuesday, August 12, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
I've spent this week reading the blogs that have been set up by the other contenders, and I've noticed a few disturbing trends. In the interest of goodwill, I've created a short list of advice for the other campaigns. Remember, this is in the spirit of cooperation and eventually defeating GWB. Enjoy.
1. Familiarise yourself with the term "freeper". They are the enemy and have earned a reputation for trolling around sites and stirring shit up. They've got a reputation for being petulant, vicious little pricks. You can witness some of this behavior here, here, and here. I strongly suspect they are behind the Dean-Kerry blog flap.
2. Create a "troll goal". This has been successfully employed over at BlogForAmerican. Once the trolls realise they are helping you raise money, they usually go away. Also, please remember not to feed (engage) them. They aren't interested in meaningful dialogue.
3. Respect the other contenders and their supporters. This is a hard lesson to learn, but very valuable. Even though we are opponents in the primaries, remember that we all have the same goal: adding George W Bush's name to the unemployment rolls. Tearing each other up in the primaries isn't going to help any of us win the general. So be nice when supporters of other campaigns visit your site. Try and answer their questions as long as they're being civil, and hilight your candidate's strong points. But above all else, don't try and dismiss people from other camps. We are all going to need each other when the primaries are over.
4. Don't perpetuate big-media lies (I'm looking at you, Lieberman). In other words, don't give the RNC any ammo! You think Karl Rove isn't taking notes? Also, if you see a lie written about your candidate in the media, respond to it with facts. We've successfully done this via our crack rapid-response team, the DDF. Just keep hammering the message home (in a respectful and civil manner) and eventually the media will get it. Trust me, been there done that. None of us wants our candidate to get Gored in 2004.

And now, for your reading pleasure, a review of the other campaign blogs. This might seem harsh at times, but like Howard says I just tell you the truth and you think it's hell.
I really like Dennis Kucinich's official blog. It's functional and informative, and Dennis actually posts there. And hey, if I'm reading, he isn't able to yell at me. *tongue in cheek*
Blog Graham has a silly name and employs a template that's almost as ugly as our's. *wink* However, he seems to have assembled a really good blogging team and I'm sure the site will improve rapidly. Plus the format should suit Graham, who's known to be an avid diarist.
The unofficial Gephardt blog, Gephardt Grassroots, is looking good and seems to be run by some enthusiastic supporters. However, the blogging team over there needs to seriously read and absorb points three and four as outlined above.
I almost feel sorry for the Kerry bloggers. While I think it's a GoodThing that Kerry's got an official blog, I think it's a shame that the Kerry camp has been soiled by their leadership. Let me make this clear to Kerry supporters: I believe John Kerry is a fundamentally good man, he has a good record, and I respect his supporters and believe they have good intentions. I will enthusiastically support Kerry if he becomes the nominee. However, when you're associated with hatchet men like Chris Lehane, it's hard to foster goodwill. So I've got a solution for you. For Lehane's next birthday, buy him a ball gag:

Seriously. That would go a long way towards healing the rift.
*mad props to John at for hooking up this graphic for me

In all seriousness, I wish the other campaigns luck in their blogging endeavors. And remember, when all is said and done we are on the same team. Play nice, okay?


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About Nation-Building

Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.