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#Dontgo — Right Roots Rising?

Patrick Ruffini is right about one thing — it must’ve been awfully difficult to organize around defending George Bush for the past eight years, an unenviable task destined to attract only the intellectually impoverished, the morally bankrupt and the logic-impaired.

On the left, we were able to mobilize against the war, the destruction of the Constitution, Hurricane Katrina and an almost daily buffet of crony capitalism outrages. And also, it should be said, we took on the Democratic Party, who were supposed to do such great things with that 2006 majority.

Now the rightroots folks are trying to play catchup with the #Dontgo movement, and while I think Patrick is probably right that it’s easier to play offense rather than defense online, the idea that this was spawned as some sort of grass roots uprising is kind of a joke.

The Republicans in the House are pulling a pretty thin stunt in demanding that Democrats not go on August recess until a solution is found to the energy crisis, and John McCain is applauding them. In theory that’s great — we have a huge energy problem in this country that definitely needs dealing with. Have had for decades.

But to pretend that their proffered solution — more drilling — is not one that was drafted by the oil companies, supported with huge marketing budgets and enormous campaign donations, is pathetic. Newt Gingrich is leading the charge, ferchrissakes. The whole thing is just more of the rightroots acting as an echo chamber for their party’s corporate overlords. Top-down messaging in extremis, no matter how many tweets you generate.

(It also looks like they’ve picked a dog of an issue — 63% of Americans say expanded drilling is "more likely to enrich oil companies than to lower gas prices for American consumers," according to a recent poll. And McCain’s $1.3 million in donations from Big Oil in June hardly make him the leader of a grassroots rebellion.)

The much more realistic counterpart to the left’s online organizing efforts are probably to be found with the Ron Paul conservatives, who are disgusted at the fact that their principles of smaller government, civil liberties and no foreign intervention have been sacrificed to the highest bidder. Their online organizing efforts are likewise nascent, but their counter-convention in Minneapolis seems a lot more interesting than an effort to boil Exxon’s messaging down to 150 characters so a bunch of people can repeat it with sheep-like accuracy.

Face it, fellas. You’re still getting pwnd.

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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