Think we're a flash in the pan? Blogging and other new media are just continuing to grow in political influence

From the Hill.com, a very interesting article on where politics are continuing to shift:

Former Sen. John Edwards’s favorite books include “The Trial of Socrates,” “God’s Politics” and “Into Thin Air.” His favorite musician is Bruce Springsteen. His heroes are his wife, Elizabeth, and the American people.

How did this information about a likely 2008 presidential candidate become public? Through MySpace.com, a networking website where Edwards (D-N.C.), like former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack (D), has set up pages to tell people about himself. Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) has 6,000 friends on his page at Facebook.com. Visitors to those pages can join the candidates’ “networks” and candidates can use the sites to communicate with narrow groups of likely voters.

Ret. Gen. Wesley Clark (D) has focused his efforts on podcasting, creating an audio message that his supporters can listen to at his website or download from Apple’s iTunes. Clark has the second most listened-to podcast among likely 2008 contenders, after Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), as measured by iTunes.

Seemingly overnight, the Internet has changed politics and the course of campaigns. The 30-second television advertisement has been a staple of campaigning for decades. But last summer, Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) made YouTube a must-use campaign website. The site allows users to post and circulate video instantly, and Allen was caught on videotape calling S.R. Sidarth, a volunteer of Indian descent for Sen.-elect Jim Webb (D-Va.), “macaca,” which was said to be a racial insult.

Candidates face a serious challenge from the new ways people gather information and news. Fewer people are watching network television or reading major newspapers, turning instead to the Internet. This trend has left candidates hustling to figure out how technology can help them communicate with a fragmented audience.

and...

Armstrong and other technology-savvy aides said candidates must integrate all of the different messaging platforms — blogging, instant messaging, text-messaging, social networking — with a campaign’s field and communications programs.

“It’s not about technology. It’s the principles behind the technology,” said Peter Daou, a consultant to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.). “What campaigns miss are the principles about how this bottom-up approach works.”

and...

Social networking sites carry some risks for candidates because political opponents can use material against them. Some candidates banned their 20-something-year-old aides from using MySpace or Facebook because they feared their opponents would use the content against them.

Rep.-elect Brad Ellsworth (D-Ind.) said some Republican activists criticized him because his 20-year-old daughter’s Facebook profile included a photo of her holding a beer

Read it all here.

Comments

johnnie w. said…
As I tried to explain on here a few times, the most popular facebook.com group in South Dakota this election cycle was Support SoDak Medical Marijuana.

Did the final vote total surprise you PP? Almost 158,000 voters (48%) chose YES on IM4 despite Rounds, AGLong, "sheriffs" and the federal goons campaigning against the measure.

Expect to see it again.
Anonymous said…
It'll pass. It's only a matter of time.
Anonymous said…
8:15, the facebook popularity of the marijuana amendment was likely from younger people and others who wanted marijuana for recreational, not medicinal, purposes. And it would sure be nice if we didn't have to go through this again.
Anonymous said…
48% of South Dakotans supported Measure 4, anon 9:56. If a few problems with the bill are fixed, why wouldn't you want SD voters to have another chance to pass it?
Anonymous said…
I didn't watch a lot of TV during prime campaign time - was there any organized opposition to IM4 that ran ads? I only saw the ad with the Desert Storm lady in favor of it. I saw print ads from both sides, but only TV in favor of IM4. Can anyone enlighten me?
bill napoli said…
yGod help us if the radical extremist bloggers gain influence of any kind. No doubt most of the bloggers over on blogmore and other blogsites lack any basic morals or integrity relating to honesty or the truth. Spending thier time slopping around in lies, rumors,bias, discrimination, and radical extremism. These bloggers will admit this. Many of these blogsites expound hate and prejudice. they are willing to say anything no matter how crazy to destroy any person that is not in lockstep with them. All under the name anonymous. The war college is at least one site where the truth can be told and discussed without all the filthy name calling so common on other sites.I beleive sites like the war college will continue to gain credibility only to be dragged down by those espousing thier brand of extremism.
Anonymous said…
I don't think there were any TV ads opposed to the medical marijuana initiative. There were some print and radio ads opposed to it, but none on TV that I saw or heard about.

Supporters of medical marijuana are hopeful that the new Dem-controlled Congress will vote to prohibit federal prosecution of state-authorized medical marijuana patients. They have a pretty good chance of accomplishing that goal, too.
Anonymous said…
Words of wisdom for Bill Napoli:

"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt."

Abraham Lincoln, 16th president of US (1809 - 1865)
johnnie w. said…
There were NO tv ads against the medical marijuana measure.

The main opposition to medical marijuana in South Dakota came from Larry Long. Long, in his capacity as AG, was sued regarding the ballot language. Judge Gors in Pierre found his language misleading. No surprise here.

As the campaign drew closer to election time, Long backed away from his arguments against the measure (children would be smoking pot, more recretional use) and turned to the language of the ballot measure as a cop out.

I've talked to numerous friends and family that were surprised that their Republican friends (silently) supported the measure. Medical marijuana actually garnered a majority of the votes in the largest county, Minnehaha.

Again, expect medical marijuana on the ballot again in 2008. That is unless the SD legislature enacts a bill allowing for such medical use this upcoming session.
Anonymous said…
What we forget about the medical marijuan issue is there is a legal alternative. Marinol, a synthetic form of THC, has been prescribed by docotors since the mid 1980's. This needs to be brought up in the future shoulf there be another initiated measure of this kind.
Anonymous said…
Medical marijuana patients, almost to the last one of them, prefer smoked marijuana to Marinol.

