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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

At Slate Matthew Ygelsias clarifies Democratic strategy re tax cuts: “…You write two bills. One is called the “Middle Class Tax Cut Extension Act of 2012,” and one is called the “Middle Class Tax Cut of 2013.” One says the Bush tax will be partially extended; the other says that having expired the Bush tax cuts will be partially reinstated. You hold one in your right hand and the other in your left hand, and you keep trying to get votes on the one through Dec. 31, 2012, and start trying to get votes on the other starting on Jan. 2, 2013. That’s a plan that’s guaranteed to work if Democrats win the election in November, and obviously nothing’s going to work if they lose.”
And give it up for Sen. Patty Murray, for adding moral clarity to the discussion, as quoted in Jonathan Weisman’s post at NYT’s ‘The Caucus’: “If we can’t get a good deal, a balanced deal that calls on the wealthy to pay their fair share, then I will absolutely continue this debate into 2013 rather than lock in a long-term deal this year that throws middle-class families under the bus.”
Of course Grover “The Pledge” Norquist doesn’t like it. But it sounds like some Republicans may be getting ready to jettison his stale act, come the new year.
You won’t find a better explanation of Romney’s ambivalence about talking about Bain than Jacob Weisberg’s “The Pain in Bain” at Slate.com. A sample: “Romney, on the other hand, doesn’t much want to defend creative destruction. He boasts about building Bain, but won’t discuss it in detail because it opens up a conversation about those same unattractive consequences: lost jobs, bankruptcies, private pensions dumped onto the federal government. In the case of China, Romney has tried to outhawk Obama, promising to launch what would amount to a trade war beginning his first day in office. When it comes to Detroit, Romney has backed away from his principled position that failed businesses should be allowed to fail. He’s in a corner, because he thinks it’s politically unsound to say what he really believes.”
At HuffPo and current TV, former MI Gov. Jennifer Granholm ably skewers Romney for his blatant hypocricy in sneering at those “who want free stuff,” while leveraging huge tax breaks for his Bain projects.
Naureen Khan has an encouraging interview with Democratic strategist Mark Mellman at The National Journal, which includes this observation: “Romney has more to worry about than Obama does. If you look at white voters overall, if Obama is able to hold on to the minority votes he got last time, he can win with less than 40 percent of the white vote. The truth is, in 2010, when Democrats were getting clobbered, they got 38 percent of the white vote, so getting 40 percent of the white vote is not that hard for the president.”
At the Crystal Ball, Larry J. Sabato and Kyle Kondik see a dead-heat battle for control of the U.S. Senate, including the possibility of “a coin flip battle where the coin, when tossed on Election Day, might land on its side, in the form of a 50-50 Senate. That would require the vice president, whoever that is, to tip the coin one way or the other..”
The battle for the Senate looks even more important in light of Stuart Rothenberg’s latest ‘Roll Call’ assessment of Dem’s prospects for winning back control of the House of Reps.
The National Journal’s ‘The Next America’ blog spotlights “5 Bellwether House Races to Watch” (CO-6; FL-18; IA-3; NV-3; and OH-16).
At Dissent, Nelson Lichtenstein ponders an important question for America’s future, “Can This Election Save the Unions?

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