Blue America Plans for a Happy New Year
One of the biggest successes FDL had last year came when Howie Klein started doing his "Blue America" column every Saturday morning. While I enjoyed Howie's obsession with the minutae of congressional races on his site DownWithTyranny , I wasn't sure anyone else would share that but it seemed like something we should be doing, and it would keep Howie out of trouble. It soon mushroomed into one of our most popular features, and not only did we eventually turn over supervision of our FDL ActBlue page to Howie (since he was so scrupulous about vetting candidates), we talked John Amato of Crooks & Liars into joining forces with us and created one of the most potent fundraising aparatus for progressive candidates on the web.
We also formed a Blue America PAC and Howie produced the now-famous "Have You Had Enough" videos with Ken Mosher, Tommy Maxwell and Ricki Lee Jones that we customized for numerous progressive candidates who would never have had the budgets or resources to do so themselves. Tommy and Ken and their band also traveled to Connecticut to play rallies on behalf of Ned Lamont and Chris Murphy, and we were able to give platforms and publicity to candidates who otherwise would have had little in Howie's regular Blue America chats. Howie became the bet noir of all those who tried to silence any Democratic candidates from talking about the war in the runup to the election, and was able to effectively counter these same folks when they attempted to credit themselves with victories that their so-called "centrist" platforms did not deserve.
As we look out toward the new year, I think the Blue America project is one of the most exciting and viable tools we have for not only using the advantage that the left has when it comes to the relationship we have with popular culture (Lou Reed is probably not going to be doing a "Let's Bomb Iran" version of "Walk on the Wildside" for Powerline any time soon, no matter how many times The Big Trunk wants to whistle Hattie Carroll), but for re-branding the notion of what it means to be a "liberal" and creating a positive cultural identity around it after all the incoming grenades it has taken from the right wing for decades.
So, today's question. What would you like to see from Blue America in the upcoming year, and what suggestions/ideas do you have for accomplishing it? It's a program with tremendous potential and it achieves its successes thanks to those members of the community upon whose support and participation it depends, so please consider this your forum to discuss thoughts and ideas you might have for what we can and should be doing.