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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

Right-wing media bias could soon get even worse. As Amy Chozick reports at The New York Times, “Now, Koch Industries, the sprawling private company of which Charles G. Koch serves as chairman and chief executive, is exploring a bid to buy the Tribune Company’s eight regional newspapers, including The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Baltimore Sun, The Orlando Sentinel and The Hartford Courant.” Read Chozick’s article for more on an even broader takeover of media outlets by conservatives.
Also at the Times, Charlie Savage reports that Republican politicians are pushing “to declare the surviving Boston bombing suspect an enemy combatant in order to question him without a lawyer and other protections of the criminal justice system.” The point being to make Republicans look more concerned about national security than Democrats, most of whom want to keep the case in the criminal justice system.
At FiveThirtyEight, however, Micah Cohen’s “Small Majority Approved of Miranda Rights for Terror Suspects” indicates that the public may have more sympathy for the Democratic position.
Ilyana Kuziemko, associate professor of finance and economics at Columbia Business School and Stefanie Stantcheva, M.I.T. doctoral candidate in economics, explore American attitudes towards inequality at the NYT Opinionator. They provided survey subjects with a “tutorial” on inequality before polling them, and found an interesting paradox: “Respondents reacted to our inequality tutorial by reporting lower trust in government, raising the possibility that Americans may have reacted to 30 years of rising income inequality by reducing their trust in government…On one hand, liberals can take heart in the news that Americans are deeply troubled about the current level of income inequality. On the other hand, conservatives may be glad to hear that despite this concern, Americans have a healthy skepticism that government can be trusted to do much about it.”
Post Politics’ Aaron Blake names 11 House Republicans who have been placed on the NRCC’s “Patriot’s Program,” a.k.a. the “incumbent protection program,” including: Rep. Mike Coffman (Colo.); Rep. Rodney Davis (Ill.); Rep. Jeff Denham (Calif.); Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (Pa.); Rep. Bob Gibbs (Ohio); Rep. Chris Gibson (N.Y.); Rep. Joe Heck (Nev.); Rep. David Joyce (Ohio); Rep. Steve Southerland (Fla.); Rep. David Valadao (Calif.); and Rep. Jackie Walorski (Ind.).
Paul Krugman has a a well-stated observation obstructionist politicians ought to think about : “…When future historians look back at our monstrously failed response to economic depression, they probably won’t blame fear, per se. Instead, they’ll castigate our leaders for fearing the wrong things…The key question is whether workers who have been unemployed for a long time eventually come to be seen as unemployable, tainted goods that nobody will buy. This could happen because their work skills atrophy, but a more likely reason is that potential employers assume that something must be wrong with people who can’t find a job, even if the real reason is simply the terrible economy. And there is, unfortunately, growing evidence that the tainting of the long-term unemployed is happening as we speak.”
Michael Tomasky’s ‘The Conservative Paranoid Mind” at The Daily Beast describes the “common thread linking conservatives’ positions on gun control, immigration, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev: the constant need to stoke fear…They need to make gun owners fear that Dianne Feinstein and her SWAT team are going to come knocking on their doors, or, less amusingly, that they have to be armed to the teeth for that inevitable day when the government declares a police state. They need to whip up fear of immigrants because unless we do it’s going to be nothing but terrorists coming through those portals…”
If Chris Cillizza is right that the failure of the gun background checks bill makes it a little easier to pass immigration reform, we’ll take it, sad commentary that it is on the political morality of members of congress who make major decisions this way.
E.J. Dionne, Jr. shares a salient observation on “The way forward on guns“: “… The next steps are up to the supporters of gun sanity. They can keep organizing to build on the unprecedented effort that went into this fight — or they can give up. They can challenge the senators who voted “no,” or they can leave them believing that the “safe” vote is always with the NRA. They can bolster senators who cast particularly courageous “yes” votes — among them, Mary Landrieu and Kay Hagan — or they can leave them hanging.”
Have you ever read an article that so convincingly refutes it’s own premise as this one?

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