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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

George Wentworth, senior staff attorney for the National Employment Law Project has a perceptive Huffpo post, “How to Disappear the Unemployed (See North Carolina),” which explains the strategy behind a new Republican terminology scam. As Wentworth explains, “in an increasing number of states, the perceived “problem” is no longer “unemployment” — it’s the “unemployed.” And the most convenient and politically facile way to attack the unemployed is to attack unemployment insurance, the New Deal insurance program that provides modest income support to qualifying workers who lose their jobs through no fault of their own.” Wentworth notes that Republican Governor McCrory’s initiative “will cost the state roughly $700 million that would otherwise go to long-term unemployed workers and their families — and directly back into North Carolina’s economy.”
Chris Bowers of Daily Kos has an e-blast urging all progressives to “please join Daily Kos and CREDO by demanding that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Democrats pass meaningful filibuster reform that eliminates the filibuster for all presidential nominations, including judges. Click here to sign the petition.”
E. J. Dionne, Jr. challenges Republicans like William Kristol and Rich Lowry to demonstrate their new-found concern for low wages to support a minimum wage hike. “It’s heartwarming to know that the editors of the Weekly Standard and National Review are now worried about depressed wages. In truth, granting immigrants who are here illegally basic labor rights would have a positive effect on wages for all workers. But if Kristol and Lowry are really worried about low-paid workers, let their next literary collaboration be an endorsement of a $9 or $10 hourly minimum wage.”
Ed Kilgore’s Washington Monthly post, “Rand Paul and His Confederate Friends” unmasks the rancid core of Paul’s pitch: “As Jonathan Chait observed yesterday, at some point you have to figure that the chronic association of secessionists and racists with the Paul Revolution (and more generally with libertarianism and “constitutional conservatism”) exists for a reason; it’s not a coincidence or a figment of hostile imaginations.” Kilgore shares Chait’s quote: “The deep connection between the Pauls and the neo-Confederate movement doesn’t discredit their ideas, but it’s also not just an indiscretion. It’s a reflection of the fact that white supremacy is a much more important historical constituency for anti-government ideas than libertarians like to admit.”
At The National Journal, Beth Rheinhard’s “Bob McDonnell’s Growing Scandal Could Spill Over to Ken Cuccinelli” indicates that Dem candidate for VA Governor Terry McAuliffe may have found the edge he needs to defeat his GOP rival. As tea party activist Eric Odom, quoted in the post, puts it: “Right now it’s a case of a terrible optics, and it’s essentially handed a McAuliffe an arsenal of political ammunition. He probably has ten campaign ads against Cuccinelli lined up and ready to go.”
In his ‘The Conscience of a Liberal’ post, “Income, Race and Voting,” Paul Krugman mulls over some exit poll data and observes “Contrary to what some people keep saying, people with higher incomes, other things equal, tend to vote Republican. Cut through the noise and fog, and it is true that Democrats broadly want to redistribute income down, and Republicans want to redistribute income up — and on average, voters get that (which is why “libertarian populism” is hot air).”
Mark Z. Barabak’s L.A. Times article, “Texas Democrats feel a change in the wind” provides an informative update on the political and demographic transformation gaining momentum in the Lone Star state.
in his New York Times Opinionator post, “The Decline of Black Power in the South,” Thomas B. Edsall notes that “Where possible, Republican redistricting strategists have reduced the number of blacks in white Democratic legislative districts in order to render the incumbent vulnerable to Republican challenge. In other areas of the state, where it has not been not possible to “bleach” a district, Republicans have sharply increased the percentage of blacks to over 50 percent in order to encourage a successful black challenge to the white Democratic incumbent.”
The Nation has a worthy action widget, “Thank and Support moral Mondays” — a way progressives can support North Carolina activists in their protests against GOP voter suppression and right-wing extremism in that state.
Earth to Ann Coulter…ahh, never mind.

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