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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

Big problems remain and booby traps lie ahead, but “Obama Promised to Do 4 Big Things As President. Now He’s Done Them All,” writes Jonathan Chait. And it’s all the more remarkable, considering the Republicans’ unprecedented obstructionism. Good talking points here for responding knee-jerk Obama critics.
Re Julian Zelizer’s “Will Democrats pay a price for Bergdahl deal?” at CNN Politics. The short answer is “only if voters can be hoodwinked en masse by GOP demagoguery.” The better question is “Will Republicans pay a price for arguing that it’s OK to let an American soldier languish in prison?”
Charles Pierce has a few choice comments on the topic in his “The Bergdahl Chronicles: The Bitchening.” See also John Cory’s “The Empty Soul of GOP Politics” at Reader Supported News, which notes “The air is rife with the flatulence of rancid sanctimonious political opportunism and self-serving patriotic indignation. Truth, fact, and morality be damned…Sgt. Bergdahl was a prisoner of war and America does not leave POW’s behind. Ever. We don’t do it. It doesn’t matter if the POW walked off and got captured or if the POW collaborated with the enemy under duress and torture – doesn’t matter. We, America, bring them back.”
From AP’s “Political parties fight to manipulate voting times“: “At least 33 states now have laws that let people vote in-person before elections without needing an excuse to obtain an absentee ballot. Early voting laws became increasingly common after the disputed 2000 presidential election as a means of diminishing long Election Day lines that had frustrated voters…Republican-controlled legislatures in Ohio, Missouri, North Carolina and Wisconsin all have taken recent steps to curtail early voting by limiting the days on which it’s available…Early voting generally increases voter turnout by 2-4 percent, which is statistically significant, said Paul Gronke, director of the Early Voting Information Center at Reed College in Portland, Oregon…Some of the assumptions about early voting have been challenged by recent research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Professors there found that early voting that diminishes the publicity surrounding the actual election day can hurt turnout, and ultimately aid Republicans. But they found that when early voting is coupled with same-day registration, the advantage shifts to Democrats.”
The repeal Obamacare movement is now on track to end, “not with a bang, but a whimper,” explains Sam Baker at The Atlantic.
Not that the Republican sniping will end anytime soon, as Greg Sargent points out in his post “GOP’s guerrilla resistance to Obamacare alive and well.”
At Lost Remote, Adam Flomenbaum has an interesting interview with Bill Maher’s executive producer about Maher’s ‘Flip a District’ campaign. Flomenbaum notes that “Maher plans to flip a congressional district in the upcoming mid-term elections by periodically going to specific congressional districts, talking about that congressman, and seeing if “we can’t get some change effected in America.”
At The Upshot, Nate Cohn and Josh Katz argue against the beliefs of many poll analysts that “It’s Not Too Soon to Pay Attention to Senate Polling.”
Democratic candidates and campaign strategists, please study “Map: Where the average student loan burden is largest” and the accompanying notes by Niraj Chokshi. If there is any hope of energizing young voters this year, Dems need to be talking about bold initiatives to address this crisis.

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