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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

Just to set the record straight, not all of those Republicans now saying nice things about Mandela supported his cause when it counted, as Jordan Michael Smith reports in his New Republic post, “All the Terrible Things Republicans Used to Say About Nelson Mandela: Reaganites called him a terrorist and a phony.” Smith points out that Reagan put Mandela on the “terrorist” list and Cheney also called Mandela a terrorist, while Norquist supported the apartheid government.
Now that the Obamacare website is functioning well, Republicans are shifting their attack meme to highlight cases in which individual policy-holders are paying more to get less under the ACA, report Bloomberg’s Mike Dorning, Derek Wallbank and Alex Wayne.
But Bloomberg’s John McCormick explains why “Angry Self-Insured Voters Dim Democratic House Takeover Strategy.” McCormick notes “… House Democrats represent more than a third of the districts with above-average proportions of residents who get health insurance through individual policies, Census Bureau data compiled by Bloomberg shows.” The article goes on to note cases in which some of these policy-holder end up paying more and getting less, but it’s unclear what percentage of self-insured are having this experience.
From Ari Berman’s The Nation post (via Moyers & Company) “Ohio GOP Resurrects Voter Suppression Efforts“: “…Ohio Republicans are once again resurrecting efforts to make it harder to vote. Last month, the GOP-controlled Ohio Senate, on a party-line vote, voted to cut early voting by a week, eliminating the “Golden Week” when Ohioans can register and vote on the same day during the early voting period (Senate Bill 238). The legislation was introduced and passed in one week, with almost no time for substantive debate. The Senate also passed a bill preventing the secretary of state or individual counties from mailing absentee ballots to all eligible voters unless the legislature provides the money, which they are unlikely to do (Senate Bill 205)…These restrictions — and additional measures being considered by the legislature — have the potential to impact millions of voters in the Buckeye State: 600,000 Ohioans voted early in 2012, more than 10 percent of the state’s electorate and 1.25 million voted by mail, 22 percent of the electorate.”
The first fruits of filibuster reform will soon ripen, as Timothy M. Phelps reports in his L.A. Times article “Filibuster rule’s end should help Obama reshape a key court.” As Phelps explains “On Monday, the U.S. Senate is scheduled to cast a historic vote to confirm Patricia Millett, an experienced Supreme Court advocate and taekwondo black belt, as a judge on the second-most powerful court in the land, tipping that court’s balance of power to Democrats for the first time in nearly three decades.”
Beth Reinhard asks a good question at the National Journal: “Can Democrats Make 2014 About the Minimum Wage?” She notes “…Democrats see the opening that Garcia and other low-income, typically Republican voters appear to be offering on the issue. A Gallup poll last month pegged support for raising the minimum wage at 76 percent and found majority support across the board, including Republicans (58 percent), whites (72 percent) and southerners (80 percent)…”It’s almost like political malpractice not to push the minimum wage at this time,” said Ruy Teixeira, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank that hosted Obama’s speech on income inequality.”
DCCC head Rep. Steve Israel marshals a shrewd argument in favor of the Undetectable Firearms Act, which is being opposed by the NRA and Republicans: “I can’t understand why anybody would want to make it easier and more convenient for bad guys and criminals to smuggle plastic guns onto airplanes…To me, this is the consummate example of common sense.”
Here’s a disturbing Reuters report that “Democrats wouldn’t reject U.S. budget deal over jobless aid: senator” by Caren Bohan and Aruna Viswanatha.
At The Nation Reed Richardson has a brutal critique of Third Way centrism in the wake of their latest round of liberal-bashing: “So if Third Way really doesn’t offer much besides run-of-the-mill Republican-lite boilerplate,why does it merit any media oxygen in the first place? The question, essentially, answers itself–Third Way’s corporate-heavy, economic austerity agenda dovetails with the likes of the Beltway media’s “pain caucus.” That an ineffectual advocacy outfit like Third Way can still command a healthy pick of establishment op-ed perches is no coincidence. In its 2012 tracking study of think-tank citations, media watchdog FAIR found centrist and conservative groups overwhelmingly dominated. Only two center-left–and no progressive groups–cracked the top 10. (And true to its word, the academically lightweight Third Way didn’t even make the list.)”

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