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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

The Washington Post’s “Want to end partisan politics? Here’s what won’t work — and what will” by Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein, provides sound analysis of 9 “solutions,” five bad (3rd party; term limits; balanced budget amendment; public financing of elections; and “stay calm”) and four good (realistic campaign reform; independent redistricting commissions and instant run-off voting; restrict the filibuster; and automatic registration, open primaries and a fine for not voting/lottery prize for winning voter stub).
DemFromCt has an exclusive Daily Kos interview with TDS Co-Editor William Galston on election-related concerns. Among Galston’s observations: “As for military voters…Obama is getting much higher marks for his conduct of defense and foreign policy than for his stewardship of the economy. Along with other Americans, military people like his aggressive conduct of the war on terrorists. Indeed, it appears that Obama has neutralized–at least for now–longstanding Democratic vulnerabilities in this area…the Obama administration has worked hard to earn the trust and support of veterans. It has been particularly forceful in areas such as health care and rehabilitation for wounded veterans, and in recent months it has been emphasizing employment opportunities for former military personnel as well…”
At U.S. News Rebekah Metzler reports on the Obama campaign’s prospects for winning a bigger bite of veterans’ votes. “…Obama has overseen dramatic troop draw-downs in Iraq and Afghanistan, including the official ending of the war in Iraq, as well as his successful efforts to ramp up pressure on al Qaeda, which culminated with the death of Osama bin Laden…Obama has increased funding for veteran healthcare, successfully pushed for tax credits for businesses that hire veterans, and approved a beefed-up GI bill that allows veterans to obtain their undergraduate degrees for free.”
WaPo’s Matt Miller has a whining lament on the demise of Americans Elect (which squandered $35 million and couldn’t produce a candidate) and he takes a bitter pot shot at the ‘false equivalency police.” Somehow he still doesn’t get it that dividing the only serious opposition to the lunatic right by launching a brand new third party with vaporous principles is a really bad idea, the very opposite of what is needed for “rebuilding upward mobility and economic security.”
Linda Killian, whose book, “The Swing Vote: The Untapped Power of Independents,” was shredded in a review by Ruy Teixeira, has a post up at WaPo, in which she sorta kinda backs away from some of her overstated assertions.
Nicholas Confessore’s “‘Super PACs’ Let Strategists Off the Leash” reveals how the Citizens United decision balkanizes campaign strategy-making, as well as upping the ante.
With the Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act a few short weeks away, we can only hope that a couple of the conservative justices give thoughtful consideration to a new survey of sick and not sick Americans commissioned and conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health. The poll found that 45 percent of the sick say that the quality of health care is a “very serious problem,” nearly a third say it has gotten worse, 73 percent say the cost of health care is a very serious problem and 70 percent said the cost has gotten worse.
A new poll by Vanderbilt University painfully illustrates the failure to educate the public about the Affordable Care Act’s benefits. While a strong majority favors key provisions of the Act, the poll found that 50 percent of Tennesseans would like to see the bill thrown out. Yet, as Tom Wilemon reports in The Tennessean, “The law has helped 51,684 young adults in the state gain coverage, lowered prescription costs for 86,818 Medicare recipients and made preventive exams free for more than 1 million Tennesseans…it would provide insurance to 466,000 state residents who now are without coverage.”
Thomas B. Edsall has a New York Times rumination on trouble spots looming for the Obama campaign with respect to women, class, race, gay and lesbian and a range of ‘cultural’ issues.
Despite the Democrats’ troubles in NC, Facing South’s Chris Kromm reports that a dramatic increase of Latino voters in NC, as well as Florida, could be pivotal in November. As Kromm notes, “…The change has been fastest in North Carolina, where the percentage of voters who identify as Hispanic doubled between 2008 and 2012. Even more striking, the share of the N.C. electorate falling into the category of “other” — those who don’t identify as white, black, Hispanic or American Indian, which often includes Asian-Americans, Hispanics and multi-racial voters — rose by 252 percent. Overall, the total number of voters in North Carolina not identifying as white has grown by 5.6 percent over the last four years, bringing their share of the electorate to 29 percent.”
MyDD has an interesting post by ‘The Opportunity Agenda’ entitled “What You Just Said Hurts My Head” about ‘cognitive dissonance’ and resistance to “painful” change of political attitudes.

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