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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

At Talking Points Memo, TDS managing editor Ed Kilgore’s “It’s The Fundamentals, Stupid: Elections Aren’t Determined By Short-Term ‘Game Changes’” puts some needed perspective on all of the jockeying for ’14 and ’16: “…a lot of the breathless and widely gyrating prognosticating we’ve been hearing lately really revolves around whether a lame-duck president is dealing with a Republican Senate or with a Democratic Senate in which Republicans hold an effective veto power via the filibuster (barring a full “nuking” of minority obstruction by Democrats, which remains highly unlikely). And as for the 2016 presidential contest, you’d be better advised to watch those boring “fundamentals” for clues to the outcome than any short-term changes in a game that has barely even begun. You know: fundamentals like the economy, and what the Affordable Care Act looks like this time two years from now.”
Matthew O’Brien’s post, “The Singular Waste of America’s Healthcare System in 1 Remarkable Chart” at The Atlantic has a good graphic to show people who are undecided about the need for health care reform how inefficient the current U.S. system is, compared to other health care systems in developed nations.
You go to YouTube and type “Obamacare ads” in the search window, and you get about 98K hits. My quickie scan suggests that 90 percent of them are negative, thanks most likely to the Koch brothers and other hidden funding sources. Obamacare supporters need more and better ads, which ought to be doable, considering all of the people who have benefitted by the ACA.
In similar vein, Media Matters for America’s “How The GOP Uses Network News To Discredit Obama” by Tyler Hansen, Olivia Marshall and Samantha Wyatt provides an instructive read for Democratic media strategists.
Esquire’s political ace Charles Pierce has another great post, this one on “The Nuclear Fallout” (via Reader Supported News), which notes “There are no moderate Republicans any more. There is no bipartisan solution because one party is not interested in governing the country if the people are silly enough to vote for a president that party doesn’t like. (This, it should be said, is something that the newly feisty Harry Reid should explain to “moderate” Democrats like Joe Manchin and Mark Pryor, of whom it already is being said will hold the “balance of power” in the new Senate order. You will do what the leadership tells you on the big-ticket items — which include judges — or you will find out what life is like on the Post Office Commitee.) In almost every poll, the American public is crying out for solutions, and most of them are solutions supported by this president and by the Democratic majority in the Senate. This is what the Republicans determined to block. Now, it’s harder for them to do it. If they don’t act to wring the crazy out of their party, then the president and his party should use every legal means available to do it for them. It’s time for constituent services in the districts that elect the crazy people to suddenly feel the pinch of reduced resources. It’s time to get very tough on voting rights.”
In his excellent msnbc.com round-up, “With eye on 2014, GOP ramps up war on voting,” Zachary Roth observes that “In the 10 months since President Obama created a bipartisan panel to address voting difficulties, 90 restrictive voting bills have been introduced in 33 states. So far, nine have become law, according to a recent comprehensive roundup by the Brennan Center for Justice – but others are moving quickly through statehouses.”
Conservative columnist Diana West argues that Republicans should ignore distractions like the gender gap and focus on turning out their strongest demographic, married, middle income voters. West crunches numbers in the recent Virginia elections and 2012 and concludes, “In other words, middle-income and married Americans are Republican strongholds. Eureka! Here is where Republicans can find winning margins by turning out more of these traditional voters — as many as humanly possible.” If Dems can keep up their current fund-raising edge, perhaps their best tactic to bust this GOP strategy is to buy up ad time/space on media popular with this demographic.
Nonetheless, Hotline on Call’s Alex Roarty’s “Why Democrats Are Accusing Mitch McConnell of Sexism” has Dems anchoring their Kentucky strategy for taking Mitch McConnel’s seat to his opposition to the Violence Against Women Act.
The Michigan Republican Party will launch its new African American Engagement Office in Detroit on December 6 to improve on the two percent of the vote their presidential nominee received in the city in 2012. Sen. Rand Paul, critic of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (the 50th anniversary of which which will be feted extensively over the next year) and son of a U.S. congressmen who has allowed overt racism in his newsletter, will reportedly headline the grand opening. What could go wrong?

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