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?
Will the march for science politicize objective research? Protesters are gathering all over the country for tomorrow's Earth Day March for Science. Since President Trump has proposed massive cuts in basic scientific research, will the movement be perceived as partisan politics — whether scientists themselves like it or not?
Why Don't Facts Matter? "Fake News" may have a long history, but social media and 21st Century politics have brought it front and center. One reason for its appeal and its power is the tendency of so many people to cling to their beliefs — even when confronted with contradictory evidence. Today, another look at the Emotional States of America.
White House flip flops: NATO, Syria and China In less than 100 days, President Trump has contradicted himself on a host of foreign policy issues — Syria, NATO, China and Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Is it a strength — or a weakness — for the United States when the world of power politics never knows what to expect?