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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

It’s good to see an effort to better coordinate strategy with respect to climate change among Democratic leaders, as reported by Zack Coleman at The Hill’s ‘E2 Wire’ Energy and Environment Blog. White House chief of staff Denis McDonough, Sen Sheldon Whitehouse and Rep. Henry Waxman have begun meeting to explore ways to initiate executive action for needed climate change reform. “The liberal lawmakers have pressed President Obama to take more aggressive action on climate, noting partisan gridlock will likely close off the legislative route…They want Obama to forge ahead with emissions standards for existing coal-fired power plants, expand energy efficiency efforts and sign more international climate accords, among other items.” Such executive action and the ensuing GOP outcry would also highlight Republican obstructionism.
With less than two weeks to go before the special election, Rep. Edward J. Markey is up 7 points (12 points in internal Democratic polling) in his bid to hold John Kerry’s U.S. Senate seat for Dems, report Katharine Q. Seelye and Jess Bidgood at the NYT. Still, his campaign needs money to help reduce the Republican edge in turnout in non-presidential election years. Donations accepted right here.
Politico’s Alexander Burns explains why immigration reform should be a done deal: “Immigration reform continues to attract broad public support as the Gang of Eight compromise legislation moves through the Senate, according to a huge raft of polling conducted for three pro-reform groups: the Partnership for a New American Economy, the Alliance for Citizenship and Republicans for Immigration Reform…In a polling memo set for release Tuesday – and shared early with POLITICO – Democratic pollster Tom Jensen and Republican pollster Brock McCleary reveal that their surveys found “overwhelming, bipartisan support for the bill” across 29 states.” In each of the states, “The average support for the “Gang of Eight” legislation was just under 68 percent, according to the pollsters.”
Media Matters nails Sean Hannity for his shameless two-faced position on NSA surveillance. “Like most ‘wingers, Sean writes history in pencil,” adds one commenter. “Hmm, I thought it was crayon,” says another.
At Wonkblog Timothy B. Lee comments on the findings of a new Gallup poll regarding NSA’s compiling telephone logs and Internet communications: “Interestingly, the most intense opposition to the programs comes from the political right. Republicans disapprove of the program by almost a 2 to 1 margin. Independents disapprove, 56 to 34 percent. But 49 percent of Democrats approve of the program, compared with 40 percent who disapprove.”
Michael P. McDonald reports “A Modest Early Voting Rise in 2012 ” at HuffPo: “The increase of 1.9 percentage points in early voting rates in the past two presidential elections is in stark contrast to the sharp rise of 9.7 percentage points from 2004 to 2008, from 20.0% to 29.7%…The rate of increase in early voting over the past two presidential elections may have slowed since some states have nearly maxed out the pool of people who may wish to vote early. Also, fewer new states came online to offer an early voting option to their voters, beyond the traditional excuse-required absentee ballot.”
Ari Berman’s “North Carolina is the New Wisconsin” provides an excellent update on the ‘Moral Monday’ uprising in the tarheel state, a possible template for progressives struggling with gerrymandered wingnut power-grabs in other states.
Joan Walsh’s Salon post “Hillary must own 2014” spells it out quite clearly: “…She needs to be part of a Democratic team making the 2014 midterms a referendum on the uncompleted business of the Obama presidency – and on the GOP’s outrageous abuse of its minority status to block everything from popular legislation to agency nominations…Clinton has enormous political capital with the Democratic base, and beyond it. She needs to spend some of it turning out voters in 2014, or the presidency might not be a prize worth winning, except as another title in your Twitter bio.”
At The National Journal Josh Krushaar’s “Three Signs Republicans Haven’t Learned Any Lessons From 2012” notes a growing disconnect between the hopes of GOP leaders and the teaps: “The composite is a party stuck in the status quo despite its leaders’ public hand-wringing. Much of the desire for change is coming from the top, while the more-populist conservative grassroots–skeptical of wide-ranging legislation and disdainful of pragmatic problem-solvers–are pulling in another direction.”
Tim Murphy is on to something with his MoJo post “The Private Intelligence Boom, By the Numbers.” The privatization of U.S. intelligence and our national security should be more of a media concern regarding the Snowden case than has been the case thus far.

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