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( – promoted by Clark)

I’m sitting in the lunch session on Civil Rights in the Modern Era.  The opening speaker made the very, very important point that those of us who have a particular issue must unite to succeed for that issue.  

This is exactly the point that Kos made in his first book: Storming the Gates.

This is the third Netroots Nation I have been to: Chicago 2007, Pittsburgh 2009, and now Las Vegas 2010. All three seemed to have distinct themes.

Some thoughts on that after the fold.

I have no idea what the first gathering was like in Vegas, but Chicago in 2007 was exciting.  

Those in Chicago were excited.  The candidates for President were coming here and NOT to the DLC.  We knew, after 2006, we were going to win in 2008 if we worked.

Pittsburgh was in the summer of Obama’s first year. Valerie Jarret came and the vibe, it seemed to me, was what to expect from the Obama administration and the Congress.  There were fights ahead, but the question was about what could we expect to do.

This year the theme is clear: why are we on the defensive when we won?  That was the underlying theme in the Social Security session I reported on yesterday.  This morning I was on a panel about the Kagan nomination.  A number of panelist lamented the fact that we have no liberals on the Court. There is an 11% vacancy rate on the Federal bench and the rate of confirmations of Obama nominees is significantly behind the rate of confirmations when Bush took power.

Last night Ed Shultz cried out his frustration over the pace of change and the compromises that have been made.

I have no talked about the memorable speeches.

Governor Brian Schweitzer (D-Montana) was incredible.  I have heard no politician in Missouri who can talk about progressive policies in such a folksy manner.  Kos talked about him as the obvious challenger to Baucus in 2012.

This morning it was Van Jones.  There is a reason why the Right smeared him.  For me, Jones had the best line of his convention: Remember Obama volunteered to captain the Titanic AFTER it had hit the iceberg.

I like it but as someone noted to me, “yeah but we expected more.”  

There will be no reports on the gambling front.  I can still pay next month’s mortgage.