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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

You’ve heard it before. But David Welna’s npr.org post “With Nominees Stalled, Democrats Reprise Filibuster Threat” notes signs that Dems maybe ready to rumble: “Democrats say that this time, they’re ready to pull the trigger on what’s known as “the nuclear option.” Doing so would amount to altering the rules not with the traditional two-thirds majority but a simple majority of 51…Several other senior Democrats have also come around to embracing such a rules change, including Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California….”I think we need to change the rules,” Feinstein said. “Now, Republicans say, ‘What goes around comes around. Wait ’til we’re in charge.’ I can’t wait until they’re in charge. I mean, the moment is now. We’re here for now.”
At Think Progress John Halpin reveals “Here’s Why The ‘White Vote’ Is A Myth.” Reviewing a recent study by the Center for American Progress and Policylink, Halpin notes, “A huge divide between whites is one of the most important: while 58 percent of white liberals believe that we must work together on common challenges, 59 percent of white conservatives said that people are basically on their own (overall, 36 percent of white respondents self-identified as ‘liberal’ and 50 percent of whites as ‘conservative’)…By contrast, majorities of African-Americans and Latinos — regardless of ideological self-identification — hold a more collective understanding of the economy. 73 percent of African-American liberals and 60 percent of African-American conservatives believe that we must work together on common economic challenges (46 percent of African-Americas self-identify as ‘liberal’ and 38 percent as ‘conservative’). Fifty-six percent of Latino liberals and 53 percent of Latino conservatives believe similarly (45 percent of Latinos self-identify as ‘liberal’ and 43 percent as ‘conservative’). Asian responses on this particular question more closely resemble those of whites than other people of color.”
Washington Post columnist Harold Meyerson explains why “Voter suppression the new GOP strategy“: “Voter suppression has become the linchpin of Republican strategy. After Mitt Romney’s defeat in 2012, the GOP was briefly abuzz with talk of expanding the party’s appeal to young and Latino voters. Instead, the party doubled down on its opposition to immigration reform and its support for cultural conservatism — positions tantamount to electoral suicide unless the youth and minority vote can be suppressed. Meyerson shares what is known about the huge amounts of money Republicans are investing in buying elections, although most of their contributions are shrouded in secrecy. He conclude, “If you want to vote in the Republicans’ America, remember to bring your birth certificate. But if you want to buy an election and stay under wraps, your secret is safe with them.”
Robert Higgs reports at ohio.com that “In a party-line vote, the Ohio Senate on Wednesday approved a bill to shorten early voting to eliminate the so-called “Golden Week” that allowed people to both register to vote and cast early in-person absentee ballots at the same time…The Senate passed the bill by a vote of 20-13. The 20 yes votes all came from Republicans. The no votes all came from Democrats. The bill now moves to the House.”
At Maddowblog Steve Benen explains “ACA slows growth in health costs.” Says Benen “How good are the number figures? According to a new report published by Jason Furman, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, over the last three years – the period since “Obamacare” became the law of the land – per capita health care spending has grown at a rate of 1.3%. “This is the lowest rate on record for any three-year period and less than one-third the long-term historical average stretching back to 1965,” Furman noted.”
Joan McCarter’s “Obamacare enrollments surging, HealthCare.gov working better” at Daily Kos provides a share-worthy antidote to the GOP’s ACA spin. As McCarter points out, “enrollements across the country are surging, coming in ahead of projections in states across the country.” Further, adds McCarter, quoting from a Noam H. Levey’s L.A. Times article on the topic, “What we are seeing is incredible momentum,” said Peter Lee, director of Covered California, the nation’s largest state insurance marketplace, which accounted for a third of all enrollments nationally in October. California–which enrolled about 31,000 people in health plans last month–nearly doubled that in the first two weeks of this month…Several other states, including Connecticut and Kentucky, are outpacing their enrollment estimates, even as states that depend on the federal website lag far behind. In Minnesota, enrollment in the second half of October ran at triple the rate of the first half, officials said. Washington state is also on track to easily exceed its October enrollment figure, officials said.”
In a similar vein, read Paul Waldman’s American Prospect post, “Obamacare Panic to Enter Even Stupider New Phase,” which notes “January 1 is the end of any talk of repeal, and Republicans know it–as many of them have been saying all along, once you start giving people benefits, it’s all but impossible to take them away. That doesn’t mean there isn’t still work to do, and it doesn’t mean there aren’t things that could go wrong. Nor does it mean there might not be piecemeal fixes to one or another provision debated in the future; there almost certainly will be. But unless you think that in the next six weeks Republicans are going to manage to put together a two-thirds majority in both houses of Congress to repeal the ACA–something you’d have to be nuts to believe–it’s never going to happen.”
Ditto, says Krugman.
Enjoy, mateys, the headline above this video: “NBC News Pollsters ‘Shocked’ By Horrible Numbers For GOP“:

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