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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

From Peter Beinart’s “Why Hagel Matters” at The Daily Beast: “At the heart of the opposition to Hagel is the fear that he will do what Republicans have thus far largely prevented: bring America’s experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan into the Iran debate…And Hagel was changed, in large measure, because he bore within him intellectual (and physical) scar tissue from Vietnam.”
Is filibuster reform toast? Maybe not, explains Dave Weigel at Slate.com. Seven of nine new Democratic Senators support the ‘talking filibuster’ reform, reports Alexander Bolton at The Hill.
At The Nation Herman Schwartz faults President Obama with a limp response to GOP stonewalling of his judicial appointments — and the President’s non-appointments, explaining “As a result of the White House’s laggardness, right-wing justices continue to dominate the federal courts–meaning that many of Obama’s most important legislative achievements could be eviscerated and his legacy dissipated, because most of the circuit courts of appeal are controlled by Republican appointees…Obama’s response to these GOP tactics has been weak and ineffectual. First, he has failed to send up enough nominees. Second, he has neglected to think and act strategically with respect to those he has nominated.”
At The Campaign for America’s Future Terrance Heath puts “The House GOP’s Disaster Relief Disaster” in perspective. John Avlon’s “Callous Conservatives: Gulf State Republicans’ Sandy Shame” piles on at The Daily Beast.
Good video and content for Democratic attack ads against Republicans’ failure to respond to Hurricane disaster right here.
MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry hosted an informative forum on “Long-term party Building for Democrats,” featuring Governor Howard Dean, and Democratic strategists Karen Finney and John Rowley.
At The Daily Beast Will Marshall opines about The Deal that “the result was a one-sided victory for Obama, who got $620 billion in revenue from raising rates on very wealthy households, plus an extension of the stimulus tax breaks for low-income families and $30 billion in new spending on unemployment, without having to convince Democrats to swallow cuts in entitlements…without significantly more tax revenue, lawmakers would have to make truly draconian cuts in entitlements to fix the debt. They shouldn’t and they won’t.”
E. J. Dionne, Jr. agrees, explains why and lights the way forward for President Obama: “if Obama hangs as tough as he now says he will; if he insists on more revenue in the next round of discussions; and if he immediately begins mobilizing business leaders to force Republicans off a strategy that would use threats to block a debt-ceiling increase to extract spending cuts. Real patriots do not risk wrecking the economy to win a political fight…He needs to move the discussion away from a green-eyeshade debate over budgets and foster a larger conversation over what it will take to restore broadly shared economic growth. His presidency really does depend on how he handles the next two months.”
At TNR Alec MacGillis has an informative tribute to the late Jerry Tucker a union reformer who advocated broader worker education, corporate campaigns and pioneered the “work to rule” strategy, “in which workers frustrate employers by slowing down operations all the while technically hewing to the letter of their contract. Work-to-rule appealed to Tucker because its success depended on the full understanding and empowerment of the entire workforce.”
John Rodgers and David Friedman, both officials of the Union of Concerned Scientists, urge “Don’t listen to the Chicken Littles: Obama made smart investments in green tech” at The Monitor: “Despite the critics’ naysaying prophecies, clean tech is on the rise nationwide in large part due to federal investment….Of course there are risks when government and industry invest boldly in new technology. But if they don’t, America will cede its leadership on clean transportation and energy technology to other nations like China that already have thriving green industries that also benefited from government assistance.”

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