Matt Stoller asks some insightful questions about the longer term significance of Americans Coming Together and other elements of the “new ‘progressive’ machine”….
>It seems pretty clear that we are building a 21st century opposition party, one that will support a moderate Republican like John Eisenhower Reagan Kerry, but one that cannot advance a progressive agenda… . While CAP is storing the Clintonesque cabinet, ready to be dusted off once Kerry takes office, the reality of our situation is that the political tools that work were not built by the political class. They were built by people who wanted to solve problems. And so if we are to look to the future of a progressive coalition, we should not look to the tools that the political class are building, even those that are in imitation of those that work for the right.
>We should look to the groups that are building tools to solve governance problems for their organizations or groups. In other words, ACT is a smart top-down organization built to get swing voters to the polls in battleground states in 2004. Who knows if it will survive beyond that, or if it should? To a greater or lesser extent, this critique applies to all organizations cited by proponents of a left-wing infrastructure. They are building organizations to do specific things that hurt the current Republican coalition at the polls, but there are no larger principles behind them, as there are for HTML, or Google, or Wiki’s. Media Matters comes closest, but for their existence they are dependent on the right-wing noise machine.