Demoralized Republicans are still reeling from the crushing 2006 election that shattered their majorities in both parties of Congress and consigned them to a minority status that will likely last for a generation. Compounding the problems of a wildly unpopular President and a grinding war with no end in sight is the dawning realization that they are far behind the Democrats when it comes to the Internet:
When David All, a former Republican congressional aide, launched a blog recently that he hopes will spur his fellow Republicans to bridge the digital divide, he did his best to sound upbeat. "Today our Revolution begins," he wrote. "Tomorrow we fight."
But implicit in his cheerleading was the acknowledgment that there is a widening gap between Democrats and Republicans on the Internet, and that his party will have to scramble to catch up. "For the most part Republicans are stuck in Internet circa 2000," he said in an interview.
Another Republican -- Michael Turk, who was in charge of Internet strategy for President Bush's 2004 campaign -- puts the problem his party faces more bluntly: "We're losing the Web right now."
The Democrats are kicking the crap out of the Republicans when it comes to raising money online.
The top three Democrats, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Obama and Edwards, amassed more than $14 million over the Internet in the first three months of 2007; in contrast, the top three Republicans, Giuliani, McCain and Romney, collected less than half of that, $6 million. Furthermore, ABC PAC, the conservative fundraising site, has raised $385 so far for Republican presidential hopefuls; Act Blue, its liberal counterpart, has collected about $3 million for Edwards alone.
Republicans are also worried about the explosive growth of the hugely popular video sharing website known as YouTube:
Besides TechRepublican, the group blog started two weeks ago by All, who worked as communications director for Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), there is QubeTV, founded in March as an alternative to what one of its founders, Charlie Gerow, a former Reagan campaign aide, calls "the liberal bias" of YouTube.
What does this all mean? (more below the fold)
The Internet, as we all know and readily agree, IS the future. Every day it intertwines itself more deeply into our daily lives in both the workplace and our leisure time. Across the globe, people are turning off the television, tossing out their newspapers, and logging in to the Internet to obtain news and information, interact socially, collaborate at work, and entertain themselves.
However, the Internet is only beginning to have an impact in the realm of politics. We can easily envision a day when traditional fundraisers have become obsolete and nearly all fundraising is done online. People who would never go to a political rally in person will be more than happy to attend one online from the comfort of their homes. People who would never have volunteered to work in a campaign office will eagerly support their favorite candidates in conducting campaigns online.
I, for one, am very happy that the Democrats have a strong lead over Republicans when it comes to using the Web. That fact will help to cement our majorities in Congress for years to come.
Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!