Instead, the netroots say their chief goal is “comprehensive health care reform.” No. 2 is “working to elect progressive candidates” in 2010.

To me this looks less like conviction politics and more like team ball. I can’t help doubting that these activists have given long and deep thought to “government option” health insurance or negotiating, as the Obama White House has, nonaggression pacts with pharmaceutical lobbyists and the like.

They sound much more like a crowd at a stadium, eager for a touchdown and not caring much whether it’s accomplished by a quarterback sneak or a runback of a punt. There’s always an element of team ball in politics, and in the past decade polls have shown that those identifying with both parties tend to support with suspicious regularity just about every jot and tittle of their side’s platform.

But the netroots seem to have cared more about Iraq than they do about health care.