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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

TDS Strategy White Papers

McCain’s Dirty Politics Attack — How Democrats Can Respond by James Vega

As veterans of George Bush and Karl Rove’s dirty politics gang have assumed top positions in the McCain campaign, his attacks on Barack Obama have rapidly degenerated into a replay of the dishonest “swift boat” smears against John Kerry.
This TDS Strategy Memo suggests how Democrats can fight back.

  • Part one analyzes “John McCain’s ‘Karl Rove style’ attacks on Obama and how Democrats can respond.”
  • Part two considers “How to attack John McCain — What Rove Would Do”

Read the entire memo here.


Military Strategy for Democrats — How the Democrats Can Argue with McCain and the Republicans about Military Strategy and Win by James Vega

PART I — UNDERSTANDING THE “PRO-MILITARY, BUT ANTI-BUSH’S WAR” VOTERS
Because of the number and variety of questions they ask on a single topic, the surveys produced by Democracy Corps provide Democrats with data of unique value. They make it possible to begin to visualize some of the larger political perspectives into which voters specific opinions are organized.
Read the entire memo here.


Obama and Iraq: A General Election Strategy by Bruce W. Jentleson

Iraq needs to be addressed as a three-dimensional issue: (1) the war itself and the need to shift emphasis from what Obama is against to what he is for, and not just the calendar for getting out but the alternative strategy for doing so; (2) Iraq as a measure of Obama’s overall foreign policy capability, particularly passing the commander-in-chief test without getting trapped into the “I’ll bomb, too” Democratic wannabe role; and (3) Iraq as a temperaturetaker as to whether this is another anti-military Democrat or someone who genuinely respects the institution, its people and its culture.
Read the entire memo here.


Military Strategy for Democrats: The Reality Behind McCain’s Claim That the Surge Has Succeeded by James Vega

This is an absolutely extraordinary claim. In fact, it could very easily be dismissed as just another of McCain’s increasingly frequent “gaffes” or “blunders” except that it has actually become a critical pillar of the basic Republican “party line”–one that is particularly emphasized by the Wall Street Journal and other Rupert Murdoch-owned media.
Until a few weeks ago the standard way this was expressed was that the US was “on the verge of success or victory”. In the last 10 days, however, the rhetoric has actually been ratcheted up to an even higher level. In a major Wall Street Journal op-ed commentary on July 16th–one titled “The New Reality in Iraq”–Frederick Kagan, Kimberly Kagan and Jack Keane, all major military analysts, made the following quite breathtaking assertion:
Read the entire memo here.