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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to announce its decision on section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, Ari Berman has a poignant post up at The Nation , “John Lewis’s Long Fight for Voting Rights.” Says Berman: “… It’s shocking that the Supreme Court appears to be leaning toward overturning the centerpiece of the country’s most important civil rights law… If the Court upholds Section 5, as it has in four prior opinions, Lewis’s legacy will be cemented. And if the Court eviscerates it, Lewis’s voice will be needed as never before.”
In other voter suppression news, Josh Israel reports at Think progress that “Colorado’s state ethics panel has ruled that Secretary of State Scott Gessler (R) violated state ethics laws and breached public trust for his own personal gain. Gessler, best known for his failed voter purge and his crusade against largely nonresistant voter fraud, received a fine for the violations.”
At least same-day voter registration is moving forward at the state level, explains Steven Carbo at Demos. Yet here too there is resistence: “Sadly, voting rights opponents are also seeing Same Day Registration’s potential, and are moving to end the reform in several SDR states. Last month, Montana lawmakers voted to put an SDR repeal question before the voters on the November 2014 ballot. In North Carolina, the conservative majority is championing a string of voter suppression measures that would eliminate Same Day Registration, impose a strict voter ID requirement, and shorten the state’s early voting periods.”
Here we have an interesting meditation on “What are ‘Liberals,’ What are ‘Progressives,’ and Why the Difference Matters.”
Mark Caputo reports at The Miami Herald why “Fla. Democrats see Gov. Rick Scott as easy target in 2014.” Caputo explains: “The most recent public polls, released in March, indicate Crist would soundly beat him and that Scott is viewed far less favorably than favorably. One survey, from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling showed that Scott would lose to Crist by 12 percentage points and to Sink by 6 points, but that he’d beat Rich by 6 percentage points.
At The Fix, Chris Cillizza reports on the intensification of the GOP’s internecine battles.
Alex Roarty’s “Will North Carolina Shape the Future of the Senate?” at The National Journal limns the challenge Dems face in holding Kay Hagan’s Senate seat — and the Senate majority: “The Republican Party’s hopes for a Senate majority will rise and fall on 2014 elections in seven red states where Democratic senators are running for reelection or retiring…Within this group (Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, Montana, North Carolina, South Dakota, and West Virginia), one state stands apart. North Carolina is represented by freshman Kay Hagan, seeking reelection for the first time since her 2008 victory.”
GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham certainly has a way with words, as Phillip Ellito reports in his Talking Points Memo post: “Graham: GOP Is ‘In A Demographic Death Spiral.”
Georgetown poly sci proffesor Dan Hopkins addresses the question “Is it really the GOP’s anti-immigration stances that turn off Latinos?” at Wonkblog.
At The Atlantic Norm Ornstein explores “Why Can’t House GOP Leaders Stand Up to Radical Members of Their Party?” Ornstein observes: “Why have we privatized and subcontracted the lions’ share of our national security intelligence apparatus? Because mindless budget cuts, a long-standing zeal to privatize reflexively, along with multiyear pay freezes for all civilian government employees and other efforts to undercut and demoralize those who work for government, have made it nearly impossible for government security agencies to compete with the private sector for top-flight electrical engineers and computer scientists. So we have turned to the back door, relying more and more on less-secure private contractors. This is the consequence of moving from a commendable focus on lean, efficient, and functional government in areas where we need it to an unthinking hatred of all government that is transcendent in the new GOP, and unchallenged by those who know better.”

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