March 9th, 2009
08:30 AM ET
14 years ago

Preston on politics: Blogging in the Obama era

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="DailyKos' Markos Moulitsas says bloggers face challenges as they try to hold President Obama accountable."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Liberal bloggers were the cyber cheerleaders for Barack Obama in the 2008 race for the White House. But now that he has won, these "netroots" activists face a major challenge: criticizing the new president and his administration.

It is an interesting dilemma for liberal bloggers who pride themselves on being independent, especially as it relates to the Democratic Party and its leaders.

Former President Bush served as the glue for the often divided liberal blogging community, whether it was their opposition to the Iraq war and domestic spying or frustration about Bush's approach to education and health care.

Liberal bloggers spoke early and often about holding the Bush administration accountable, but will they do the same to the Obama White House?

"I think our challenge is that line from destructive criticism to constructive criticism, because there is going to be criticism," Markos Moulitsas, founder of, said in a recent interview. "The issue is how we manage that and it's a fine line and it's very tough sometimes."

Watch: Moulitsas, Hamsher on progressive blogging

Moulitsas and Jane Hamsher, founder of, stopped by to talk about liberal blogging in the Obama era as well as their new political venture to help fund primary opponents against Democrats who they believe are not representing their constituents' views.

"We want to be responsive to people, to what constituents want," Hamsher said. "Not what the corporations want."

Full story

soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. katiec

    Hey, Preston.
    The GOP is paying bloggers to spew their hate, party first mentallity and hypocrasy.
    The Democratic party does not have to do that as we know and see the republican party for what it is.
    You see, we voted for change and will not support or stand for politics as usual.

    March 9, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  2. a REAL American

    What is wrong with you, CNN? Giving any credibility to a leftist, hateful site such as DailyKos is ridiculous.

    What's even more ridiculous is the idea of those knuckleheads actually criticizing Obama. It's probably hard to do when you're on your knees sucking Obama's..... uh, toe!

    March 9, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  3. cnnnewser

    No need to criticize President Obama when the republicans are out in full force hoping for his failure.
    The republicans give us all the ammunition we need for blogging. 😉

    March 9, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  4. Mickie

    Oh please! Everybody wants to know if we will have the "audacity" to criticize Obama as we did Bush. Bush had a long honeymoon with his claim of a "political mandate" and then using 9/11 as a cover for all his crimes, but we should all now criticize Obama when he has not even been in office 60 days. I guess some people really do expect him to fix the 8 catastrophic years of Bush/Cheney with the waive of a wand. Of course, many bigots will use anything to discredit him, so have at it.

    March 9, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  5. no corporate politics

    We get to see who is just a RNC or DNC or Obama parrot supporter and who really is independent.

    I am very liberal and independent but NOT a fan of the DNC or RNC.

    I was overjoyed to see progressive moves like Obama's stem cell research support and his support of science in general. I am concerned to see Obama sending troops abroad and continued corporate funding.

    Anyone who just says "Obama is great", or "Bush was so great" is a stooge.

    March 9, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  6. Anonymous

    It has been written that the DailyKos is quickly sinking – are you, CNN, sinking as well? Why do you give credence to them? Of course, I think the DailyKos is now correct, for the first time in its liberal history! When MSNBC, after falling to an all-time low, gets a grip and wisens up and gets rid of the likes of Olbermann, maybe they will have some success. That it, IF they can report fair and honestly.

    March 9, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  7. Doug, New Jersey

    Libs will not ever speak one negative word about Obama, they are just not programmed to do so.

    Isn't it funny, for 8 years they not only wanted Bush to fail but our nation to fail as well. They got excited and happy when they would hear of our troops dying in Iraq. Now they lie about Limbaugh saying that he wants our nation to fail when he really wants the Obama Socialism for America experiment to fail.

