Save Us, Democratic Techies! You're Our Only Hope!

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Dec. 16 2013 9:30 AM

Save Us, Democratic Techies! You're Our Only Hope!

I spend the end of last week at RootsCamp, the annual and growing conference of and by organizers and techies on the left. Last year's conference was an attaboy party, with plenty of crowing about how the 2012 election was won and revelations of what bells and buttons and clickthroughs really worked. (Half the sessions, it seemed, were off the record.) This year's gathering was larger, despite only a few elections to draw on for examples. I came in asking "hey, anybody working on ways to fix Obamacare," and came back with very little.

This take has irritated some of the people who attended RootsCamp. Fair enough. You could tell one of a hundred stories after walking those halls and listening to those campaign veterans. But what stood out to me was the fiery inspiration behind new campaigns, like campaigns for "gun safety" or immigration or rolling back the gains of ALEC. The success of liberalism in 2014 (and beyond, but losing the 2014 election would have consequences) depends on the Affordable Care Act working and lots more people signing up on exchanges. I wasn't so naive to ask "hey, why don't you smart guys fix the website," as it's probably now as fixed as it's going to get. But I wondered whether there would be reinforcements for the navigators and Enroll America and the other groups trying against time and public opinion to get people insured. I didn't see it. Other attendees will have other stories—only fair.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

The Democrats’ War at Home

How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?

Congress’ Public Shaming of the Secret Service Was Political Grandstanding at Its Best

Michigan’s Tradition of Football “Toughness” Needs to Go—Starting With Coach Hoke

A Plentiful, Renewable Resource That America Keeps Overlooking

Animal manure.

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10

Politics

Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.

How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.

Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

Hasbro Is Cracking Down on Scrabble Players Who Turn Its Official Word List Into Popular Apps

Florida State’s New President Is Underqualified and Mistrusted. He Just Might Save the University.

  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 30 2014 9:33 PM Political Theater With a Purpose Darrell Issa’s public shaming of the head of the Secret Service was congressional grandstanding at its best.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 30 2014 7:02 PM At Long Last, eBay Sets PayPal Free
  Life
Gaming
Sept. 30 2014 7:35 PM Who Owns Scrabble’s Word List? Hasbro says the list of playable words belongs to the company. Players beg to differ.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 30 2014 3:21 PM Meet Jordan Weissmann Five questions with Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 30 2014 8:54 PM Bette Davis Talks Gender Roles in a Delightful, Animated Interview From 1963
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:00 PM There’s Going to Be a Live-Action Tetris Movie for Some Reason
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 30 2014 11:51 PM Should You Freeze Your Eggs? An egg freezing party is not a great place to find answers to this or other questions.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 30 2014 5:54 PM Goodbye, Tough Guy It’s time for Michigan to fire its toughness-obsessed coach, Brady Hoke.