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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

Daily Kos’s David Nir reports on a dozen new MoveOn polls that show significant vulnerability of Republican incumbents in House races. His caveat: “…the problem for Democrats is that, for the most part, these seats are held by strong Republican campaigners who have done a good job of convincing voters of their moderation and who tend to raise money in bunches. That creates a vicious cycle whereby would-be Democratic candidates shy away from challenging these incumbents, thus making them look all the more invincible when the next election rolls around.”
At The Guardian, Bob Garfield’s “False equivalence: how ‘balance’ makes the media dangerously dumb: We’ve seen it in climate change reporting; we see it in shutdown coverage. Journalists should be unbiased, yes, but not brainless” observes: “As an institution, the American media seem to have decided that no superstition, stupidity, error in fact or Big Lie is too superstitious, stupid, wrong or evil to be disqualified from “balancing” an opposing … wadddyacallit? … fact. Because, otherwise, the truth might be cited as evidence of liberal bias…what is so difficult about calling bullshit on a lie?”
Media Matters staff has an excellent round-up of recent false equivalence “reporting” by talking heads on TV.
Kyle Trygstad’s Roll Call post “The Cheap Seats: Senate Majority Determined in Inexpensive States” reports that major ad battles are taking shape in states where ads are cheaper: “Cheap markets allow campaigns, national party committees and outside groups to afford significant ad buys earlier and stay on the air longer. But they also open up avenues for smaller independent groups whose less-robust war chests wouldn’t go nearly as far if they were forced to spend in major markets such as Chicago, Philadelphia or Washington, D.C…Democratic media consultant Philip de Vellis, whose firm Putnam Partners produced Heitkamp’s ads, says cheap markets and more ads allow campaigns to deliver a message over a series of spots — not cram everything into one “kitchen sink” attack ad.”
Dems have a “solid shot” at picking up the House seat being vacated by retiring FL Republican Bill Young, according to Hotline on Call’s Sarah Mimms.
Steve Benen’s “The electoral consequences of the shutdown” at MaddowBlog spotlights another GOP House seat ready for Democratic picking, NE-2, now held by Rep. Lee Terry. In his post, Benen also puts the shutdown drama in prudent political perspective: “Everything you’ve heard of late about 2014 is true. Polls show Republican support collapsing, but the midterm elections are still a year away, and it’s too early to make firm predictions…But this story out of Omaha offers an important reminder about the consequences of the Republican Party’s ongoing disaster — they haven’t ensured electoral setbacks next year, but they’ve certainly laid the groundwork for defeat.”
Looking towards 2014 elections, Democratic policy-makers would do well to check out “Working Longer: Older Americans’ Attitudes on Work and Retirement,” a recent poll conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. The poll doesn’t include data on political party preferences of the respondents, but it does shed light on which policies this high-turnout constituency favors.
Democrats should read Joseph Stiglitz’s New York Times Opinionator column, “Inequality is a Choice” and then get focused on distilling some of his lucid observations into message points, including: “In America, nearly one in four children lives in poverty; in Spain and Greece, about one in six; in Australia, Britain and Canada, more than one in 10. None of this is inevitable. Some countries have made the choice to create more equitable economies: South Korea, where a half-century ago just one in 10 people attained a college degree, today has one of the world’s highest university completion rates.”
Richard Parker (not the tiger, the Harvard proff) has an amusing ain’t-gonna-happen-idea which lays bare the hypocrisy in tea party lunacy: “Suspend Obamacare and cut the budget–just as House Republicans have demanded–but here’s the compromise: do all the cutting in just the 80 or so congressional districts of the most ardent Tea Party members.”

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