    Young libs are totally ignorant of history, otherwise they wouldn't be so blind to support liberalism in the sheep mentality that they do. What is sad is that now like minorities, all youth on our college campuses are supressed from being indivduals with their own views, and forced through violence and other hateful repercussions to only be able to support liberal Democrats and to not ever question the ideology and its masters. MLK's dream will never come close to being reality until every American is free to come up with their own views and beliefs, able to support whatever ideology they want without being punished for doing so. Today, everyone who votes Democrat is against the dream.

    March 9, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  8. cave-man

    I voted for Obama this time around and if he jacks up this time around and I'm around in four years , I will be voting for someone else! but lets just wait and see if he jacks up first before we give him the boot! One thing I do know is that GWB jacked up ! MCcain got the boot for picking Palin! If Gov. Palin runs in four yrs , I'll give her the boot!

    March 9, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  9. HelloooOOOOO

    a REAL American
    your comments should have been banned...

    March 9, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  10. Left and Gone

    For now, nobody is willing to criticize this Administration. The media should be ashamed. He is making horrible decisions, thus making a bad situation monumentally worse, and nobody is calling him on it. He can only continue saying one thing and doing another for so long before people tire of it. If I hear one more time that the so called stimulus package (more like excessive appropriations bill) was without earmarks, I will be sick. Simply saying it doesn't make it so, but the partisan faithful continue to gush.

    March 9, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  11. Jon in CA

    Liberals refuse to criticize Obama. In their minds... their messiah can do N-O-T-H-I-N-G wrong!

    He has broken promise after promise. He is planning to leave 50,000 troop in Iraq and escalating Afghanistan by 50,000 troops.

    He promised ethics and transparency... and the bends his own ethics rules to get a lobbyist nominated. He repeatedly nominates tax cheats!

    A peep from liberals?? NOPE... nada...nothing.

    March 9, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  12. Shane

    a REAL American clearly doesn't read If he/she did he/she would see just how often Obama has been criticized on that website. In fact, Obama took a pretty harsh beating over his voting in favor of FISA while still a senator.

    I wouldn't expect a conservative and/or Republican to base their opinion on actual experience, though. (sarcasm) Who needs education or experience when one has blind faith in Rush Limbaugh? (/sarcasm)

    March 9, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  13. Beverly, NYC

    I have no problem holding Obama responsible for his errors. Right now I think he should call Pelosi & Reid and tell them to remove all earmarks, just because it was decided on last year, a lot has changed since then that would justIfy their removal. I dare Linday Graham to fight for a Convention Center when the education system in his state is not even up to third world standards.

    March 9, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  14. KFR

    This may not be printed but here goes. I believe that every country knows that we are at extreme criticism and non-support of our President. Most of the blogs I read indicate that. The nation at this time is very weak, it is not only our economy that is weak. We as citizens of the United States of America are very divided and everyone knows that makes us weak and vunerable. Like Rush wanting Obama to fail, but that also means we will fail as a nation. The eyes of the world are upon us and our actions and they hear and know what is being said and done.

    March 9, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  15. Baze

    Oh please. The beauty of blogging is that it's anonymous. Just shut up and type already.

    March 9, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  16. Helen, NY

    CNN, you need to tell the truth to the American people. It is your prime responsibility. Today we are losing our jobs and we are getting bankrupt here. Nobody is listening to us. Barack Obama is spending trillions of dollars which we do not have. There will be curse on him and his administration in what he is doing. He is using ours, our children;'s and our grandchildren money and enjoying life in the White House. Every day there is a party in the White House and there he goes to Ohio or other places to talk about 25 jobs he created while thousands of jobs are lost same time. Today he is signing stem-cell research. He wants to kill one person to save another person. Hypocrite.All this show is going on in
    front of our eyes and nobody is standing for us.

    March 9, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  17. Carolyn in Memphis Tennessee

    If it'll make you happy I 'll critisize Obama, I'm highly ticked off he didn't tell Rush Limbaugh to shut his fat mouth and kiss his body part below the coccyx bone.

    March 9, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  18. obama-mama

    a REAL American are you related to Rush?

    March 9, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  19. Scott the Independent

    There is nothing wrong with pointing the finger; just so long as you know what you are talking about when you start pointing.

    March 9, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |