the political geek

because all politics is online

The Difference Between Compromise and Surrender

Jeffrey Toobin has an excellent piece in the New Yorker (dated next week) about the significance of the Stupak amendment, its significance for health care reform, and the tendency of feminists and pro-choice advocates to cede the moral high ground to their opponents. He explains: …as Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg observed not long […]

Strength in Numbers: Eli Pariser Talks Online Organizing

I had the opportunity to be part of a fascinating conversation with Eli Pariser last week, as part of Gina Glantz‘s study group at the Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics. Eli, who currently serves as President of the Board of and is the founder of, came to speak about the politics of engagement […]

Another Perspective on Health Care Reform

This Malcolm Gladwell New Yorker article is old, but it’s useful to consider the debate over health care reform with an understanding of the difference between a social insurance and an actuarial insurance model. (My econ professor sent it to us because we’re examining moral hazard in class.)

The Siren Song of Online Advocacy

Nonprofits have to start thinking beyond the ways they can get people to participate in specific, curtailed campaigns to the opportunities for taking advantage of the creative thinking and passion in their communities of supporters.

In both advocacy and fundraising, it’s clear that the best resources for nonprofits are the members of that elite group of super-active supporters, but nonprofits are only tapping that resource in predetermined, well-understood ways.

advocacy 2.0

MoveOn has had phenomenal success with this strategy, and has had an impact on the public discussion of domestic and foreign policy far beyond that of much older, more experienced nonprofits. It’s possible that MoveOn’s opposition to the Iraq war fundamentally altered the political conversations about the presidential election and was a significant factor in a perfect convergence of factors that allowed Obama to win the election.

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