Astroturfing Is Still Activism

Ambers pushes back against liberal bloggers complaining about top-down GOP activism:

It is easy and comfortable to assume that because you've discovered the presence of Astroturf activism, there is no there there, or there is nothing that sustains or nourishes the Astroturfing. The point is not to question whether conservatives are artificially magnifying their voices -- yes of course they are, predictably and not in secret -- it's that real anxiety and real enthusiasm provide a catalyst for the Astroturfing to work -- and the Astroturfing provides a catalyst for the anxiety and enthusiasm to manifest.

And he stands by his comparison of the campaign againstĀ  health-care reform to the effort to preserve Social Security four years ago:

Democrats were able to defeat President Bush on Social Security because they found a way to capitalize on inherent skepticism about forcing that cherished institution to change. Make no mistake, the effort to defeat Social Security reform won because of a mix of organic anxiety, inorganic organizing, focus grouped-messaging and wealthy people and interests writing large checks. Today, we're at a similar juncture, except for the fact that the wealthy, organized/organic/inorganic protesters are on the other side of an issue. Democrats may have used different tactics -- protesting outside of places as opposed to inside of them -- but that's not terribly germane. [...] Even if you think that the Dems have the right policy on both issues, the strategic analogy is, I think, valid.