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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

Harold Meyerson has a creative alternative for those 21 or so House Republicans who want to support a ‘clean CR,’ but fear being primaried by the tea party — declare themselves Independents. As Meyerson explains in his Washington Post column, “…To vote his beliefs and duck that challenge, all a center-right Republican has to do is declare himself an independent…This is hardly a course to be taken lightly. It entails the loss of congressional seniority and would cause rifts with friends and allies…There is no guarantee of reelection…But others have taken this course and survived — most recently, former senator Joseph Lieberman, who…reconfigured himself an independent and won reelection. Many of the House members tagged as supporters of a clean resolution, such as New York’s Peter King and Pennsylvania’s Charlie Dent, come from districts in the Northeast that aren’t as rabidly right as some in the Sunbelt. Others, such as Virginia’s Scott Rigell and Frank Wolf, come from districts with large numbers of federal employees, who almost surely are not entranced by the tea party’s anti-government jihad.”
At Facing South, Sue Sturgis reports that Art Pope, NC’s jr. Koch brother, is feeling some grass roots heat: “As Pope attempts to distance himself from controversial big-money politics, North Carolina activists continue to shine a spotlight on his outsized influence and what it has wrought.”
In a USA Today op-ed, Will Marshall presents an interesting idea: To seize the high ground, “…Democrats will need to abandon their ritual business-bashing, embrace the productive forces in U.S. society and honor companies that are investing in America’s future…The nation’s job drought is really an investment drought…Many companies are investing at home, and they deserve recognition. For the second year, the Progressive Policy Institute has ranked the top 25 companies making the biggest bets on America’s economic future. All told, these Investment Heroes spent nearly $150 billion last year on new plants, buildings and equipment.” Short of laws that protect jobs in the U.S., it’s an idea worth exploring, although the inclusion of Walmart among the “heros” is an eyebrow-raiser.
In his Politico post, “Poll: Terry McAuliffe increases his lead over Ken Cuccinelli in Virginia governor election,” Tal Kopan notes, “Virginia gubernatorial hopeful Terry McAuliffe has widened his lead over his Republican challenger Ken Cuccinelli in a new poll that puts him up 8 points…The Democrat led the Virginia attorney general 47 percent to 39 percent in a Quinnipiac poll of likely voters out Thursday. In September, Quinnipiac found McAuliffe leading 44 percent to 41 percent.”
Turns out the latest Gallup poll I noted in Tuesday’s ‘notes’ post did have some data on approval ratings of the two parties, omitted though it was in Frank Newport’s report. According to Linda Feldmann’s Monitor summation, “The Republican Party is viewed favorably by only 28 percent of the American public, a 10-percentage-point drop in just the past month, according to the latest Gallup poll…It’s the lowest favorability number ever recorded for either party by Gallup, which began asking the question in 1992.” Democrats’ favorability also dropped in the last month, down four percentage points from 47 percent to 43 percent.”
John Dickerson’s “Are Moderate Republicans the Shutdown’s Biggest Hypocrites?” at Slate.com has a cautionary observation for Dems: “Right now, these members of the Clean Caucus have the best of all worlds. They can proclaim that they want to do the reasonable thing–which pleases their moderate voters–but never cast the vote that provokes the wrath of the party’s most active and punitive wing. This is how Boehner reads their maneuvers, and they can thank him for allowing them to have it both ways.”
But, as Steve Peoples explains at Salon.com, DCCC Chairman Rep. Steve Israel points out that the shutdown gives Dems a potent edge in the uopcomming 2014 midterm elections, with 68 competitive districts in play: “The longer the Republicans continue this reckless and irresponsibility … the weaker they become going into the 2014 cycle.”
If this doesn’t make Boehner sweat,nothing will: “Their frustration has grown so intense in recent days that several trade association officials warned in interviews on Wednesday that they were considering helping wage primary campaigns against Republican lawmakers who had worked to engineer the political standoff in Washington,” report Eric Lipton, Nicholas Confessore and Nelson D. Schwartz, in the New York Times.
At Daily Kos, the blogger ‘War on Error’ flags a series of revealing inter-active charts depicting the relationships between the Koch brothers’ and other wingnut foundations and PACs, lending great credence to Hillary Clinton’s warning about the “vast right-wing conspiracy.” Most disappointing revelation in the charts may be that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation supports ALEC. Open source software, anyone?

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