Friday afternoon I received a slightly breathless email from the good people at the Campaign for America’s Future (a name that could easily be co-opted by either the right or the left; I checked out the advisory board named on their website and saw they have some serious progressive/liberal cred: Jesse Jackson to Betty Friedan to Hodding Carter to Barbara Ehrenreich to Tom Hayden). The email promised live blogging of an SEIU-sponsored health care debate among some of the Democratic presidential hopefuls over the weekend (Get a TV, kids!) and offered a link to a teaser for CAF’s own health care reform plan and a list of instructions on how to evaluate a health care reform plan (I’m guessing their plan does pretty well in that evaluation).

OK, maybe I’m being too harsh.

I was looking over the shoulder of my 12-year-old son last week while he was reading an old Boston Globe article on bloggers scoring press credentials to the Democratic National Convention in ’04.  A day or two later, after getting the CAF email, I reminded him of that article and started complaining about the pointlessness of live blogging a Presidential debate.  He looked at me like I was crazy and said he thought it was perfectly reasonable since, as he put it, a lot of younger people might not have TV’s, but they all have computers, and this is the best way to reach them.

Final observation:  The truth is that I’m glad to see a higher level of engagement in the mainstream political dialogue among younger folks — even if it’s facilitated in non-mainstream ways that appear to me to be too gimmicky.  I recognize that I’m just not in the demographic.  Nevertheless, I’ll circle back to CAF and check out the critiques of the candidates’ health care plans and debate performances.

Update 3/26/07:  MSM (mainstream media) highlights of the candidates’ positions presented at the forum may be found at the Washington Post and the NY Times.

David Harlow