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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Dems Feast on Cruz’s Theatrics, Boehner’s Groveling

At the Washington Post Zachary A. Goldfarb reports on the memes and messages Dems are enjoying as a result of the latest round of GOP budget brinksmanship.’ Goldfarb shares a few choice examples:

“We’re going to make the case that 2014 is going to be a referendum between extremist Republicans and crisis and leaders with reasonable solutions,” said Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.), chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “It does create a narrow path for us.”
…”It didn’t go well for Republicans then, and there’s reason to believe that public opinion is more likely to be against them now,” said Jennifer Palmieri, White House communications director and a veteran of the Clinton White House.
…In Illinois’ 13th District, for instance, Democratic candidate Ann Callis, a former judge, has attacked Rep. Rodney Davis (R) and other Republicans for putting “the livelihood of millions of Americans in doubt to prove a political point.”
In Minnesota’s 1st District, retired Gen. Jerry Cannon warned after Republicans voted to strip funding for Obama’s health-care law that “the paychecks of troops and other military workers would be delayed indefinitely” if the government shut down.

The usual caveats apply. For one thing, notes Goldfarb,

But despite Democrats’ convictions that they will come out ahead, there’s evidence that both sides may get blamed in a shutdown. One Pew Research Center poll this week reported that 39 percent of respondents would blame Republicans if the government shut down, compared with 36 percent who would blame Obama.

Goldfarb also quotes Democratic strategist Paul Begala, “”I’m not going to say the Democrats are going to pick up 20 seats because the 2010 redistricting redrew the districts in such a remarkable way,”
Still, the Cruz-Boehner show feeds the Dems’ GOP=Gridlock, Obstruction and Paralysis meme, and Dems are just beginning to work it. Indeed there is some evidence that the high-turnout seniors, who are often the key demographic in non-presidential year elections, are getting disgusted with Republican extremism and divisive tactics. Goldfarb also points out that polls indicate that most voters don’t support the Republican call for repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
It’s hard to see how the GOP gets positive traction with voters as a result of Cruz’s fake filibuster and Boehner’s groveling at the behest of the tea party — provided Dems do a decent job of making them own it.

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