Because of their different experiences, netrooters have dismissed talk of a sweep as so much old-timer mysticism. Old-timers have been unable to believe the netrooters do not see what is clearly before their eyes. As a result of their different experiences, netrooters are also more focused on carefully bringing home every victory that's clearly in reach and leaving nothing to chance in any race, while the old-timers are wondering whether a bank would loan the DNC $5 million or $10 million against future contributions to expand their reach from 30 targeted seats to 50. Old-timers are also speculating about whether they should count as won the top ten prospective take-overs and shift resources from those seats to the Tier 3 opportunities.
Digby says this is just jockeying for credit on a November 8 that may never happen, and I have to believe that this outcome is far from a foregone conclusion. I know I'm just a netroot newbie, but I find Howie Klein's assessment to be much more reflective of what the actions of the "old timers" and the "netroots" in this election season have actually been:
If recruiting candidates means finding self-financing Republicans to run as "Democrats," we wind up with corporate shills devoid of any Democratic values– like Tim Mahoney in Foley's old seat– or wasting god-only-knows-how-much money trying to defeat anti-war, progressive grassroots Democrats like Jerry McNerney with right-of-center rubber stamps (yeah, our side has that type too). Rahm's recruiting job has been terrible– unless your idea of a good Democrat is a conservative, anti-choice, homophobic Big Business pretty boy like Heath Shuler (who basically tossed a coin to decide if he'd run as a Democrat or a Republican). Meanwhile, did Rahm find a real opponent to take on Jerry Lewis, the most corrupt Republican in the House– and the one most likely to be be indicted and join his pals Ney and Cunningham and Abramoff in prison? (Answer: no; Lewis seems to have found his own "opponent," one who doesn't do any opposing.)
And if he's such a great fundraiser– and I'm not even talking about God having to save us from the Wall Street chits that will be cashed in after the Democrats take over– where are some funds for grassroots candidates an inch and a half from knocking off cash-rich GOP incumbents? Think Angie Paccione v Marilyn Musgrave or John Laesch v Denny Hastert or Coleen Rowley v John Kline or Victoria Wulsin v Mean Jean Schmidt or Steve Porter v Phil English. And every single district that has been a surprise, came not from Emanuel's efforts– except FL-16, which were probably very much his efforts– but despite him. He's always aimed at 15 seats. Democrats will probably take more than double that. Nothing to do with Emanuel at all.
And as far as vetting campaign strategy, I'd say I've talked in-depth to at least 50 Democrats. Exactly one seemed happy about Emanuel's DLC-oriented vetting and that one told me he had it out with Emanuel's attempt to impose his reactionary politics on his campaign and that he was able to convince Emanuel to back off. Most of the other campaigns see him and his anti-liberal interference as much an enemy as the Republicans.
We were engaging in this kind of long-term party building for beneath-the-DCCC-radar candidates on our Blue America page when Rahm was trying trying to run them all out of the race and could only count to 15, and to date we've raised over half a million dollars for them (that's more than the New Democratic Coalition raised for their candidates according to The Hill, so it's not exactly chump change). It's right there for everyone to see, proof that we were raising money for and promoting candidates who are now competitive back when they really needed it.
To all the "old timers" who now want to re-write history and take credit for that: you can't see this either, but I'm raising one finger on your behalf.