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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

Even Christie’s mentor, the respected former Republican Governor Thomas H. Keane has serious doubts that the NJ governor is ready for prime time. Paul Steinhauser reports at CNN Politics that “Plenty in his own party happy to see Christie get comeuppance.”
With congress in gridlock, Nicholas Confessore writes in The New York Times about how “A National Strategy Funds State Political Monopolies.” Confessore notes, “”People who want to see policies enacted, and see things tried, are moving their activity to the states, and away from Washington,” said Ed Gillespie, a longtime Republican strategist who has played a central role in efforts to swing state legislatures to Republican control. “There is a sense that you can get things done.”…At a time when Washington appears hopelessly divided and gridlocked, elected officials in one-party states have aggressively reshaped government policy, whether legalizing same-sex marriage and marijuana, abolishing taxes and regulations, or restricting guns or labor unions.”
At New York Magazine, Jonathan Chait writes about “That Awkward Moment When Republicans Have to Hurt the Poor Before They Can Love Them.”
Chait, like TDS’s James Vega, also wonders if the Republicans’ top newspaper columnist is losing it.
For an interesting mini-history of Republican-driven voter suppression in a major swing state, read “Manipulating voting laws to win elections has long been a GOP game in Ohio” by ThePlain Dealer’s Thomas Suddes. Chrissie Thompson of the Cincinnati Enquirer explains the latest round of Ohio’s voter suppression laws here.
At the Social Worker Helper Shoshannah Sayers, deputy executive director of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, explains how “Redistricting: The Hidden Side of Voter Suppression” disenfranchises minority voters in NC. Also at SWH Lydia Long writes about NC college students getting mobilized against voter suppression.
Even a right wing group’s commissioned poll finds that only 36 percent of respondents believe that voter fraud (which Republicans use to justify voter i.d. restrictions) is a “major problem,” reports Josh Israel at Think Progress.
Scott Clement reports at The Fix that “…43 percent of Democrats called themselves liberal in 2013, compared with just 32 percent who said this 10 years ago. The shift toward liberal identity has come about equally from moderates (minus five points since 2003) and conservatives (minus six points). By contrast, the trend line for liberal identity among Republicans and independents is flat.”
Wonkblog’s Neil Irwin makes the case why no one should get freaked out about the latest jobs report: “All the other evidence we have on how the economy is doing is inconsistent with a mere 74,000 newly added jobs, and in fact is more consistent with the 200,000-ish levels of previous months. Manufacturing surveys are reporting strong output. Trade numbers are looking favorable. Business investment appears strong. Indeed, overall GDP growth for the second half of 2013 now looks to have been the strongest in years.

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