Two of the biggest political stories of the year, so far, have been the rise of the Godtalkers -- old and new -- in the Democratic Party and the ever-larger online power base that most liberal leaders call the Netroots. So I was curious the other day to see if these two trends would overlap in mainstream news coverage of the Yearly Kos, that media-friendly gathering of the folks whose political lives revolve around the Daily Kos weblog and the groups that spin out of it.
So far, it does not appear that the Netroots are getting Middle American religion -- at least there is no sign of it in the Los Angeles Times report on the event. I am trying to scan the other mainstream coverage, but I am getting no hits with searches involving "God," "Christian" and other obvious terms. Anyone seen anything? I did see one Washington Times reference on Google to an interfaith prayer breakfast. Here is a link to that weblog item.
But back to the Los Angeles Times story, by reporter James Rainey. It does include the following interesting reference to the goals of the Netroots movement:
Simon Rosenberg, president of the liberal think tank New Democratic Network, told a panel Friday that Democrats had a "historic opportunity" to create a lasting Democratic majority, much as Franklin Roosevelt did in 1932.
"We have the opportunity to put the Republicans away for a generation," Rosenberg said. "But it's not just going to happen -- you have to make it happen."
Liberals heralded the first Kos convention last summer in Las Vegas as a watershed moment in online activism. Berkeley-based Markos Moulitsas lent his Daily Kos blog handle but said he left the planning to others, mostly volunteers. They boasted this year that the gathering had grown in many ways -- from 1,000 to 1,500 participants, from 150 to 250 media outlets, with a tripling of sponsorships from unions and other liberal-leaning organizations to $250,000.
Now, as a guy who has a framed portrait of FDR over his desk at home, this fascinated me.
But, wait a minute, list in your minds the major building blocks of the powerful FDR-era Democratic Party coalition. Didn't that coalition include large numbers of Bible Belt moral populists and evangelicals? And didn't urban Catholics in the Midwest and Northeast -- you know, the daily Mass Catholics who played such a large role in labor history -- figure into that coalition, too?
As a pro-life Democrat, that's the sort of thing you would expect me to ask about. Has anyone seen any mainstream -- or blog nation -- coverage of traditional faith at the Yearly Kos? How are the evangelical Democrats and the anti-evangelical Democrats getting along?
The Daily Kos posted some photos from the interfaith service, and here they are.