Tag Archives: strategy and tactics

Getting the netroots strategy right on health care

(Let’s get this conversation on the front page (and in the RSS feed) – promoted by jsw)

Michael Moore’s SiCKO has now been out almost two weeks, and I’m beginning to find that for a number of us, it’s been a seminal event that has motivated people who were not previously involved in the issue to actually get up and raise some hell.

I like raising hell.  Don’t get me wrong, I really do.  But in cases like this, I like to win too.  And we need to win this one.

There are things we can learn from recent victories we’ve had that can be applied to the single payer health care fight.  On the flip, I’ll mention a few.

First, a few parameters for our discussion here.  There is a lot that traditional advocacy organizations and the unions have been doing, and should continue doing.  In particular, I am in awe of the California Nurses Association and its activities over the last month.  I’m going to assume that they will continue to do what they’re doing, and won’t discuss them much further.  I am much more interested in how we can harness the large progressive blogs and the new-wave net based organizations like DFA and MoveOn.

Second, I am both an activist and a technologist, and am most interested in what we will call “tech assisted local activism”.  The prototype of this was MeetUp: using web sites and related techniques to get people doing things in the real world with real people. We beat Pombo with tools like this.  I want a better understanding of what we did there that we can transfer to a more issue based campaign like this one.

Third, a lot of what we need to do I see already.  There are diaries just about every day on Kos and MyDD — typically, more than one.  I know for a fact that the many of the people who write them read Calitics.  On the whole, none of these diaries are getting the play I’d like to see them have.  Based upon things I’ve seen done by folks like Eden out of McNerney’s people, I know that it’s possible to get a lot more bang from our diaries than what we’ve been getting.  I’d like to see the group of us working together more closely to make that happen.

Forth, we need to get this going before the presidential silly season sucks all of the oxygen out of the issue, and while SiCKO is still drawing crowds.  That means training, and it probably also means making sure some of us start meeting with one another on a regular basis, and soon.

Those are the terms of reference, folks.  Now, what should we be doing about this?