What if the internet and blogs had been around earlier?

I was picking up my daughter and was pondering the recent posts I've done on Congresswoman Herseth Sandlin - going to Greenland with Nancy Pelosi, Flip Flopping on Kyoto, and backing an immigration measure that I can't imagine many South Dakotans are going to agree with.

And it gave me pause because accusations of doing one thing in Washington, yet saying another at home in South Dakota was a familiar accusation against Senator Daschle. Yet, he rarely had his feet held to the fire on votes until election time - and by then, it was long in the past, and nobody cared.

Until the Internet came around and South Dakota Politics held everyone's feet to the fire on those issues, day after day.

So it gave me a reason to post this topic for discussion - If the Internet and political blogs had been around 20 or 30 years ago, would Senator Daschle have had such a long tenure in Washington?

And as for today's politicians, do they have to mind their P's & Q's a little more closely, because they have to worry about citizen bloggers, as opposed to reporters in the Mainstream Media who they can build relationships with?


Anonymous said…
Ok PP -
Let’s go back even further. Let’s go back to the 80’s and the days of the Iran –Contra Crisis. Can you imagine what people would have be saying about President Reagan when we held his feet to the fire on illegally selling arms to the Iranians (while they were at war with our ally Sadam Husain) and funneling the money to drug running terrorists in Nicaragua, helping them overthrow a democratically elected government. I’m guessing that Oliver North would have done real time in prison, as would have Poindexter, and Elliott Abrams, Duane R. Clarridge, Alan Fiers, Clair George, Robert C. McFarlane, and Caspar W. Weinberger would have never been pardoned because the first President Bush would have never been elected.
Anonymous said…
Yeah, I see how well blogs like this reported the correction on the so-called Herseth Kyoto Flip Flop that the Pierre Capitol Journal ran the day after the story PP keeps linking to.

I'm sure he "conveniently" missed that one...
Haggs said…
Nice assumption that only Democrats do that kind of thing, PP.

But you do have an interesting point. Bloggers do seem to have a powerful role in politics right now. They kind of snuck in on the heals of the 24-hour news networks which, I think, politicians were still getting used to.

But now we see bloggers changing the course of campaigns. I didn't really follow the story, but wasn't there something about one of the Dem candidates hiring a blogger? I remember something about it was screwy.
Anonymous said…
blogs are simply back fences over which people gossip. They have no impact on election results.
Anonymous said…
good lord PP, don't give South Dakota Politics credit for Thune's win.

Daschle ran an awful race, one of the worst in recent memory, and Thune ran an excellent race with very few errors.

the existence of blogs made no difference at the end of the day. don't be delusional.

any of the iniinitely small number of people (relative to the overall population of voters in this state) who readd blogs has their mind made up by now on every election they'll vote in for the next 100 years.
Anonymous said…
Ahh, South Dakota politics blog...

Remember when the founders actually discussed issues in South Dakota politics?

It's unfortunate what has happened over that jazz notes...er, the little blog on the plains
Anonymous said…
No, blogs are as meaningless in the big scheme of things as coffee shop gossip.

Sorry, PP. You're more insignificant than you believe.
Anonymous said…
Well, when I try to hold your feet to the fire, PP, you ban me. Perhaps if you were to defend your positions, especially those that are anathema to Republican principles, you'd gain a little more admiration.

For instance, with which of Ron Paul's positions do you disagree, and why?

With what, on the downsizedc.org website, do you disagree? Why?

Bob Newland
Anonymous said…
I don't think blogs, in general, affect election outcomes. Blogs and their readers seem to be mostly insiders or political junkies who already have their minds made up. However, there is the occasional MSM story that is spurred by a blog...if the blog item makes conservatives or Republicans look bad, of course.
Anonymous said…
i have to agree w/charley...blogs are just an entertaining way to pass the time for ppl who happen to have the time. seems like much self-congratulatory musings...really pretty much of a waste of time...makes me wonder why i do it?

was watching colbert report last night. he acknowledges that he says things just to make the blogosphere erupt. but i can't imagine all this blogging really impacts anything in the long run..especially doesn't seem to serve to change anyone's already-formed opinions.
Anonymous said…
Hmmmm. What if cigarettes were good for you?
Anonymous said…
Both of PP's Ahabs posting on the same thread?!?!?!? THIS could never have happened without blogs. Newland and Adlestein are both Ahab, and Pat is their white whale. (no pun intended)
Anonymous said…
I feel blogging has allowed people
to be more educated on the pros and
cons of our candidates and elected
politians. The MSM like the Argus
Lier certainly will not provide a balanced position!! You can't get it from ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and many others who don't report the news any longer - they make up their own propigandy.
Anonymous said…
Proir to blogs, the US citizens would never have learned about the serious threats this country is under. Our government and the MSM covers it up. Look at the blog
RealFakeNews said…
If blogs had existed in 1860, Douglas would have beaten Lincoln. And Dakota Territory Watch would have been HUGE!
Anonymous said…
7:20,...Right On!
Anonymous said…
Having allowed a decent interval for PP to inform himself (and us) abour downsizedc.org, I must assume now that PP is opposed to congresspeople needing to actually read the bills on which they vote.
Anonymous said…
Okay then, anybody...

What political party's principles would be violated by the adoption of the following legislation?

“Read the Bills Act (RTBA).” RTBA requires that ...

* Each bill, and every amendment, must be read in its entirety before a quorum in both the House and Senate.

* Every member of the House and Senate must sign a sworn affidavit, under penalty of perjury, that he or she has attentively either personally read, or heard read, the complete bill to be voted on.

* Every old law coming up for renewal under the sunset provisions must also be read according to the same rules that apply to new bills.

* Every bill to be voted on must be published on the Internet at least 7 days before a vote, and Congress must give public notice of the date when a vote will be held on that bill.

* Passage of a bill that does not abide by these provisions will render the measure null and void, and establish grounds for the law to be challenged in court.

* Congress cannot waive these requirements.

downsizedc.org (Read the Bills Act)
Haggs said…
I thought of a clear example of how the internet can affect an election. Does anyone remember George Allen and the unfortunate incident last year?

Allen was up for re-election to the US Senate and there was a lot of speculation that he was a frontrunner to run for president in 2008. But then he called a worker for his opponent a racial slur and the video of that incident ended up on the internet. From there it spread and was picked up by the major news networks. And that pretty much ruined Allen's career.

Without the internet, George Allen might still be in the Senate and probably be on his way to a presidential nomination.

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