The new chic thing to do if you're an interest group these days is to get on social networking sites. The idea being that having a page out there that people fan, write on the wall of, or follow gives you the sheen of democratic legitimacy.
Being able to say that your page has a million fans lends credence to the idea that the particular brand of policy that you are selling has some popularity. Now, of course, the great thing about the internet is that it make it possible to get in touch with all the nuts and bolts in society, well at least the nuts.
But...... the really fun part isn't that Ron Paul can manage to get himself 150,000+ facebook fans in between the moments when he's lamenting the outcome of the War Between the States.
The really fun part is when attempts at astroturfing on social networking sites bite back.
What if you're one of these large interest groups, and you've undoubtedly spent large amounts of money to get a professionally designed page and someone to tend to the thing, real people start showing up..... and writing.
And then it's not just one person, it's a whole little demonstration, talking down your rhetoric on the site you set up.
It's friggin hilarious, that's what it is. And it's what's happening now over at a facebook page set up by the Chamber of Commerce to push their agenda going into tomorrow's job summit.
Check out the comments, they're priceless.