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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

Sure there is an argument that the departure of Michelle Bachman from office is good for Republicans, as per LC Granderson’s CNN Opinion post “Bachmann exit helps GOP scrub stupid away.” But it can’t be a bad thing that the quality of congressional dialogue won’t be quite as lame.
Or, as E. J. Dionne, Jr. puts it in his WaPo column, “Bachmann’s retirement should foster some soul-searching about the nature of our political discourse and how easy it is for falsehood and innuendo to get treated as just one more element in the conversation — no more or less legitimate than any other… She perfected a tactic well-suited to the current media environment: continually toss out outlandish, baseless charges, and, eventually, some of them will enter the mainstream media…”
Jeremy W. Peters’ “G.O.P. Sizes Up Obama as Midterm Target” at The New York Times reports on the strategic debate now underway in the Republican Party.
Virginia’s Republican Governor does something good in announcing plans to restore voting rights to people convicted of nonviolent felonies. But he can do even better, as Sue Sturgis reports at Facing South: “While civil rights advocates are lauding McDonnell’s action, some are calling on him to go further by automatically restoring voting rights to all Virginia citizens with past criminal convictions who are living and working in the community.”
At last, the filibuster may be ripe for nuking, reports Jamelle Bouie at The Daily Beast..
Andy Kroll’s Mother Jones post “Meet the New George Soros” showcases the new bogeyman for the wingnuts, Dreamworks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg: “All told, Katzenberg gave or raised more than $30 million to reelect Obama, helping Hollywood make up for Wall Street’s plummeting financial support of the president. And that’s not counting the funds he marshaled for other Democrats, such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and California Gov. Jerry Brown.”
In his New York Times Opinionator blog, Thomas B. Edsall discusses the a trendy justification for cutthroat capitalism: “In a more detailed paper, “Can’t We All Be More Like Scandinavians?” Acemoglu, Robinson and Verdier expand on their argument that the world is dependent on American leadership in technology and innovation to sustain global growth. In order to maintain its position at the forefront of global innovation, the authors contend, the United States must maintain an economic system that provides great rewards to successful innovators, which “implies greater inequality and greater poverty (and a weaker safety net) for a society encouraging innovation.”
At Brookings William A. Galston and E. J. Dionne, Jr. consider “The New Politics of Marijuana Legalization: Why Opinion is Changing” and observe that “demographic change and widespread public experience using marijuana imply that opposition to legalization will never again return to the levels seen in the 1980s. The strong consensus that formed the foundation for many of today’s stringent marijuana laws has crumbled.”
From Josh Krushaar’s “Republican Red Flags All Over in Bellwether States: The GOP’s recruitment struggles in Virginia and Colorado don’t bode well for the party’s long-term health“: “For all the lip service given by Republicans to the party’s efforts to modernize its image, a quick look at the GOP’s standing in two must-win battlegrounds doesn’t paint a promising picture of their efforts. In Colorado and Virginia–the archetypes of suburban, demographically changing states–Republicans are barely contesting next year’s Senate races, are facing fresh setbacks in the two pivotal upcoming gubernatorial races, and are dealing with persistent issues recruiting new talent into the pipeline.”
Eugene Robinson should be able to get about 70 million “Amens” for this one.

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