Jon Chait has an expansive new piece in The New Republic about the rise of the “netroots” — i.e., the partisan, activist liberal blogosphere. I have my quibbles with some parts, particularly in the second half, but overall it’s a far more comprehensive, fair, and respectful look at the netroots than you’ll find anywhere else in the mainstream media.
I don’t consider Gristmill part of the netroots, in that its allegiances, to the extent it has any, are to environmental action rather than to any political party. However, the distinction between “pure” analysis and explicitly activist polemics — while much fuzzier than Chait makes out — is something I think about quite a bit. I hesitate to burden you with too much navel-gazing, though, so I’ll leave it at that.