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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

At CBSNews.com Jacqueline Alemany considers “How should Democrats deal with Obamacare in 2014?” Alemany illuminates the ‘Fix it, Don’t nix it’ message strategy, quoting Democratic pollster Celinda Lake: “…People should talk about the fact that there are parts of Obamacare that work and parts that need to be fixed, and that Democrats will be aggressive about fixing it,” Lake told CBS News. “Because we shouldn’t start all over again, and we shouldn’t cancel the policies of 7 million people.” She also quotes Democratic strategist Tad Levine: “Saying, ‘Listen, it’s not perfect, but there’s a lot of good there,’ is the right approach.”
In his L.A. Times article, “Democrats target Republican ties to Koch brothers” Michael A. Memoli provides a Paul Begala quote which illuminates the Democratic strategy of casting the Koch brothers as poster boys for billionaires trying to buy U.S. elections: “My GOP friends say no one knows who the Koch brothers are,” said Paul Begala, a longtime Democratic strategist. “True, but fewer people knew what Bain Capital was until we told them. This is classic asymmetrical warfare. When you can’t match them bullet-for-bullet, diminish the effectiveness of the other side’s weaponry.”
The Nation’s John Nichols explains (here via Reader Supported News) why Dems believe shining a fresh light on the Koch brothers’ economic bullying and election meddling could be a big problem for Republicans in November: “In every part of the country, in every sort of political jurisdiction, citizens are casting ballots for referendum proposals supporting a Constitutional amendment to overturn US Supreme Court rulings that have tipped the balance toward big money….Since the Supreme Court began dismantling the last barriers to elite dominance of American politics, with its 2010 Citizens United decision, sixteen states and more than 500 communities have formally requested that federal officials begin the process of amending the constitution so that the court’s wrongheaded rulings can be reversed.”
At Real Clear Politics, Adam O’Neal explains why FL Dems believe Alex Sink can win a rematch in November: “…Democrats believe Sink has a significantly better chance in November than she did in the low-turnout special election. He said strategists have “run an analysis and they think this: With Charlie Crist as the Democratic nominee for governor — he used to be a Republican, but he’s a Democrat now — [and] in that particular area, Crist is very popular. They’ve run a new voter model that says even though she lost the special election by two points, they think she would win in November by about a point and a half.”
Ed Kilgore has some fun with Georgia Republican squabbles in the campaign for the GOP senate nomination, which includes a Richie Rich type (David Perdue) dissing a woman opponent (Karen Handel) for not having a college degree — not the kind of thing that will win the hearts of single working women, should he get the nomination to run against Democrat Michelle Nunn.
Talal Al-Khatib reports on “Voter Suppression: Old Strategy, Modern Tactics” at Discovery.com, with updates on some of the dirtier tricks being leveraged by Republicans: voter i.d. laws; limiting poll hours; voter ‘caging”; voting date misinformation; trashing registration forms (yes, it actually happened in VA and CA); “citizen” challenges; and poll “watchers” (intimidaters).
Democratic leaders are committed to making voter suppression a major issue in the mid term elections. Zachary Roth discusses the effort at MSNBC.com: “The notion that GOP voting restrictions could backfire by making their targets more determined to vote than ever may be well-founded. There’s evidence it happened in 2012, when blacks voted at a higher rate than whites for the first time ever, after several key states made voting harder.”
This idea is not going to work. Jack Kemp was a rare Republican who welcomed African Americans into the GOP tent with open arms. But they did not take the bait, likable as Kemp may have been on a personal level and even though he played a significant role in enacting the MLK holiday. African Americans vote their social and economic interests more reliably than other constituencies, while Today’s Republican Party is even more focused on supporting policies that benefit the super-rich to the exclusion of just about everyone else.
If, heaven forbid, you know any millennials taking Rand Paul seriously, it is your duty to direct them to this enlightening post, “10 Reasons Millennials Should Be Wary of Rand Paul’s Libertarianism” by Richard Eskow at Campaign for America’s Future.

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