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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

Arielle Kass has an instructive article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution “Banking customers switching over fees.” Kass reports on an awakening movement that Big Banks will find more than a little disturbing — depositors taking their money out of mega-banks and putting it into community credit unions that invest in, gasp, American jobs. This should be a central priority of the Occupy Wall St. protests.
In that same vein, check out Yves Smith’s post and accompanying video clip at Naked Capitalism “As Many As 24 people Arrested for Trying to Close Accounts at Citibank.” The overreaction of law enforcement to this protest in the video clip is stunning. It appears that the movement to transfer deposits from big banks to community credit unions is growing some legs.
Just in case you thought it has all been said on this topic, along comes Jonathan Chait in New York magazine with “Should Liberals Like Occupy Wall Street?,” with some fresh insights and linkages to what some of the interesting progressive writers are thinking.
Also, Eugene Robinson’s WaPo column “How Democrats can use Occupy protests to their advantage” offers a salient observation that “The Republican Party is trapped on the wrong side of this issue. Democrats should be moving boldly, not timidly, to claim the issue of economic justice as their own.”
Political map freaks alert: The Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law has a “Map of Shame” providing roll-over state-by-state updates on voter photo ID laws.
ProPublica.org has a “History of U.S. Government Bailouts,” put together by Jesse Nankin, Eric Umansky, Krista Kjellman and Scott Klein, and featuring a nifty color-coded chart so you can get a sense of the comparative size of the bailout for each corporate beneficiary. Most occurred during Republican administrations.
CNN’s Gustavo Valdez’s post, “Why Nevada’s Latino vote could make the difference in the 2012 election,” makes a strong case that NV’s electoral votes are Dems’ to lose, with Latinos now 26 percent of the population, accounting for 46 percent of the state’s population growth in the last decade.
I’ve always felt progressives could make more effective use of patriotic symbols — there’s a reason MLK always marched with the American flag behind him. In his American Prospect post, “The Constitution: A Love Story,” Garrett Epps argues that “It’s time for liberals to reclaim our founding document from fanatics who worship its name but not its meaning…too many progressives see only the imperfection and shame in the Constitution’s history and blind themselves to the promise of its text.”
Colin Woodard’s interesting geopolitical analysis, “A Geography Lesson for the Tea Party” at The Washington Monthly, divides the U.S. into more than a dozen cultural regions to conclude that the Tea Party’s “influence is melting away across vast swaths of America,” even though it still rules the GOP.
Mark Lander has a New York Times report on President Obama’s 3-day bus tour of North Carolina, a state the white house considers key to his 2012 prospects. Today the President begins day two of his tour. But if you really want to better understand the underlying political dynamics of the now pivotal tar heel state, you can’t do better than reading the articles by Chris Kromm and Sue Sturgis at Facing South, particularly their reportage on the NC GOP’s Daddy Warbucks, Art Pope (see here and here, for example).
Greg Sargent addresses an important question in his Plum Line post, “What if working class Americans actually like Occupy Wall Street?” Unions are already on board and Sargent quotes Karen Nussbaum, executive director of Working America, which represents unorganized workers and is experiencing unprecedented growth in the wake of OWS: “if we keep the subject on jobs and democracy, we’ll keep those working class moderates in this fight…It’s crucial that we not let this moment evaporate, and we can do that if we tie the movement to a working class constituency.”

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