Here's a happy headline: Netroots Bloggers Mark 10th Birthday in Decline and Struggling for Survival. It's kind of shocking to realize that I met Susie Madrak and Duncan Black and Chris Bowers and upyernoz and Brendan Skwire and Chris Baldwin and Mithras and Delaware Dem and so many other gifted writer/activists seven and half years ago. Philadelphia had a special culture in that 2005-2008 span. The 2008 primaries put some strain on some relationships, but it was really the battle over the Wall Street bailout and the public option that splintered the movement. That, and we lost our bar and had a bunch of kids.
I don't think America really knows how much they owe to the Netroots. Those early warriors changed how you are experiencing this election. They changed how the media reports the news and made them more accountable. They made politicians more accountable for what they say, how they vote, and whom they take money from. They will also go down in history as the people who not only opposed the war in Iraq but figured out how to make sure the world knew about that opposition. Future generations will look favorably on that, just as we look favorably on the people who protested Vietnam or the brave Germans who resisted Hitler.
I really love all the people I came to know in those early days. You won't find better people anywhere. But, as a group, we haven't been rewarded and we haven't prospered. Most of us (those still in the game, anyway) are still relying on the financial support of our readers.
But, then, we were all wired a little differently, weren't we?