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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

Alex Altman posts on “For Republicans, Oklahoma Tornado Revives Questions About Disaster Relief” at Time Swampland, noting that Republican Sens. Tom Coburn and Jim Inhofe, who opposed emergency aid for new England in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, are catching heat for their position on emergency aid for their state. Coburn is insisting of offsetting cuts in the federal budget elsewhere, while Imhofe is trying to sell a double standard, arguing that there will be no pork in aid for Oklahoma, so it’s OK.
NY Republican Rep. Peter King ain’t having Imhofe’s equivocating: “We know the type of suffering that people go through during these types of crises and we’re not going to hold – I’m certainly not going to hold the good people of Oklahoma hostage because they may have some hypocrites in their delegation,” King told WCBS 880′s Steve Scott on Wednesday…We had to wait over 100 days before we even got the aid approved to New York and New Jersey. Now, we find the senator from Oklahoma who voted against aid to New York and New Jersey saying that aid should be sent to Oklahoma because there’s a difference between tornado assistance and hurricane assistance,” King told Scott. “This is absolute hypocrisy.”
But Joan Walsh’s Salon.com post “Inhofe and Coburn: Red state hypocrites” hits the core issue most squarely: “Especially in the wake of the sequester cuts, the notion that the federal budget is larded with easily eliminated spending is ludicrous. Would Coburn like to see more kids thrown out of Head Start? More seniors losing Meals on Wheels? The federal deficit is shrinking faster than at any time since just after World War II, but Coburn is going to insist that someone, somewhere, must lose their federal help so Oklahoma can get it instead…We now apparently have deserving and undeserving disasters. When tragedy strikes, most Americans tend to want to pull together, but many Republicans look to pull us apart, placing their own constituents’ needs above everyone else’s.”
At PolitcusUSA Sarah Jones adds a little clarity to the I.R.S. ‘scandal,’ noting that “Conservative Nonprofits That Received Tax Exempt Status Outspent Liberals by 34-to-1.”
So, “Is the Economy Saving Obama’s Approval Ratings?” at FiveThirtyEight, Nate Silver says “…It may be that the talk surrounding Benghazi, the I.R.S. and the Justice Department has negatively affected Mr. Obama’s approval rating by two or three percentage points, but that the economy has lifted his numbers by about the same amount.” In a word, yes.
Michael Tomasky makes a convincing argument that Dems should resist all calls for a special prosecutor. “Just say no, and say it firmly,” says Tomasky.
At The Daily Beast Eleanor Clift explains how “Obama’s Minimum-Wage Gambit Puts Republicans on Defensive” and explains: “Democrats and Republicans disagree about the economic consequences of a higher minimum wage, but they do agree on the politics, that it’s a loser for Republicans and mostly a winner for Democrats. “It should resonate,” says Matt Bennett, a co-founder of Third Way, a centrist Democratic group. “No one will win an election on this, but it rounds out with some base voters that he’s focused on their needs, too.” Democratic pollster Stefan Hankin agrees that it speaks to the Democratic base, but warns that it also risks deepening the divide between the business community and Democrats at a time when the GOP is in such disarray that an olive branch to business might be better politics. Either way, Democrats have set a proposal in motion that if it doesn’t pass in this Congress, it likely will in the next.”
The common wisdom has it that Huntsman can’t get nominated in his party, since right-wingers now have veto power. But Dems should keep an eye on him, just in case the wingnut base of the GOP’s House of Cards is ready to implode. His new PAC appears to be a well-planned base-building vehicle.
Greg Sargent reports at The Plum Line that “Harry Reid escalates `nuclear’ threat” as the only reasonable response left to GOP obstruction of nominations that ought to be routine.
Diogenes can finally stop looking. We found an honest man right here.

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