Magazine December 1, 2008, Issue

Roots of Defeat

President-elect Barack Obama speaks with Sen. John McCain at a bipartisan dinner honoring McCain in Washington, D.C., January 19, 2009. (Jim Young/Reuters)
Let us study, and emulate, the Left’s online tactics

The four-year ascent of Barack Obama from state senator to president marks not just the triumph of a man, but the coming of age of a movement.

That movement belongs to liberal (or “progressive”) Democrats, who in less than a decade have remade themselves. Once respected only in academia and the news media, they have become a fighting force. They systemically digitized the means of political organization and strategy, with the ultimate goal of dominating the political system — “Crush their spirits!” was Daily Kos blogger Markos Moulitsas Zuniga’s pre-election rallying cry. 

The Left’s online movement is consciously modeled after the Goldwater-and-Reagan-era

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