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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

Demos has a good update on the benefits of same day voter registration, which includes: “States that allow Same Day Registration consistently lead the nation in voter participation. Four of the top five states for voter turnout in the 2012 presidential election all offered Same Day Registration. Average voter turnout was over 10 percentage points higher in SDR states than in other states…Research indicates that allowing young people to register to vote on Election Day as much as 14 percentage points…African Americans comprised 36 percent of those who used SDR to vote in the 2008 presidential election in North Carolina, the first such election when SDR was available there…eleven states (California, Connecticut, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Wyoming) and the District of Columbia have now enacted the reform.”
Maria Liasson’s “One Strategy For A GOP Overhaul? Follow The Democrats’ Example” at NPR’s ‘It’s All Politics’ blog distill’s some of the thinking going on inside the GOP makeover discussion, including this weird nugget from LA Gov. Bobby Jindal: “We seem to have an obsession with government bookkeeping. This is a rigged game, and it is the wrong game for us to play,” he said. “Today it’s the fiscal cliff; tomorrow it’ll be the fiscal apocalypse; then it’ll be the fiscal Armageddon.” But we encourage Republicans to ignore Michael Gerson’s call for Republicans to change, “not just in tone, but actually in substance.”
And, until adults regain control of the GOP, this is the right fight for the president and Dems.
At The Kansas City Star Jordan Shapiro’s “Missouri Democrats stall bill on union dues” reports on the latest GOP union-bashing scam in the state legislature, a “paycheck protection” bill, which is a Frank Luntz-like euphemism for preventing public unions from automatically deducting dues from their members’ paychecks. Similar measures, sort of ‘right-to-work lite,’ have passed in Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Ohio, Michigan and Washington state. Missouri Democrats have blocked the bill on the state senate floor…for now.
The Hill’s Brendan Sasso notes an interesting angle on political donor disclosure in his ‘Hillicon Valley’ blog. The FCC, if not the FEC, “already has the power to require outside groups, like super-PACs, to reveal who is paying for the pricey, often negative ad campaigns that blanket the airwaves ahead of elections…FCC regulations currently require TV broadcasters and cable providers to identify the “true sponsor” of all ads, whether they are commercial or political. The FCC rarely investigates or penalizes violations of the rule, however.”
In her post, “In Voting Rights Arguments, Chief Justice Misconstrued Census Data,” NPR’s Nina Totenberg calls out the Chief Justice for his statistical shenanigans (large m.o.e.’s) in arguing that Massachusetts has a worse record than Mississippi in African American voter turnout. Roberts, like his predecessor Rehnquist, has a long history of involvement in voter suppression, ably reported by Adam Serwer at MoJo.
The partisan stink behind the effort to overturn the Voting Rights Act is growing stronger. Zachary Roth fleshes out the connections at at MSNBC.com.
At FiveThirtyEight.com Micah Cohen provides some encouraging stats as part of an answer to his question “Can Democrats Turn Texas and Arizona Blue by 2016?“: According to demographic projections by the Center for American Progress for 2016, “In Arizona, more than 175,000 Hispanics will enter the voter pool as roughly 10,000 white voters leave it. In Texas, 185,000 new white eligible voters will be overwhelmed by the roughly 900,000 Hispanics expected to enter the electorate.” Florida will gain 600,000 eligible Latinos and 125,000 eligible whites. African American eligible voters will also increase in these states.
Here’s the false equivalency headline of the week, selected for promoting the delusion that Democrats have not offered any reasonable compromises and the GOP’s rigid obstructionism is not unprecedented. The article is similarly myopic.
The nit-pickers are abuzz with accusing the President of conflating sci-fi films (Star Wars vs. Star Trek) as a result of his recent statement “I’m presenting a fair deal, the fact that they don’t take it means that I should somehow, you know, do a Jedi mind meld with these folks and convince them to do what’s right.” But Chris Peterson, an M.I.T. research assistant, has a different take: “…There is a Jedi Meld well established within the admittedly capacious but nonetheless official contours of the Star Wars: ‘Expanded Universe. In Outbound Flight,’ a novel written by the prolific Timothy Zahn, the Jedi Master Jorus C’baoth instructs a young Anakin Skywalker that the Jedi Meld “permits a group of Jedi to connect their minds so closely as to act as a single person…According to Wookieepedia, the Jedi Meld was deployed by dozens of Jedi, including (but not limited to) Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, Luke Skywalker, Mara Jade Skywalker, and Anakin, Jacen, and Jaina Solo, across dozens officially-licensed books. Indeed, its recovery and redevelopment, principally by the Solo children, was an important turning point in the Yuuzhan Vong War as chronicled exhaustively in the New Jedi Order series….not only is the Jedi Meld, through general acceptance and uncontroversial use, authoritatively established within the official Star Wars universe: it was the right reference for Obama to make.” So there.

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