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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

At Reuters, Patricia Zengerle and Susan Cornwell report that “After shooting, some Republicans more open to gun controls,” but note that “…Any legislation would likely wait until 2013, after negotiations on how to address the “fiscal cliff” of spending cuts and tax hikes due to kick in at the beginning of the year.”
Better late than never, I suppose, even though he won’t be in the Senate next session. Could this be groundwork for a run for Kerry’s seat?
In a saner world this one sentence from Jonathan Wesiman’s New York Times report on the House Democrats press conference urging Speaker Boehner to take up restrictions on high capacity ammo clips and assault weapons would win enough Republican votes for passage: “Representative Ron Barber, Democrat of Arizona, who was shot by the gunman who gravely injured his predecessor, Gabrielle Giffords, recalled living through the 45 seconds it took for the gunman who shot him to fire 30 rounds, taking down 19 and killing 6.”
At The New Republic Adam Winkler has an informative mini-history of gun control in the U.S. from FDR forward.
In FL, Rick Scott seems to be making a bid for the nation’s most unpopular Governor. As Ashley Killough reports at CNN Politics “…Rick Scott’s ratings with voters are just plain awful. The numbers cannot be sugar-coated,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “When voters in a politician’s own party want him to be challenged in a primary by another candidate, it’s difficult to see it as anything but outright rejection.”
States where Obama improved on his ’08 numbers, according to Larry J. Sabato, Kyle Kondik and Geoffrey Skelley at the Crystal Ball: “There were five states where Obama actually improved upon his 2008 performance. Among the 26 states he won, Obama saw his vote share go up by a bit more than 1 percentage point in New Jersey and by a negligible 0.05 points in Maryland. The other three states where Obama’s portion of the vote grew were Louisiana (+0.65), Mississippi (+0.79) and Alaska (+2.92), where the absence of Sarah Palin probably led to the slight Democratic addition.”
At The Boston Review, Jake Blumgart has “The Next Left: An Interview with Bhaskar Sunkara,” young editor of The Jacobin, a new American socialist magazine. “Today, its Web site gets around 250,000 unique views a month. Sunkara decided the project would get boring if left entirely online and so financed a print magazine from a handful of subscriptions and $2,000 from his own pocket. Today the magazine has more than 2,000 subscribers, including influential activists, labor leaders, and some of the very mainstream media figures it occasionally targets. (Full disclosure: I periodically contribute to Jacobin.) The press is paying attention.”
Also at TNR, Timothy Noah asks — and pretty much answers — a worrisome question “Are Democrats Reverting to Wimps?”
Digby puts it well in her post, “The Dem leadership steps right on the third rail,” which concludes, “Remember, Social Security doesn’t contribute to these deficit numbers. The Democratic leadership is just doing it to appease a bunch of cold hearted conservatives. And if they succeed the supporters of those cold-hearted conservatives are going to blame it all on the Democrats. Brilliant.”
David Callahan reports at Demos Policy Shop on what is really driving the deficit: “Going after Social Security instead of more fully rolling back the Bush tax cuts and more deeply cuttting defense is like grabbing the wrong suspect while letting the real offenders walk free…In any case, now is not the time for deficit reduction at all, given the still fragile economy. Congress should turn to this challenge once unemployment falls — say, to under 6.5 percent. But if there is going to be deficit reduction, it should logically focus on tackling the near-term drivers of the deficit, not messing with Social Security..”

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