Call#: Van Pelt Library JK2281 .C67 2004
This chapter analyzes five cases of online politics, including the use of the internet by Bush and McCain in 2000, the phenomenon moveon.org, Web White and Blue and the “instant response meter” developed by Speakout.com. The moveon.org case study discusses the evolution of the wildly successful organization which proved to have a mobilizing capacity beyond all expectation. It summarizes its strategy of providing a voice for those unheard during the Clinton scandal as well as using the Internet to broaden the early donor pool. The article mentions in the last few sentences that there is no conservative counterpart to the MoveOn model, perhaps because “grassroots action works better in opposition – and the conservatives are in power.” I think this is a valid point and worth examining in relation to the Democratic takeover in the midterm elections although at the moment it seems too early for a conservative backlash.
As the chapter points out, Joan Blades and Wes Boyd (the founders of MoveOn) are not political candidates. They (in the vein of many environmentalists or human rights organizations responding to a specific problem) started their site/online petition as a reaction to the Clinton impeachment issue and grew to become a kind of brand of endorsement for selected democratic candidates. Also, they bundle donor choices to make sizable contributions to a slate of candidates. Would any one candidate be able to mobilize the kind of broad support this portal of the people harnessed?