Thursday, March 10, 2005
Tom Maguire laments the inability of the blogosphere to gain traction on the bankruptcy bill....
Bloggers on both sides - both right and left - came together in opposition to the bankruptcy bill. And not just any old two-bit bloggers, but the heavy hitters themselves: The good Professor, the Lost Kos, Marshall, Drum, Maguire... all united in opposition. Yet they weren't able to do a whole lot, and the bill is likely heading to final passage.
As for why, I think the answer is pretty simple: we just don't care. It's not one of the ten things I think about before I go to bed each night. This just isn't a bill America sees as affecting them - there's less than 1.5 million non-business bankruptcies in 2004. And, while we don't have a lot of love for credit card companies, we care less about those who run up bills they can't/won't pay off.
This should be a sobering message for the blogosphere. We've gotten drunk with what we believed to be our unlimited power to effect change. We've rejoiced in seeing bloggers on TV, on magazine covers, on having bloggers accredited to both political conventions. We've brought down Rather, Gannon, Jordan, Daschle and Lott.
Yet this wasn't an issue that had the potential of affecting the Presidential election. This wasn't a case where the US military was being defamed. This wasn't a case of the Senate Majority Leader making stupid statements. It wasn't even about an allegedly faux-newsman getting access to White House press briefings.
The blogosphere: we can sure bring the story to people, but we can't make them care...
* It's the collective 'WE' I refer to, of course.