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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

The Massachusetts House of Reps has passed what looks like a model early voting bill, and the state senate and Governor are expected to approve it. OK, it’s Massachusetts, but could it be that early voting is one of those issues that could sway some fed-up seniors to vote Democratic? There must be a lot of seniors out there who are disgusted by Republican attempts to crush early voting because it is such a blatant attempt to thwart democracy and because early voting is a valued convenience, especially for seniors. Dems should test a few ads exploring this angle on senior focus groups.
Zach Carter’s HuffPo article “Austerity Fetishists Are Finally Giving Up” reports that “American deficit hawks gathered in the nation’s capital on Wednesday to commiserate over the collapse of the U.S. austerity movement, solemnly hobnobbing with political royalty to reminisce about the days when slashing Social Security seemed all but inevitable” and cites “a growing recognition that, just as in Mellon’s day, out-of-control finance may actually be a greater threat to America’s bottom line than greedy geezers.”
Illinois Rep Jan Schakowsky notes an encouraging development: “The NAACP and the Leadership Council on Civil Rights are going to be conducting a ‘Freedom Summer and Fall’ and start doing recruiting and training and dispatching and organizing and publicity around this idea of getting people out to vote,” Schakowsky said. “Anywhere there are these barriers to voting, to physically help people get over them.”
Leave it to the Big Dog to nail Rove with a well-crafted zinger in response to the GOP strategist’s sleazy pitch to raise questions about Hillary Clinton’s health: “Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds . . . First they say she faked her concussion; now they say she’s auditioning for a part on ‘The Walking Dead’!”
And at The Daily Beast Michael Tomasky weighs in with his post, “Karl Rove May Be Evil, but He’s No Genius,” noting the “mind-boggling overestimation of Karl Rove’s brilliance,” and adding that “…In 2000…I mean, his candidate didn’t even really win. Then came 2004….all he did then was (barely) reelect an incumbent. Just two incumbents going back to FDR lost their reelection bids while eight won them, so that’s a pretty low bar for genius…Then came the truly dark period, the one that should have pulverized his reputation forever, when Rove told his president to go out and promote Social Security privatization, which sank like a stone. This while Rove was talking up a “permanent conservative majority” and world-historic realignment, even though all he and his president’s failures managed to do was turn the Senate and the House Democratic in 2006 and then pave the way for the country’s rejection of John McCain and embrace of Barack Obama. Rove is a so-so political strategist, a corrupt trickster going back to college, and a venal and wholly unprincipled man who once orchestrated a whisper campaign that an Alabama judge who did admirable work with youngsters was a pedophile. And on top of all that, he’s just not that smart, as proved on Election Night 2012, when he made a world-class asshole out of himself over Ohio.”
In her NYT Upshot post “Democrats Are Unified; G.O.P. Is Unified Only in Opposing Obama,” Allison Kopicki marshals a credible argument and makes her case with revealing examples. She may be overstating GOP divisions a bit, however, because many of the so-called ‘establishment’ Republicans have simply absorbed and now parrot tea party values.
Democratic candidates and campaign workers should mine Nicholas Kristoff’s NYT op-ed “It’s Now the Canadian Dream” for nuggets such as: “A Danish child is twice as likely to rise as an American child…The top 1 percent in America now own assets worth more than those held by the entire bottom 90 percent… The six Walmart heirs are worth as much as the bottom 41 percent of American households put together…the American worker toils, on average, 4.6 percent more hours than a Canadian worker, 21 percent more hours than a French worker and an astonishing 28 percent more hours than a German worker, according to data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.”
Good to see that the British Labour party is now tapping into the strategic insights of David Axelrod and Stan Greenberg.
John Oliver’s not-for-the-squeamish, side-splitting goof on Kentucky political ads in the Grimes-McConnell U.S. Senate race is at the moment only available to HBO subscribers at this link. (The whole show was a gem, but the political hilarity kicks in big time about 20 minutes into the link.) Will some ingenious teenager please figure out to get the segment on Youtube, so all can enjoy it for free?

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