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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

Hard to see how Christie recovers enough from his scandal to run as a national candidate. Recent polls suggest Rep. Paul Ryan may be in position to be the most likely beneficiary in terms of GOP presidential nomination, at least for a while. But watch the other right-wing cheese-head, union-bashing Gov. Scott Walker, who has shades-of-Reagan cred with all GOP factions and better media skills.
And the “Ya think?” award for euphemistic headline-writing goes to
Christie’s shenanigans notwithstanding, I would have to give Marco Rubio the award for political shamelessness, voting against extending unemployment benefits, and then trashing the War on Poverty, despite mountains of data proving it was a success. At least we’ll always have the deliciousl Youtube video of Rubio‘s eyes darting around like a ridiculous deer-caught-in-the-headlights, as he reaches for water.
NYT columnist Russ Douthat talks frames for “better [conservative] policy ideas” for addressing poverty: “But really, the most important thing is to actually have an agenda, which is why at this point I’m not all that concerned about whether Republicans are talking about fighting poverty or the middle class or both: I just want them to be talking up and trying out policy ideas…” Outside of tax cuts for the wealthy and bashing Obamacare, he will likely have a very long wait.
After giving LBJ due credit for his leadership of the War on Poverty, spare a thought for Sargent Shriver, the “architect” of the idea — as well as the Peace Corps, Job Corps, Upward Bound, Vista and Head Start. He also served as Head of the Office of Economic Opportunity, chairman and president of the Special Olympics. As much as any Democrat of his times, he provided the conscience of his party on helping the disadvantaged.
Some interesting stats from Ariel Edwards-Levy’s HuffPo post “America’s Record Number Of Independents Aren’t As Independent As You Might Think“: “The movement in party identification doesn’t represent a seismic change in Americans’ views, however, so much as an increased unwillingness to be tethered to either party, especially the GOP. When Gallup asked those independents whether they leaned toward one side, just a fraction — about 10 percent of Americans — described themselves as purely independent. The rest leaned equally toward one party or the other, with 16 percent expressing more of an affinity for the Democrats, and 16 percent for the GOP…The difference between partisan-leaning independents and their brethren among the party faithful tends to blur at the ballot box. In 2008, 90 percent of Democratic leaners went to now-President Barack Obama, and about 80 percent of Republican leaners to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), according to exit polls.”
At CNN Opinion Julian Zelizer explores “America’s real problem: Too much bipartisanship. ‘ As Zelizer notes in a teaser graph, “But with all of our discussions of difference and discord, too often we miss some areas where both parties are actually in unspoken agreement. There is a consensus view that encapsulates what’s really wrong in Washington.”
If David Weigel’s Slate post “Obamacare. Obamacare. Obamacare: The Republican strategy for winning the Senate in 2014 is a single word” is right, Dems should expect the GOP ACA refusenik governors to hold the line through the elections — which may prove disastrous for them.
Well, at least we won’t need much paint.

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