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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

Lydia Saad reports at Gallup Politics on the leading criticism of Republicans: “…Rank-and-file Republicans, independents, and Democrats voice the same primary criticism of the GOP: it is “too inflexible” or “unwilling to compromise.” When asked to say what they most dislike about the Republican Party, 26% of Republicans, 17% of independents, and 22% of Democrats offer this critique — leading all other mentions.” Only 8 percent said the same about Democrats. The second-ranking concern of respondents (12 percent) was that the GOP is “for the rich/protecting the wealthy, not the middle class.”
The Center for American Progress has a revealing forum on “What the Public Really Thinks About Guns,” featuring contributions by Margie Omero, Michael Bocian, Bob Carpenter, Linda DiVall, Diane T. Feldman, Celinda Lake, Douglas E. Schoen, Al Quinlan, Joshua Ulibarri, and Arkadi Gerney.
The National Journal’s Michael Catalini’s “To Hold Senate Majority, Democrats Target the Most Conservative States in the Country” reveals an innovative strategy: “…the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s plans to compete in the most inhospitable territory for Democrats — for open seats in Georgia, South Dakota, West Virginia, and possibly, even in Kentucky against the powerful and well-funded Senate minority leader. Facing a challenging political landscape in 2014, the party is close to landing credible candidates in all of those states….Already the committee is boasting that Georgia is their best pickup opportunity; the field of Republican candidates there for the seat of retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss currently looks underwhelming.”
Jamelle Bouie posts at The Plum Line on “The next big target for liberals: State legislatures,” observing “It’s hard to overstate how smart a way this is for liberal groups to invest their time and money…Winning control of governorships and state legislatures is key if Democrats want to build political strength, advance key goals and priorities, and secure their policy gains over the long term. Howard Dean’s new plan is a small — but important — step in the right direction.”
At The Nation, Ari Berman explains why “New Voter Suppression Efforts Prove the Voting Rights Act Is Still Needed.” Notes Berman: “According to a report by Project Vote, fifty-five new voting restrictions have been introduced in thirty states so far this year….By my count, 235 new voting restrictions have been introduced in forty-four states over the past three years.”
Meanwhile President Obama has issued an executive order setting up “the Presidential Commission of Election Administration.,” charged with “…making recommendations that will “promote the efficient administration of elections in order to ensure that all eligible voters have the opportunity to cast their ballots without undue delay…and to improve the experience of voters facing other obstacles in casting their ballots, such as members of the military, overseas voters, voters with disabilities, and voters with limited English proficiency.”
GOP efforts to raise the cap on high-skilled worker visas is shaping up as an important issue for Democrats, as Jennifer Martinez reports at The Hill. Labor is calling on Dems to provide leadership to oppose “off-shoring jobs abroad or businesses that seek to bypass hiring American workers.”
Socialism in North Dakota? So says Alternet’s Les Leopold in “Why Is Socialism Doing So Well in Deep-Red North Dakota?,” in which he reports (via TruthDig)on “one of America’s best-kept secrets,” the “state-owned Bank of North Dakota (BND), a socialist relic that exists nowhere else in America.” Leopold observes “Since the crash, the financial community has largely managed to wriggle off the hook…After all, the big banks seem to own Washington, as too-big-to-fail banks are permitted to grow even larger and more invulnerable to prosecution and control…But this new public banking movement could have legs, especially if it teams up with those fighting for a financial transaction tax…The state-owned and operated Bank of North Dakota proves that it doesn’t have to be that way. This is the time to fight for public state banking in a big way.”
One still hears the occasional “mistakes were made” lame apology, but there are better ways. Politico explores the art of the political apology in this video.
At The Daily Beast ‘Politics Beast,’ Lloyd Green writes that “the once-Republican Solid South is starting to look like a blue-and-red checkerboard, with Democrats now owning some of the biggest squares.”

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