There are a number of reasons for that, not the least of which is the fact that Marinol is close to 100% THC, while smoked marijuana is less than 20% THC. THC is the medically active component of marijuana, but it's also the part that produces the psychoactive side effects. It's the part that recreational pot smokers are after.

Medical users don't like Marinol because it's so high in THC that the psychoactive effects are overwhelming, diminishing the therapeutic, medicinal effects. In other words, they get stoned out of their minds, when that's not what they're looking for. They're looking for nausea relief, or appetite stimulation, or alleviation of pain. They're not looking to get high.

This alone should be proof to a reasonable person that medical marijuana isn't a front for the recreational users. If they were looking to get high, Marinol would be their thing. But they're looking for something entirely different, and that something is best delivered by way of smoked marijuana, not Marinol.

Besides, Marinol is like $2 a pill. Why should a patient have to pay such an outrageous price for something they can grow for free in their backyard, next to the corn and tomatoes? Why is the synthetic version preferable to the natural one?

If you've ever wondered why the feds keep medical marijuana illegal in spite of the overwhelming anecdotal evidence that it does, in fact, have valid therapeutic, medicinal value, look no further than the Big Pharma industry and the Almighty Dollar. If they're making $2 a pill for Marinol -- and the thousands of other FDA approved drugs people take instead of marijuana -- they have a vested financial interest in keeping free, homegrown marijuana illegal.

In DC, money talks. And Big Pharma has as much money as anyone.
Anonymous said…
2:45

I don't understand. If Marinol is 100% THC - the medically active part of marijuana - then why wouldn't patients prefer that instead of smoking the rest of the marijuana plant that I would assume is at the very least harmful to the lungs? I looked at the Marinol website, and it says there are 3 doses available - 2.5, 5, and 10 mg. I'd think that if the patient is having problems with side effects, a smaller dosage might help that.

I'm no doctor, but seems to me that an FDA approved drug that's regulated to have a certain amount of the medically effective component would be preferable to patients growing their own plants with varying levels of THC and smoking it.

I guess my question would be why does marijuana need to be legal if there are prescription THC pills available?
Anonymous said…
"If Marinol is 100% THC - the medically active part of marijuana - then why wouldn't patients prefer that instead of smoking the rest of the marijuana plant..."

I'm not a medical marijuana patient, so I can't speak from experience, but I know people who are, and I have talked to them about their experience. They say that Marinol just doesn't work as well as smoked marijuana. Simple as that.

One reason for this is that Marinol, even in the smaller doses, is more psychoactive than smoked marijuana. In other words, they get all stoned out on Marinol, but that's not why they're taking it. So it's an undesirable side effect, more undesirable than with the natural substance.

There are other reasons. If you're truly interested in this question, check out this study:

http://tinyurl.com/y8gqc9

"...that I would assume is at the very least harmful to the lungs?"

As counterintuitive as this may sound, it turns out that smoking marijuana is not harmful to the lungs. A recent study came out which revaled as much. Here's a link to the Washington Post article about the study:

http://tinyurl.com/nsd2k

And here's a quote from the article:

"The largest study of its kind has unexpectedly concluded that smoking marijuana, even regularly and heavily, does not lead to lung cancer."

"I guess my question would be why does marijuana need to be legal if there are prescription THC pills available?"

Well, if you really want the answer to that question, read the study I linked to above and reach your own conclusions. All I know for sure is that the anecdotal evidence, including all the patients I've talked to, prefer smoked marijuana to Marinol, almost to the last one of them.

These people are not smoking pot to get high. If you knew a bona fide medical marijuana patient, you'd realize this. The diseases for which marijuana has therapeutic value are horrible, awful diseases. When an MS patient, crippled from debilitating pain, tells you that marijuana makes her feel "1000 times better" than any other drug, including Marinol, you'd believe her.

(The reason there isn't anything beyond anecdotal evidence is because the Feds won't let scientists study medical marijuana, for the reasons stated in my previous comment, i.e., money and big pharma.)
Anonymous said…
Hey Potheads:
You are posting in the wrong area, this has to with blogs and their influence. Go smoke over at blogmore.

Bill I partially agree with you, but I think the consumer will eventually move away from the bad blogs that allow lies etc. We will see in the future.

I enjoy these blogs, I am getting good at figuring out who all the anoymous people are. It is amasing how our habits give us away.
Anonymous said…
Marijuana is not less harmful to the lungs, the studies are just not as indepth as those involving cigarettes. Marijuana burns at a higher temperature than cigarettes and burns the mouth, air passages and lungs thus leading to other problems. Although Marinol may not be the answer some are looking for it is a step in the right direction. Cost should not be a factor as we all know many of the leading pain pills such as oxycontin are not cheap. Medical marijuana is a step in the wrong direction and will lead to mess in the judicial system as it has in California and other states where the voters passed such measures.
Anonymous said…
yup, thats what i want, some guy loaded to the gills on BC Bud, driving his beater down the highway at me.

"wow dude, like hey man, im totally bummed about this accident, and i got kids of my own, this is such a DRAG, man. you think the mother will make it to the hospital?"

"what? oh that? ya man, thats my medical mary jane, dude, i got chronic knee pain, i got a prescription, so its like cool, man, and hey i smoke every day so its not like i cant handle it dude."
Anonymous said…
ok ok, back on the topic.

powers runs a great blog here. i dont agree with everything he says, and there should be a tax on anyone named Napoli blogging here, but the fact is the blogoshpere is a great place for all of us to ventilate.

bear in mind that many of the founding fathers published commentary under assumed names.
Anonymous said…
anon 7:07,

Driving under the influence of marijuana wouldn't have been legal if 4 passed.

Under your logic, though, we should prohibit beer too, right?
Anonymous said…
Somebody should tell Naploi that some nut is posting using his name.

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