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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

Donovan Slack reports at Politico that the new Reutrers/Ipsos poll finds that support for the Affordable Care Act is up 5 percent overall as a result of the Supreme Court ruling affirming the constitutionality of the law.
I don’t know if the study cited here attributing the loss of 13 Democratic House seats in 2010 to votes on health care is on target — it seems like the conclusions are a little overstated. I don’t doubt that there was some political carnage because of it, but factors like demographic change and GOTV would be pretty hard to sort out. In any case, additional tens of million of Americans getting coverage is well worth the price.
Ezra Klein rolls out a scenario under which Romney, if elected, and the Republicans could repeal the ACA, even if they don’t have a filibuster-proof senate majority: “Romney won’t have 60 votes in the Senate. But if he has 51, he can use the budget reconciliation process, which is filibuster-proof, to get rid of the law’s spending. One objection to that is that budget reconciliation is supposed to be used for laws that reduce the deficit, and the Congressional Budget Office would score repeal of the Affordable Care Act as increasing the deficit by about $300 billion.”
At the Plum Line, Greg Sargent nails Mitch McConnell for his callous lack of concern for the 30 million Americans who would lose coverage if the ACA is repealed, revealed in McConnell’s dodgy interview with Fox’s Mike Wallace.
Jared Bernstein, senior fellow at The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, has a good read at HuffPo on the topic of messaging tips, among them: “…D’s have a natural messaging advantage, if they’re willing to get the balance right and meet people where they are. And where is that? The fact is that most people recognize a central role for government in certain, prescribed areas: things like retirement security (even Tea Partiers!), health care, public goods (parks, infrastructure, education, safe food and water), and regulating excessive power…The opposition runs from this, and they can and should be framed as advocates of YOYO economics (“you’re on your own”). If Democrats can’t make a simple, convincing case that there are key areas where “we’re in this together,” then they all need to go meet somewhere and not come out until they can do so.” See also Bernstein’s section on “People Aren’t Stupid; They are distracted.”
Joshua Holland has an Alternet interview with messaging guru George Lakoff, co-author with Elisabeth Wehling of “The Little Blue Book: The Essential Guide to Thinking and Talking Democratic.” From one oif Lakoff’s respnses: “What’s happened in this country is that language activates that moral system. The moral system is realized in frames. Frames are conceptual structures that we use to think in context. Language is defined in terms of those frames. When you use language that is conservative it’ll activate conservative frames which in turn activates conservative moral systems and strengthens those systems in people’s brains. That’s been happening for the past three decades. Conservatives have a remarkable communication system and a language system that they’ve constructed. They get out there and use their language and frames and repeat them over and over. The more they repeat it the greater their effect on people’s brains. Democrats don’t do that and as a result the conservatives have framed almost every issue.”
Stat wiz Nate Silver has more good news for Obama and the Dems, with respect to his prediction model: “President Obama, who got good news in Thursday’s health care ruling, received more overnight on Friday when European leaders agreed to terms on a bank bailout. That sent the S.&P. 500 up by 2.5 percent on the hopes that this will reduce some of the downside risk in the economy…Since the stock market is one of the economic variables the model considers, Mr. Obama’s probability of winning the Electoral College rose with the European news, to 67.8 percent, his highest figure since we began publishing the model this month.”
Justin Moyers “It’s the Middle Class, Stupid!” at the Washington Post ‘Speed Read’ has a collection of quotes by James Carville and Stan Greenberg from their new book of the same title.
At The Nation, Robert Reich has a juicy takedown of the GOP nominee in waiting, laden with quotable graphs. I’ll just go with this one: “..Romney is the only casino capitalist who is running for president, at the very time in our nation’s history when these views and practices are a clear and present danger to the well-being of the rest of us–just as they were more than a century ago. Romney says he’s a job-creating businessman, but in truth he’s just another financial dealmaker in the age of the financial deal, a fat cat in an era of excessively corpulent felines, a plutocrat in this new epoch of plutocrats. That the GOP has made him its standard-bearer at this point in American history is astonishing..”

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