If patience can be increased by its exercise, you certainly give me repeated workouts.
I apologize for not addressing what was clearly the more important question to you.
I don’t really have a good answers as to why people get defensive of the things for which they have affection. Perhaps it is the urge to simplify arguments by trying to frame them in stark, polar terms. It takes time and cognitive cycles to contemplate, engage with, and respond to more nuanced approaches, such as the questions you routinely ask. I hope you understand that I side with you that these issues are almost always complex. As your reaction clearly indicates, you oppose the bill (I didn’t mean to imply otherwise) but have good questions about how we are reacting to it and trying to address the questions and criticisms raised (I *tried* to give you credit for the quality of your question.) That is an admittedly complex view that perhaps runs afoul of the mental shortcut I am trying to describe. Perhaps resources on cognitive science and psychology may be more helpful here.
As far why hackers in particular are fond of EFF, I think there are some pretty simple explanations. In the historical vein, Bruce Sterling’s Hacker Crackdown offers ample evidence. For more contemporary reasons, the fact that they specifically focus on issues near and dear to hackers is clearly part of it. There is also their firsthand participation in hacker events, fund raising at events like Defcon, Shmoocon, etc.
I clearly need to update the intro to my podcast and the language on the web site. I am more than a citizen these days, working as I do now in public policy after years of volunteering and as an individual, online activist.
By way of explaining my defense of EFF and how they operate, I am not shy about the fact I am a long time sustaining donor. Working for a nonprofit, now, collaborating with other nonprofits, I am accruing experience on how each such organization choses to prioritize and utilize its limited, limited resources.