How do you know if the blogosphere is effective? What metric might we use to determine whether the voices of left-leaning citizen bloggers are having an effect on public discourse? My answer? Look at how the GOP views the state of their communications efforts. Do they feel like their message is dominating? From CNN:
In his new role as chief of staff, [Josh] Bolten is focusing on improving White House communications and legislative affairs to regenerate the administration’s message and performance, said sources familiar with his thinking.
“There are two positions he is anxious to turn — Scott’s position and legislative affairs,” said a source with close ties to the White House.
“It’s not about who but what is broken. He does not view it … in terms of personalities, that’s the way Josh thinks,” another source said. “Josh keeps his counsel fairly close. He’s very logical, and the logical place to start looking is communications.”
Numerous Republican officials said the discussion is focused on McClellan.
“There is a lot of dissatisfaction with the state of communications, the daily communication from the podium, the congressional communications and strategic communications from both in and outside the White House,” said one White House insider.
The left is not doing much on legislative issues. In that role we are stuck in a purely defensive role. But, it is increasingly clear that the left is holding it’s own, and even winning some key battles, in the court of public opinion.
The public at large is much slower to absorb our message than we would like. This is especially true because the public still relies on the networks, cable news, and mainstream newspapers and magazines to get the bulk of their news. And those sources are still too concerned with the war effort and the so-called immanent threat of devastating acts of terrorism, to present the news in a straightforward and honest way. But the truth is seeping in to the public’s consciousness.
Bush is now seen as incompetent. Cheney is at 18% in the polls. The Dems have a huge generic edge in Congressional polls. Impeachment is being discussed with much greater frequency. And, above all, the public has finally agreed that we were lied into war, and that war is not worth the cost.
It’s sad that the administration thinks all its problems can be solved if they just improve their communications. First of all, that shows they are not learning from their mistakes. But, second of all, it shows they are just wrong. Their communications are faltering because the left has found the blogosphere and regular citizens, not neutered by lobbyist’s money, have learned to use the internets to get the truth to the American people.