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This weekend, progressive bloggers of all stripes have gathered in Las Vegas (Sin City) to organize, network, and participate in what will be the first of many annual gatherings for the emerging progressive blogosphere that has assumed immense power and influence in a few short years.

What we are witnessing today is the birth of a new political era, one powered by people, not politicians. We are seeing the rise of ordinary Americans who, because of the power of technology, have the means to channel their energy, their passion, their talent, and their intellect into taking back our country from the money-dominated, special-interest-kow-towing, corporate-loving, hate-mongering, demaguoging, Republican elitists that are destroying our Constitution, bringing shame to our flag, dimming the beacon of hope that we once shined on the world, and crippling the American Dream for all Americans who have bet their life's work on achieving it.

People-power, the netroots, and the new political era is bringing power back to Abilene, KS, Franklin, IN, Miami, FL, Bangor, ME, Pasadena, CA, Paramus, NJ, Cedar Rapids, IA, and Big Sandy, MT. The elites in Washington who so disdain the netroots for their amateur, naive, and idealistic view of politics that they think will lead to the downfall of the Democratic party (although the elites haven't exactly done a good job of electing Democrats these last few decades) are waking up and realizing that the netroots "have arrived," as Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, the founder of the political blog, DailyKos, said this weekend.

Harry Reid, Mark Warner, Bill Richardson, Wesley Clark, Tom Vilsack, and even Democratic operatives like Jennifer Palmieri were there at YearlyKos to lend their voice (and seek some support) from the powerful netroots.

It was the netroots, their ability to raise money, their power to recruit candidates, their capacity for revealing the truth, their influence in undermining the conventional wisdom of the mainstream media, and their tenacity in debating ideas and devising practical solutions, policies, strategies, and tactics that led Paul Hackett to nearly become a congressman, when the elites had written him off. It was the netroots, who can, in twenty-four hours, debunk the President's lies about Social Security and reveal the Republicans' sinister plan to privatize FDR's legacy, that propelled Howard Dean to the chairmanship of the DNC, without opposition, even though the elites in Washington were adamantly opposed to it. It was the netroots, who will never stop believe in the impossible, that forced the NRCC to spend $5 million, that's right, $5 million, to defend a congressional seat that was won a year and a half ago by 22 points, where Francine Busby still almost won (by the way, Francine is still running for Congress in the regular election in November, where she could still win, so help her out if you're from the San Diego area).

Some people doubt the power of the netroots. But they are not looking at the facts. DailyKos, the largest political blog, now gets millions upon millions of unique visitors each month, and its growing monthly by 5%. The progressive political blogosphere now has a bigger audience monthly than FOX News, the largest and most popular cable news network (and a propaganda piece for the far right). The netroots were born in 2002, barely even noticed by the world, and exponentially grew in the last couple of years. Their influence is growing. Jon Tester, a grassroots, progressive Democrat from Montana, who is unapologetically supportive of progressive values, just won in a blowout of 25 points in his Democratic primary against a DLC (Democratic Leadership Council, or as I like to call it, the Dunces, Losers, and Creeps) hack who outspent him two to one and was favored by everyone in the political establishment.

Joe Lieberman, who unfortunately has decided that being Sean Hannity's favorite Democrat is more important than standing up for his party when everyone else is attacking it, is going to lose in his primary for renomination to the US Senate. Ned Lamont, a fantastic progressive businessman, has closed the gap in the polls between Lieberman and him by 31 points in a month and is now only 15 points behind a three-term incumbent.

Technology is changing. Ten years ago, no one knew what texting meant, no one had ever seen a BlackBerry, no one imagined watching television and movies on their computer, no one thought radio, newspapers, and magazines would predominantly be read online, and no one understood that politics would take on an Internet personality. In the next few years, and the next couple of election cycles, politics will nearly be done entirely online. Money will be raised at online fundraisers, town hall meetings will occur by video over the internet, voting will be done from the comfort of your desk, campaign organizations will be decentralized, volunteers from Iowa will help a state Senate candidate in Georgia get elected, news will be broken online, people will read political books off Amazon.com, and Americans from every nook and cranny in our country will be able to share ideas, debate policies, and consult individual campaigns, not as professional consultants, but as concerned citizens helping to make everyone engagedin our democracy.

The fact that I can sit here in my dorm room and communicate with all of you and explain my thinking about these issues is a testament to the power of democracy-driven technology and technology-driven democracy. College Dems will be updating our web site this fall and will make it much easier to get involved as members without having to be a full time committed leader. The power that we can have to effect change and make a difference is unlimited. We have the blogosphere to thank for that.