Shirky suggests online networking tools may have led to a sense of overconfidence and self-satisfaction among the Deaniacs that impedes their effectiveness. Earlier (1/21), Mickey Kaus relayed observations that the vaunted Dean volunteers may have actually turned Iowans against Dean:
Who Let the Blogs Out? Alert emailer "Andrew" offers an explanation of Dean's Iowa loss: "The decline in Dean's numbers in Iowa coincided with the arrival of his vaunted 3500 ground troops," who alienated Iowa voters. The Deaniacs were too opinionated and wouldn't shut up-- i.e., they were slightly crazed. Dean would have done better without them. As Andrew, a Dean supporter, put it: "I wouldn't want to let a lot of these folk into my house." ... It's just a theory, but note that it would explain the loss and the scream (which was Dean getting into their 'head'). ... People who were actually in Iowa should feel free to tell me if the theory rings true--though if Joe Trippi starts asking Dean volunteers to stay away from New Hampshire and "work on the Web," that would also constitute confirmation. ... New slogan: "Unseen for Dean!" ... It's warmer inside anyway, by the glowing screen. ... P.S.: kf reader "T.C." proposed the Deaniac-backlash scenario the week before the Iowa caucuses. ("Nothing like a bunch of young, smug, condescending, messianic, coastal elites to remind Iowans of why they don't like easterners.") ... Update:TNR's Lizza writes:.
There is undoubtedly a strong antiwar streak among Iowa Democrats, but they are not, for the most part, lifestyle liberals.When hordes of kids with dyed hair and multiple piercings descended upon the state to spread Dean's message with Scientology-like evangelism, Kerry began to look real good.
Can the blog-powered pro-Dean hive mind adapt their outwardly-focused tactics in time? We'll see!