In the wake of the Geneva Conventions debacle, here is a partial list of Things to Feel Good About, adapted from a comment I left on Glenn Greenwald's excellent blog, Unclaimed Territory. To be clear, this is not a "There's a silver lining in every cloud" type of post. There are no silver linings here.
(1) The 50-state project and the rebuilding of Democratic Party infrastructure on a national scale. I give Howard Dean tons of credit for seeing the importance of this project so clearly and for executing the vision.
(2) Moveon.org and, more generally, the development of political institutions of the Left (or what is considered "Left" at this moment in American political history). Over time, these may rival or prevail over the incredibly effective machine the Right has assembled.
(3) Media Matters for America. David Brock deserves a ton of credit for this.
(4) Crashing the Gates, the left blogosphere and the emergence of a new self-conscious political community, capable of sharing messages and, in some cases, organizing. DailyKos, Firedoglake, MyDD, etc.
(5) The re-emergence of the tradition of the politically engaged public intellectual (different in kind from the professional columnist and TV pundit), primarily though not exclusively through the medium of blogging.