washington, dc

The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

TDS Strategy White Papers

TDS Strategy Memo: mainstream political commentators are in deep denial about the GOP’s extremism and increasingly display symptoms that resemble Stockholm Syndrome

TDS Strategy Memo: mainstream political commentators are in deep denial about the GOP’s extremism and increasingly display symptoms that resemble Stockholm Syndrome


New Strategy Memo from TDS: Rand Paul’s revisionist history of the GOP ignores the central fact that the exploitation of white racial resentment was for decades the GOP’s fundamental political strategy regarding African-Americans

New Strategy Memo from TDS: Rand Paul’s revisionist history of the GOP ignores the central fact that the exploitation of white racial resentment was for decades the GOP’s fundamental political strategy regarding African-Americans


The “Friends of Hamas” fiasco won’t stop conservatives from slandering and libeling Dems.

The “Friends of Hamas” fiasco won’t stop conservatives from slandering and libeling Dems.
It reveals a new and sinister right-wing propaganda technique — “slander laundering” that allows conservatives to viciously slander and libel Democrats and progressives and get away with it.


The GOP split isn’t between Tea Party extremists and “Establishment” moderates. It’s between extremists who want to restore the Bush strategy of running parallel covert and overt agendas vs. extremists who want to openly assert a right-wing agenda

The GOP split isn’t between Tea Party extremists and “Establishment” moderates. It’s between extremists who want to restore the Bush strategy of running parallel covert and overt agendas vs. extremists who want to openly assert a right-wing agenda.


It’s Time to Face a Harsh Reality: The GOP No Longer Behaves Like a Traditional American Political Party. It Has Become an Extremist Party. Moderates and Sensible Conservatives Need to Firmly Reject and Condemn This Deeply Disturbing and Dangerous Trend.

By Ed Kilgore, James Vega and J. P. Green
Although it is only a few days since the 2012 election ended, the national media is already settling into a familiar political narrative regarding the GOP, a narrative that goes as follows: the Republican Party, having suffered major setbacks at the polls, is now “reassessing” its approach and seeking ways to “moderate” its image and positions.
This is a profoundly comfortable and comforting narrative–one that reflects a kind of ceremonial ritual in American politics. A political party, chastened by defeat, is widely praised by mainstream commentators as it moves back toward the center, re-establishing the basic “balance” and “moderation” of American political life.

But in this case there is one overwhelming problem with this narrative: it is profoundly and dangerously wrong.

Read the entire memo.


A Letter to a “Middle of the Road Moderate” Non-Latino Friend About the Moral Difference Between Democrats and Republicans.

By James Vega
Dear __________ ,
I’ve just read your letter in which you criticize my “lack of objectivity” about the upcoming elections and assert your view that “I don’t believe the people who dominate the Republican Party now are really any less moral or empathic toward minorities, the poor and disadvantaged than are the people who dominate the Democratic Party. I find much to disagree with in the orthodoxy of both political parties but I simply do not believe either one is genuinely less moral than the other.
Read the entire memo.


A new study of Drone warfare has sparked criticism of Obama as “cynical” and “immoral.” But the criticisms lack any context. They don’t say a single word about the Pentagon, Joint Chiefs of Staff, counterinsurgency strategy or the military establishment.

By James Vega
A report two weeks ago on the effect of the Drone strikes in Pakistan has stimulated a range of quite fierce criticisms of Obama — criticisms that have appeared in publications other than the traditionally anti-war and anti-militarist progressive press.
Read the entire memo.


Progressives and Democrats cannot possibly match the vast financial resources of business and the wealthy and must turn to building powerful, long-term grass-roots organizations. That makes “Working America” the most important political project in America

By Andrew Levison
In a May 7th New York Times article Nicholas Confessore dramatically described the profound change in progressive and Democratic strategy that is now being debated among donors, campaign managers and political strategists–a change driven by the overwhelming financial advantage that Citizen’s United has now given business and the wealthy in political advertising.
Read the entire memo.