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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

Mark Blumenthal and Ariel Edwards-Levy explain why we shouldn’t take instant poll reactions to the SOTU very seriously. And despite the impressive audience for the SOTU, I find it hard to disagree with Charlie Cook’s take.
Paul Krugman has a gem of a blog post “Obama and the One Percent,” noting “…there’s a danger, especially for progressives, of confusing the proposition that Obama’s billionaire haters are stark raving mad — which is true — with the proposition that Obama has done nothing that hurts the plutocrats’ interests, which is false. Actually, Obama has been tougher on the one percent than most progressives give him credit for…the one percent does have reason to be upset. No, Obama isn’t Hitler; but he is turning out to be a little bit of FDR, after all.” How he gets there is worth the read.
At NBC Politics Domenico Montanaro’s “Christie numbers tank as scandals continue” pegs the NJ Governor’s favorable ratings at 22 percent in a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.
Regarding the weak responses of Republican governors to the weather disaster in the southeast endangering tens of thousands, the finger-pointing has begun. Jim Galloway reports at the Atlanta Journal Constitution that GA Republican Gov. Nathan Deal “opened a late-night press conference on Tuesday with this: “As you know, we have been confronted with an unexpected storm that has hit the metropolitan area.” Galloway quotes Marshall Shepherd, president of the American Meteorological Society: “Meteorologists from the National Weather Service (NWS) in Atlanta issued Watches and Warnings BEFORE the event and provided ample time for decisions to be made. Yet, as soon as I saw what was unfolding with kids being stranded in schools, 6+ hour commutes, and other horror stories, I knew it was coming…Some in the public, social media or decision-making positions would “blame” the meteorologists. I began to hear things like…”there were no Watches or Warnings until snow started falling or “weather is just unpredictable.” Wrong, Wrong, Wrong, and Wrong!” Gov. Deal’s weak management of the emergency relief effort could be a potent message point for Democratic candidate for Governor Jason Carter in the north GA suburbs.
Yet another important victory for VA Democrats. As Laura Vozella puts it at the Washington Post, “Democrats prepared to seize control of the Virginia Senate on Monday after winning a recount by just 11 votes in a razor-thin special election, giving Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s first-year agenda a crucial boost.”
In the comments following Politico’s “The Case Against Early Voting” by Eugene Kontorovich and John McGinnis, a commenter named “Jane” responds, “The article also seems to conflate extremely long periods of early voting with early voting in general; as the article suggests, a voting period of one to two weeks certainly wouldn’t interfere with the debate schedule, as the candidates would have ample time to debate whichever issues they wished in the preceding months, and it is..I would simply like to remind the authors of the lines in Ohio precints during the ’08 and ’12 elections, and to consider how many people gave up and went home, despite being in a fiercely contested state, simply because they didn’t have time left in the day to exercise their right to vote; isn’t that more likely to sway an election? Early voting is the simplest and easiest solution to address this problem, even if it is an imperfect answer – if other proposals cannot find support and be enacted before midterm elections, we should settle for expanding early voting to all precincts.”
The Nation’s Ari Berman reports on “The New Nullification Movement: Some states are reviving disenfranchisement schemes that date back to the antebellum South.”
But it’s not only the south. Cincinnati City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld posts on “The Subtle – And Not-So-Subtle – Strategies of Voter Suppression” at HuffPo, noting the gamesmanship that goes on in selecting early voting poll locations even in Ohio: “The proposed relocation would place in-person early voting at a site far removed from downtown with severely less access by public transportation. Whereas the current downtown location of early voting has greater bus connectivity than any site in the entire County, for the vast majority of riders the new location would require any combination of long commutes, bus transfers, hour-long waits to catch the next bus, and half-mile walks from where the bus line ends.”
In a NYT op-ed Ezekiel J. Emanuel eviscerates the GOP’s long awaited “alternative to Obamacare.”

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