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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

In his article “The Class War Has Begun” in New York Magazine, Frank Rich notes the similarities between the ‘Bonus Marchers’ of an earlier era and the Occupy Wall St. movement and surveys prospects for the protests awakening stronger class consciousness in the U.S.
Harold Meyerson’s WaPo column, “It’s hard to hate these occupiers,” distills the significance of the Occupy Wall St. protests into finding a worthy target: “It’s channeling ire — our ire — where ire should go: toward the banks that have fostered and profited from America’s decline.”
In the current issue of Dissent, Mark Engler writes about “The Future of the #Occupy Movement: Solidarity and Escalation.” Says Engler: “If the #Occupy movement is to remain in the media spotlight and continue gaining momentum, it must escalate. That could involve many steps, including occupying banks, continuing to use direct action against foreclosures, and embracing further international days of action.”
Joan McCarter reports at Daily Kos that “Lawmakers want to cut military benefits.” As McCarter says, “Putting defense contractor welfare above personnel, Congress and the Defense Department are doubling down on the Simpson-Bowles recommendations for catfood for veterans.” Republicans can often get away with screwing vets because of their upscale districts, but Dems who sign on are flirting with political suicide.
The Electoral College may be toast before long, if the latest Gallup Poll (conducted 10/6-9) numbers hold for a while. According to Politico, “Americans want to dump the Electoral College for a popular vote system by a margin of nearly 2-1…for the first time in a decade, a majority – 53 percent – of Republicans now favor the popular vote over the Electoral College. Democratic Party support for replacing the Electoral College with a popular vote system has been above 70 percent for the last decade.”
Tom Cohen of CNN Election Center discusses the possibility that President Obama’s foreign policy successes, including facilitating the dethroning if Gadhafi with no U.S, ground troops, killing bin Laden and ending the occupation of Iraq, will be a formidable campaign asset during the next year — particularly if he accelerates withdrawal from Afghanistan during 2012.
Although many people say they support the principle of ‘divided government,’ Ben W. Heineman, Jr.’s interesting post in The Atlantic, “The 4-Letter Word That Can Boost Obama’s 2012 Chances: V-E-T-O: Can the president win re-election by pledging to block Republicans?,” may be a little dicey in that it assumes a lot of “what if?” strategic voting. Still, in a close election…
Eric Alterman’s current post, “Think Again: The Continuing Curse of ‘On the One-Handism‘” at the Center for American Progress web pages explores a couple of the ways Republicans play the MSM for suckers. “What we have here is a prime example of what I have called “on the one-handism,” what Paul Krugman calls “the cult of balance” and what James Fallows calls the problem of “false equivalence.” The phenomenon derives from a multiplicity of causes but rests on two essential insights…”
“Republican House members have more than twice as many followers as their Democratic counterparts — about 1.3 million versus roughly 600,000 — and are far more active on Twitter with more than 157,000 individual Twitter messages, versus roughly 62,000 for Democrats,” reports Jennifer Steinhauer in her New York Times article, “The G.O.P.’s Very Rapid Response Team.
In her WaPo The Fix post, “Race and redistricting: Unholy alliance starting to fray,” Rachel Weiner has some good news for Dems: The GOP redistricting practices of ‘cracking’ (diluting) African American votes and/or ‘packing’ it into districts to benefit Republicans in adjacent ‘whitewashed’ districts, which has long bedeviled Dems, particularly in the South, seems to be coming to an end for two major reasons….
If you want to see which GOP presidential candidates various Senators and members of congress have endorsed, The Hill has a round-up here.
Sam Stein’s “Presidential Campaigns Seek Fundraising’s Holy Grail: Mobile Donations” in HuffPo flags an important fund-raising trend: “Developing easy ways for people to donate to political campaigns using their cellphones has been the holy grail of campaign finance teams for several cycles now.” Apparently many people who don’t like giving their charge card numbers to political campaigns, are much more comfortable with just adding the contribution to their phone bills.

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