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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

By all accounts Tuesday’s special election in congressional district FL-13 will be bellwether close, as Democrat Alex Sink tries to take the district from Republicans. According to Jennifer Leigh Oprihory’s Al.com post “Democrats, GOP test fall strategy in Florida House race,”: “…In an effort to deflect Republican attacks on the health care law and rollout problems, Democrats also plan to prominently feature proposed Republican curbs on Social Security and Medicare in competitive races across the country…”Those issues are paramount,” said Rep. Steve Israel of New York, who chairs the House Democrats’ campaign operation. “Having Republicans say that they want to cut Medicare but continue to fund massive subsidies to big oil companies … that will be a defining theme.” Those who want to help out with some last-minute calls on Sink’s behalf should click here.
Abby Rapoport explores “Why Does the National Media Get Texas so Wrong?” at The American Prospect and notes, “Arguing that the right is getting beat back because incumbents largely escaped unscathed misses the whole point. Many incumbents are Tea Party already.”
If you are looking for an apt description of Sarah Palin’s CPAC speech, Charles Pierce’s Esquire post “CPAC BONUS SATURDAY — THE PRINCESS IN EXCELSIS” should serve the purpose: “It was as singularly embarrassing a public address as any allegedly sentient primate ever has delivered. It was a disgrace to politics, to rhetoric, to the English language, and to seventh-grade slam books everywhere…She is the living representation of the infantilization of American politics, a poisonous Grimm Sister telling toxic fairy tales to audiences drunk on fear, and hate and nonsense…”
But Paul Begala explains why Ted Cruz’s bashing of war heroes Sens Dole and McCain as lacking in principles may be nearly as nauseating.
Those manly Republicans can’t stop gushing about Putin’s decisiveness. But former Secretary of Defense Gates sees it a little differently: “My own view is, after all, Putin invaded Georgia when George W. Bush was president. Nobody ever accused George W. Bush of being weak or unwilling to use military force…In the middle of a major international crisis, that some of the criticism, domestic criticism of the president ought to be toned down, while he’s trying to handle this crisis.”
Michael Tomasky reviews Lane Kenworthy’s “Social Democratic America” at The New York Review of Books and mulls over the possibilities for “A New Populism,” even under Hillary Clinton.
Sen. Sanders might contribute to elevating a new populism — if he runs as a Democrat.
Chris Cillizza doesn’t get into it in his post about the new Pew Research Center study, “Republicans’ young-people problem” at The Fix. But I suspect one of the most likely reasons why young people are turning off to the GOP in larger numbers than the Gen Xers is who they are blaming for the rapidly diminishing educational and career opportunities their generation faces.
The short answer would be ‘No.’

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