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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

In a Buzzfeed interview with Ruby Cramer, DCCC Chair Rep. Steve Israel says it plain: “If you relitigate the ideology on the Affordable Care Act, it’s a losing strategy…Roll up your sleeves and solve people’s problems — get them on the exchanges, or if a small business is having a hard time navigating, help them navigate…Don’t be ideologues on the Affordable Care Act — just make it work, be a navigator, be a solutionist.” Cramer adds, The 52 districts the DCCC has targeted in its plan to win back the House — which, many widely agree is an unlikely possibility — are what Israel called “by their nature very moderate, independent, solution-oriented districts.”
At The Daily Beast, Michael Tomasky explains “Voter Suppression, Chris Christie Style” with more clarity than most.
According to the most recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, reports Erin McClam, Staff Writer, NBC News: “Given a list of eight factors and asked to choose the one most responsible for the continuing problem of poverty, 24 percent of respondents in the poll chose ‘too much government welfare that prevents initiative.’ Whether Americans are too dependent on government was a flashpoint of the presidential campaign last year, and shrinking government has been a focus of the Tea Party movement, which has risen since the election of President Barack Obama…’Lack of job opportunities’ was the second most popular answer, at 18 percent, followed by ‘lack of good educational opportunities and ‘breakdown of families,’ with 13 percent apiece.”
As we mark the 20th anniversary of the National Voter Registration Act, Demos assesses the record and probes the unmet potential.
Kyle Trygstad’s “Senate Race a Test Case for Democrats in Georgia” at Roll Call provides a sober assessment of Dems’ projects for picking up a U.S. Senate seat in Georgia. Among his observations: “Blacks now make up 31 percent of Georgia’s population and about 30 percent of its active voters, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Georgia Secretary of State’s office. Hispanics now account for 9 percent of the population but remain underrepresented in the voter rolls at just 2 percent. Similar demographic trends are also occurring in states such as Texas and Arizona.” In other words, if the Democratic nominee can win one out of four white voters, a Democratic pick-up is a good bet.
Bill Mayer tells it straight on the gipper: “This has become a kind of conventional wisdom that the Republican Party has gone so far right Reagan himself wouldn’t fit in, but I’m here tonight to call bulls**t on that. Ronald Reagan was an anti-government, union busting, race baiting, anti-abortion, anti-gay, anti-intellectual, who cut rich people’s taxes in half, had an incurable case of the military industrial complex, and said that Medicare was socialism that would destroy our freedom. Sounds to me like he would fit in just fine.” And that’s just one of his blistering graphs.
The Fix’s Chris Cillizza cites Libertarian-friendly attitudes of young voters towards same sex marriage and marijuana as reason for the hope that Republicans will get a bigger bite of the youth vote. But smart Dems know that Libertarians lose all traction with young voters when they have to defend the Libertarian policy of no government protection for the environment. E. J. Dionne, Jr. also has a commentary on the shallowness of Libertarian philosophy for those who live in the real world.
Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich explains why ‘the states-are-the-laboratories-of-democracy’ is a poor substitute for a functioning national government: “First, it leads to a race to bottom. Over time, middle-class citizens of states with more generous safety nets and higher taxes on the wealthy will become disproportionately burdened as the wealthy move out and the poor move in, forcing such states to reverse course…Second, it doesn’t take account of spillovers — positive as well as negative. Semi-automatic pistols purchased without background checks in one state can easily find their way easily to another state where gun purchases are restricted. By the same token, a young person who receives an excellent public education courtesy of the citizens of one states is likely to move to another state where job opportunity are better…Finally, it can reduce the power of minorities. For more than a century “states rights” has been a euphemism for the efforts of some whites to repress or deny the votes of black Americans.”
Those wondering how two-faced Republicans can get are directed to Lee Fang’s post at The Nation, “Revealed: Letters From Republicans Seeking Obamacare Money.” As the post’s subtitle puts it, “It’s the height of hypocrisy: They call for repeal of the law but plead for its dollars on behalf of constituents.”
Painfully true and excruciatingly boring.

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