Wednesday, June 11, 2003

Best idea in ages
I’m a little late in reporting on this. My only excuse is that I was struck dumb with admiration and awe at the sheer brilliance of it all. Those fine people over at Daily Kos (which has emerged as one of my favorite blogs) have leveraged their readership into a place at the table of the Democratic Party. In January Kos discussed the problem of so many blogs voicing good ideas, yet lacking the financial firepower to get a hearing by the party leaders, unlike big doners and traditional constituencies. Kos suggested that the small contributions of a few hundred people focused through one blog that represented their views could add up to a hundred thousand dollars or more and get them a hearing by the policy makers and strategists.

The Democratic National Committee listened and created a test program for the idea, ePatriots. At 36 hours into the test (the latest numbers), Kos had raised over 11,000 dollars for the anybody-but-Bush candidacy (in the form of 8K in single donations and 3K in monthly pledges). Even allowing for things to slow down, Kos should hit that 100K mark before the fourth of July.

Now only the most optimistic projections can imagine a program like this balancing the 200 million Bush expects to raise (even as his supporters try to portray their party as underdogs battling the bottomless pockets of Hollywood millionaires). The fact is, the Republican Party is decades ahead of the Democrats in the science of fundraising. The same people who brought the religious right out of their retreat from secular society and made them a force in electoral politics, pioneered direct mail and other mass fun-raising techniques. The Democrats continued to obliviously depend on the same fundraising methods they used to elect FDR.

Kos realized that it is time for genuine grass roots leadership and provided it. Someone at the DNC realized that this was just what they needed and accepted Kos’ outstretched hand. Bless their beady little heart. This is one of the best signs of hope I’ve seen in a long time. Give till it hurts. Vote early and vote often.

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