But after watching a panel about the Wisconsin aftermath, it was clear that activists are discouraged about their political defeats. The leaders there were no longer talking about “getting the message out” but discussing their ability to “get the messaging right” in order to unite the grassroots and appeal to the electorate. One of the panels was titled, “How Progressives Get the Narrative Wrong and How to Get it Right.”
Another frequent theme in these panels are the Koch Brothers and the Citizens United decision – the biggest threat in their view, to any political victories in the future. In the old days of Netroots Nation, these activists believed that they were changing the world by blogging and organizing. This year, however, they are lashing out against the shadow of “anonymous corporate money” which they believe is the only reason that Republicans are winning elections.
Perhaps there will be larger crowds on Saturday and for the closing keynote speaker Van Jones, but I doubt that many liberal bloggers and activists are feeling as empowered as they did in 2008.