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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

Rebecca Kaplan reports at cbsnews,com that “a handful of Democrats are floating the idea of delaying the open enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act exchanges in order to allow users more time to sign up for insurance and avoid being hit by tax penalties.”
At Wonkblog, Sarah Kliff’s “Here’s how the White House just tweaked Obamacare” provides a good update on the Administration’s response.
If you’re bored with all of the Obamacare rollout bashing, read E. J. Dionne, Jr.’s WaPo column, “Don’t give up on the uninsured,” which observes: “Those seeking a model for how the law is supposed to operate should look to Kentucky. Gov. Steve Beshear , a Democrat in a red state, has embraced with evangelical fervor the cause of covering 640,000 uninsured Kentuckians. Check out the Web site — yes, a Web site — for regular updates on how things are going there…”We’re signing up people at the rate of a thousand a day,” Beshear said in a telephone interview. “It just shows the pent-up demand that’s out there.”
It’s not a good time for European heads of state not named Merkel. The left is rising in the U.K., but tanking in France.
According to a new CBS News poll conducted 10/18-21, “more Americans blame the Republicans in Congress than blame Barack Obama and the Democrats in Congress for the partial government shutdown and the difficulties in reaching an agreement on the debt ceiling. Nearly half (46 percent) blame the Republicans in Congress, while just over a third (35 percent) blames Barack Obama and the Democrats.” Only 14 percent bought the false equivalence argument that both sides are equally to blame. Also, “While 31 percent of Americans approve of how the Democrats in Congress are doing their job, just 18 percent approve of how Republicans are doing theirs. Disapproval of Republicans in Congress has risen five percentage points since before the shutdown.”
The new Texas voter i.d. law, passed by state Republicans in the wake of the Supreme Court decision restricting the Voting Rights Act, targets women who use maiden names or hyphenated names, reports Steve Benen at msnbcnews.com. Benen quotes The Nation’s Ari Berman, who adds “According to a 2006 study by the Brennan Center for Justice, a third of all women have citizenship documents that do not match their current legal name.” It appears that the law is designed to hurt the candidacy of rising Democratic star Wendy Davis, who is running for Governor of Texas.
Arnie Pames reports at The Hill that President Obama is launching “a post-shutdown fund-raising blitz” to help Dems in 2014, including a series of eight speaking engagements.
Former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau argues at Politics Beast that “The Tea Party, Not Democrats or Republicans, Is the Problem.” Letting Republicans off the hook is a pretty long stretch, but Favreau does float an interesting idea: “In 2014, candidates of both parties should challenge their rivals to sign a No Shutdown Pledge and a No Default Pledge.”
This ‘toon from Mike Luckovich sums it up well.

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