The most recent issue of Time magazine contains an article asking if the netroots have hit their limit that totally misses the point. This article seems to be the next logical piece to be written on netroots. In politics you’re either getting articles written because you are a rising star, or you’re getting articles written about your impending demise.
Leading up to the Connecticut primary, the liberal netroots were still rising (despite the fact that their track record up to that point was less than stellar). Since Lamont’s primary victory, and subsequently falling in the polls to Lieberman regarding the general election, the media is ready to bring them down. I disagree with the timing of this story, and have a feeling Time magazine felt it was due for one of those cute stories about online activists, so this is the apparent result.
To answer the actual question raised in the story, I don’t think the netroots are anywhere close to reaching their full potential; on the right or the left. Rome wasn’t built in a day. American Idol wasn’t as huge as it is now overnight. And some things just get better with time. The internet is no exception. The techology of real people advocating and achieving change via the Internet is still very new, and will take many more cycles before all the bugs can be worked out of the system. To throw judgement at the architects of this movement less than two cycles into the medium is premature. Additionally, I don’t think the real influence of online activists will be known until one side learns to adequately mesh together the grassroots component of campaigns with the online. That’s where the Republican’s are far superior than the Democrats, and that’s where we may see things start to take shape in 2008.