The strategy reinforces the central role that blogs have come to play in shaping and framing the issues in the 2008 presidential election. The question is whether sending supporters to do grassroots lobbying in the comments section of activist blogs like DailyKos, whose membership is dedicated to defeating the Republicans in the general election, will really benefit McCain's campaign.So what is the problem, really? I don't think it's wrong to encourage your supporters to participate in the comments sections of a wide range of blogs. What's bad is to send out hordes of people who don't know how or don't care to become part of the comment community they enter. That is destructive to the blogs, and it doesn't help the candidate.
"I find it hilarious that McCain's campaign thinks that some astroturf copy-and-paste comments would do anything more than spark some vicious mocking," says Markos Moulitsas, founder of DailyKos, which is currently highlighted as one of three "featured blogs" on McCain's site.
On Memorial Day weekend for example, someone named "Jerry A" posted a news story in an open thread on DailyKos about McCain inviting Barack Obama to visit "post surge" Iraq. At the time, Republicans had launched a publicity campaign criticizing Obama for formulating Iraq policy without having visited the country for two years.
Four minutes later, "Cultural Worker" responded: "Thank you for sharing McCain's talking points of the day. Again."
Of course, some blogs will reject commenters whose opinions don't conform to the blogger's opinion. If you know that, and you keep writing, you're just a troll. But even on blogs like this one, where you can have any opinion, you can be a troll if you repeatedly drop talking points and fail to interact with other people.
ADDED: And then there's the "genius commenter" invading McCain's own site.