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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

There is comcern about implementation of the Affordable Care Act in both parties, report Scott Bauer and Thomas Beaumont at the Associated Press. But some Republican governors, Like Indiana’s Terry Branstad, are beginning to get real. As Maryland’s Democratic Governor Martin O’Malley is quoted it in the article, “Nothing could be more complicated than doing what we were doing before, which was to throw away more and more money on more expensive care for worse results.”
In his WaPo column, “Religion challenges left and right,” E. J. Dionne, Jr. argues that Dems may be missing a significant opportunity by not paying attention to the growing number of religious people who are embracing progressive values, as well as the progressive economics of the new pope.
At the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Craig Gilbert discusses the political implications of the dramatic increase in one-party states — to 37 from 19 a decade ago — in context of the gridlock on congress. “Half the states now have veto-proof legislative super-majorities for one side,” say the authors. “This is a striking new landscape in state politics. It stands in sharp contrast to a national government often paralyzed by partisan discord. And it coincides with a burst of ambitious, partisan policy-making in which red and blue states are governing in increasingly divergent and often controversial ways.” If the gridlock continues unabated at the federal level, expect to see an increasing percentage of the resources of the two political parties directed toward state races. The GOP has one-party control of 23 states, compared to 14 for Dems.
Share this story about senior citizens getting busted for singing in Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s police state with any senior voters you know. Do check out the two videos with the story.
The Atlanta Constitution’s Jay Bookman has a few choice words about the integrity of House majority Leader Eric Cantor, who is trying to convince people that the Affordable Care Act will compromise their medical privacy by giving confidential information to the I.R.S.: “It is also a bald-faced, blatant lie, a lie that exposes the moral bankruptcy of the case that Cantor and others are attempting to make. There is no conceivable means under federal law for the IRS to access “the American people’s protected health care information,” and he knows it. His intent is to foster paranoia and distrust in the government, and if he can’t make that argument by telling the truth, he is perfectly willing to make it by telling falsehoods.”
Patricia Borns’s “Florida health care reform informers organize” at The Bradenton Herald provides an inkling of the kind of constructive activism that is needed at the state level to get consumers educated about taking advantage of Obamacare:”Seventy-eight percent of Americans have no idea there’s a health marketplace,” Enroll America State Director Nick Duran said. Team members, many hired within the past two weeks, must be ready to recruit and train volunteers, bring local partner organizations on board, and start knocking on doors by the statewide “weekend of action” event starting July 27…Florida Blue plans more than 3,000 seminars to demystify the new health reform guidelines…Nationally, Enroll America is funded by Kaiser Permanente, Families USA and other top donors to President Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign.”
Michael Tomasky gives former Obama re-election campaign manager Jim Messina a richly-deserved skewering for selling out to Britain’s tories.
Sam Hananel’s “Reinventing unions: Labor leaders get creative to halt decline in membership” at the Daytona beach News-Journal provides an excellent update on the new strategies being deployed in re-invigorate the labor movement. Notes Hananel: “Unions are helping non-union fast food workers around the country hold strikes to protest low wages and poor working conditions. They are trying to organize home day care workers, university graduate students and even newly legalized marijuana dealers. Members of a “shadow union” at Wal-Mart hold regular protests at the giant retailer, which long has been resistant to organizing…The actions in New York, Chicago, Detroit and other cities are being coordinated by local worker centers, nonprofit organizations made up of unions, clergy and other advocacy groups. While not technically labor groups, they receive generous financial support and training staff from the Service Employees International Union and other unions.”
It’s official. Chris Cillizza points out in this video that this is the least productive House of Reps, ever, or at least since they started counting bills passed. Under Boehner’s leadership only 22 bills have passed the House during this session.
Jonathan Bernstein talks sense at Salon.com in his post ” All the pundits are wrong: Conventional wisdom says the GOP has a grip on the House, but can’t win the White House. Here’s why both are wrong.” Bernstein explains: “…It’s not far-fetched to imagine a relatively good year for Democrats in 2014, breaking even or losing a handful of seats, followed by a Democratic presidential landslide in 2016. Or, even more plausibly: Republicans reclaim the White House in 2016, but prove as unable to govern as they were the last time they tried, yielding a Democratic landslide in 2018. Indeed, it’s not hard at all to imagine a relatively weak economy producing a GOP sweep in 2016, a Republican imposition of strict austerity in 2017, and the economic collapse that goes with austerity soon afterward.” Unfortunately, argues Bernstein, the presidency can also be up for grabs.

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