Yesterday, seven major presidential hopefuls participated in an on-line town hall meeting about Iraq hosted by the left-leaning MoveOn organization where members of the site "gathered in over 1,000 living rooms, bars, libraries and back yards" all over the country.  Of the wide presidential field MoveOn members invited 12 candidates that represent both major parties, but only John Edwards, Joe Biden, Dennis Kucinich, Bill Richardson, Hillary Clinton, Chris Dodd, and Barack Obama (all Democrats, as NPR noted yesterday) participated.

It is not surprising that GOP politicos didn't participated since MoveOn has openly labeled itself as a progressive organization, but it makes one wonder why there isn't an active conservative on-line community like MoveOn that can host Republican friendly events.  On Sunday Todd chimed in on Matt Stoller's thoughts that he posted to the liberal watering hole MyDD that effective conservative Internet usage lags behind liberals' digital ventures, and yesterday serves as further evidence of Stoller's assertions. 

More importantly, sites and social networks like MoveOn aren't run by the Democratic Party, but the party has many supporters who do start and manage sites to rally others.  Perhaps the Republican Party should try to foster more on-line grassroots activity so that conservatives have more channels to bolster the party.

It is also important to note that the conservatives don't have to counter citizens in liberal forums — like MoveOn — although that would prove interesting, but they must explicitly reach out so that they seem accessible and open to input from the normal folk that they aim to lead.  However, if liberals expect Republicans to engage in town hall meetings in left-leaning venues, they have to allow Democrats to do the same — like participating in a presidential debate hosted by Fox News.  They're not, and that makes it ridiculous for liberals to expect Republicans to participate in meetings like that of yesterday.