FROM Micah Sifry
Can Obama Woo Back the Grassroots? The big story of the 2008 presidential campaign was the massive, grassroots army of some 13 million volunteers that Barack Obama recruited with the promise of change. The big question of 2009 was how those political soldiers could help accomplish the goals they fought for. Now, more and more of those supporters say they're being left out of the action by a White House that's all too comfortable with Wall Street and Washington's ways. Did Obama raise unrealistic expectations? Has he missed the opportunity to build a movement, or is governing just different from running a campaign? We hear from grassroots supporters, both current and former.
Will YouTube and Web 2.0 Change American Politics? CNN hyped last night's Democratic presidential debate at The Citadel in South Carolina as "revolutionary" because real people got to ask questions on video. Some students of politics and the media said the event would do for interactive Web 2.0 what the Kennedy-Nixon debates did for TV. Others called it just a tiny step forward, because CNN got to decide which questions the candidates had to respond to. Some 3000 thousand people submitted amateur videos that tackled everything from serious policy questions to sophomoric humor, including a question on global warming that came from an animated snowman. Did the format make for entertaining TV? Were the candidates more authentic? Did it finally come down to politics as usual?
Nationalism's appeal on both sides of the Atlantic Nationalism, Populism, concerns about immigration and outright racism are part of election campaigns from the US to Europe. We hear how today's election in Holland reflects the recent past and may forecast the future.
The airline electronics ban and what it means President Trump's Department of Homeland Security has banned all electronic devices larger than cell phones on some foreign airlines flying direct to the US. It's causing confusion as well as inconvenience. Is the motive really just increased security?