Say what you will about left-wing bloggers and lefty Internet web sites, they are a power to be reckoned with. And Democrat politicians with dreams of winning elections, changing American society and increasing their power know it. During the last presidential election cycle, ABC News reported that close to 1,000 bloggers assembled in Las Vegas “to gear up for the 2008 presidential race.” The big news was that several potential Democrat candidates were there, as well. And they were kissing up to their new media base and soliciting feedback on their positions on issues these “pajama journalists” considered important. The weekend jamboree was organized by Markos Moulitsas, the founder of the leftist blog DailyKos. Democrats who attended included former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack and former NATO commander General Wesley Clark, all considered potential Democrat presidential contenders at the time. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton was absent, but that’s because the radical left blogosphere intensely disliked her thanks to her support—soft as it was—for the war in Iraq, which she used in order appeal to moderates. One source said that the left-wing blogs will play a big role by hurting Democrats who attempt to move to the center of the political spectrum during the primaries and then they will turn their sights on the Republican presidential candidate. “If you read the right-wing conservative blogs, well, they’re all about ideas, whereas liberals do nothing but snipe and gripe at George W. Bush [and the Republicans]. They’re all about power, winning the next election. Nothing else,” said one attendee. The DailyKos, said to be the most visited political web site on the Internet, became a big supporter of Howard Dean in the 2004 presidential cycle because he was willing to speak out against the Iraq war. It was largely through Dean’s Internet support that he became, temporarily, the Democratic front-runner in the 2004 primary. By autumn 2003, he had raised $40 million with help from online advocates. Dean’s popularity on the Internet garnered him an enormous amount of attention by the mainstream news media, the “old media,” that included cover shots in many newsmagazines like Time. The Dean Machine ran out of steam because… well, he’s Howard Dean, and Howard can’t help being Howard. It’s not only at conventions that there’s collaboration between Internet left-wing websites and left-wing politicos in the Democrat Party. During the confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Alito, bloggers fed Democrats their research on Alito, complete with half-truths, innuendo and out-and-out lies. From what I read, conservative bloggers and Internet news websites present ideas and solutions to problems, while those on the left denigrate, smear and ridicule those with whom they disagree. But most Democrat officeholders on the national level know that these radicals on the net are an important part of acquiring more power.Nathan Tabor is President & CEO of TCVmedia.com, a professional full-service Internet and branding firm that specializes in social media optimization, website design/application and consulting.