The profound importance of the blogosphere is grounded in the fact that the other institutions and safeguards which are supposed to exist as a check on abuses and excesses by the government are rotted and broken. Congress is co-opted, corrupt, and under the control of the Bush Administration; the national Democratic Party is paralyzed by fear, indecision, and a suffocated, or missing, soul; and the role which the media plays is so far removed from what it is intended to be — and from what it has to be in order for us to maintain a healthy and functioning democracy — that one can literally spend every day documenting its gross failures and abuses.
To me, the blogosphere is, at its core, an instrument that is being used by citizens to congregate and figure out ways to create new weapons and competing systems to rectify those failures. For that reason, most people who read and participate in blogs believe that blogs now play an irreplaceably important role in trying to force some measure of change. I certainly believe that.