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Netroots Nation Day 1 Random Thoughts

Greetings from lovely Providence! I’m here at the 7th annual Netroots Nation gathering, and the mood so far is, I would say, anxious. I had one participant come up to me and say, “We should cancel all the panels and hold a three-day plenary session called ‘What the hell should we do now?'” To be clear, this isn’t just about Wisconsin but the general sense of neutered progressive power, particularly on issues of economic justice. The first panel of the day, on fighting the big banks, was sufficiently angry. And nobody had any good words for Eric Schneiderman’s appearance tonight as keynote speaker. Matt Browner-Hamlin of Occupy Our Homes noted that reporters like Abigail Field (who filled in here last month) have done more investigation of the banks than the New York Attorney General’s office. Max Berger of Occupy Wall Street was slightly more charitable, saying that Schneiderman is “a good guy who doesn’t want to admit he’s been played.” Given his appearance introducing the President this week at a big fundraiser in New York City, I’d say he’s happy to be played.

There’s a decent amount of energy here about breaking up the banks, and about making linkages to the emerging coalition on the right interested in that same end goal. I think there’s some recognition that you have to write off politicians on this score and build power on the outside and work in, rather than the other way around.

OK, will check back later. Blaming spelling mistakes on the auto-correct function on the iPad.

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David Dayen

David Dayen