The Netroots in a Nutshell: Three Things the Netroots Want
I've got no special expertise for making this post. But I read the major blogs regularly, and I came up with this list awhile back. Time has only reinforced its accuracy, in my opinion. So here goes:
1. We want Dems who are more apt to criticize the GOP and build up their own party, rather than the other way around.
Especially since it's the GOP that's running America, and doing a pretty wretched job of it. DLC Dems who say things like "far too many Democrats view George W. Bush as a greater threat to the nation than Osama bin Laden" aren't engaging in constructive criticism; they're doing Karl Rove's work for him.
2. We want 'fighting Dems,' Dems willing to fight for what they believe in, and take the battle to the enemy when they've gone off the rails, as they have during the Bush years.
The view from out here is that Dems are (a) happy to compromise on practically everything, and (b) too often afraid to criticize Bush head-on.
Compromise is good much of the time, but every Dem in Congress should be able to list a half-dozen things that he will fight for, and not back down on, because they're the sort of thing a Dem should never stop fighting for.
And given the depravity of the current Administration, the Dems should never let a speech, a public appearance, or a moment in front of a TV camera, go by without reminding listeners of at least one or two of Bush's many debacles: Iraq, Katrina, the attempted gutting of Social Security, the Medicare prescription drug benefit, appointing incompetent hacks to run most of the government, the failure to do basic homeland protection even after 5 years, our adrift foreign policy, no action on global warming, out-of-control budget and trade deficits, the mediocre job situation in what's supposedly a booming economy, people getting denied the right to overtime or union representation...you get the idea.
Pick and choose your slams, paying attention to who your audience is, but never stop reminding your audiences of how badly this Administration and the GOP have fucked up this nation and much of the world.
3. 'Centrism' means appealing to center-right voters, not kissing up to money. We can live with the former (especially for red-state Dems), but not the latter.
Be pro-gun (Dean, Schweitzer), be pro-life (Harry Reid), be pro-flag-burning-amendment if you must, especially if you're running in a conservative district. But don't support class action and bankruptcy 'reforms' and call that 'centrism'; you're not winning over any moderate voters by taking those stands. When the moneyed interests and the interests of average Americans collide, a Dem's place is with average Americans. This is why you have a Democratic Party. Always remember that.
And that's really it. The netroots, in a nutshell.