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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

At The Fix Chris Cilliizza explains why “Obama is right: Democrats’ ‘meh’ attitude toward midterms is a major problem“: “Obama is exactly right. His party — from the donor community to the activists — gets very excited about presidential elections but tends to lose interest (at least when compared with Republicans) in midterm elections…Republican gains in 2010 led to a redistricting process nationwide in 2011 that entrenched the Republican House majority, making it very difficult — though not impossible — for Democrats to recapture the chamber any time soon…And the impact of the 2010 midterm elections at the gubernatorial and state legislative level also had considerable policy consequences…More abortion restrictions were passed in state legislatures between 2011 and 2013 than in the entire previous decade. In the first six months of 2011 alone, six states passed stricter voter ID laws.”
Sen John McCain further damages his foreign policy cred.
Paul Krugman outs the GOP’s “Health Care Horror Hooey,” the phony ads and examples used to attack Obamacare. “Even supporters of health reform are somewhat surprised by the right’s apparent inability to come up with real cases of hardship…the true losers from Obamacare generally aren’t very sympathetic. For the most part, they’re either very affluent people affected by the special taxes that help finance reform, or at least moderately well-off young men in very good health who can no longer buy cheap, minimalist plans. Neither group would play well in tear-jerker ads.
At The National Journal Daniel Libit reports on “Democrats’ Southern Money-Suck Strategy: Someday they’d like to retake the South. For now they’re happy to make Republicans pay to keep it.” Libit notes the role of the Southern Progress Fund, which “seeks to build up the forgotten political infrastructure for Democrats below the Mason-Dixon Line…The group has committed itself to small-ball politics, deciding, for now, to concentrate on state and local races, while beefing up the technological capabilities of state Democratic parties.”
Also at The National Journal, Dems still have an edge in ground game strategy, and apparently the staff needed to implement it, as Alex Roarty reports in his article “The GOP’s Talent Gap: The party doesn’t have enough smart people working on its campaigns, and those who do are playing out of position.”
Don’t pay too much attention to reports on the latest University of Texas poll showing Democrat Wendy Davis lagging 11 points behind Republican Greg Abbott in the race for governor of Texas. It was conducted Feb. 7-17, and news reports that Abbott was campaigning with virulent hater Ted Nugent began appearing on the 18th.
At The New York Times Jeremy W. Peters “G.O.P. Leaders Draw Re-election Challenges From the Right” provides an insightful update on the GOP’s internecine strife.
Hofstra Proff Alan Singer’s HuffPo post “Only Aggressive Action Will Save the American Labor Movement” discusses the trade union movement’s current predicament — and how to get out of it. One of his observations: “Aggressive, illegal, actions may be the only way to save the labor movement in the United States. As Martin Luther King Jr. advised social activists in a “Letter from Birmingham Jail”: “One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.”…Unions need to have muscle, they need to be willing to strike, they need to be willing to defy unjust laws, they need to welcome new members and not just represent those who hold onto relatively privileged better-paying jobs, and to they need to be more responsive to their members and potential members.”
Big mistake.

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