For about a year, I have been toying with the idea of a three-part essay set on what I see happening to the netroots and to Left politics in general. It was kicked off several years ago by a combination of events.
First, someone I know who had been a staunch conservative became a full bore "netizen", but the curious thing was that she still hated liberal democrats such as myself. If anything, she hated them more. The target of her anger remained the same but the reasons provided were different. Looking into those reasons, I realized that they were structurally the same as a conservative opponent's argumens, and so I began to ponder the parallels of the extremes of thought.
Second, I was taken with Mark Schmidt's writings about the political realignment of the nation after Goldwater's abortive presidential run and the passage of the Civil Rights Act. It went with similar arguments coming from Paul Krugman and Rick Perlstein on how and why the electorate moved so suddenly and dramatically to right, leaving conservative values and becoming radical fundamentalists. I was also struck by the (ultimately reductionistic and counter-productive) arguments of Tom Schaller about the need for Democrats to abandon the South.
Finally, I watched the debacle of the Ned Lamont campaign, championed by the leading bloggers of the Left blogosphere. To this day, they seem blind, deaf and dumb to the impact they had on the 2006 election. Or perhaps they understand only too well.
All of this had more or less coalesced into a set of three essays: one on the difference between liberal democrats and Jacobins, one on "The South" in American politics, and a final one on the netroots as power brokers in elections.
I wrote up the first essay before Iowa. The other two have not been set down, but exist as notes and blog posts. I'm going to post the first essay to give people something to chew on while I'm involved in other things. The other two may or may not get written.