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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

Michael Tomasky is lead dog for this edition of TDS Notes with his must-read Daily Beast post “Democrats Are Petrified of Defending Government–but They Need to Start.” There’s a lot here worth quoting, but I’ll just go with this excerpt and demand that every sentient Democrat read the rest of it: “This hatred of government we see in this country is sickeningly childish and hypocritical. The rot starts from the top–the appalling Republican members of Congress who voted against the 2009 stimulus and then had the audacity to go cut ribbons in their districts at venues given life because of that very stimulus bill they traduced as Satan’s handiwork…But it extends down to the millions of people who accept and applaud the right-wing rhetoric even as they suck on the government tit every day of their lives in one way or another, either without knowing it or (worse) knowing it but denying that they do because they’ve stuffed their own heads full of some nonsense narrative about how tough and independent they are.”
A month out from the red wave, Sean Miller of Campaigns & Elections ‘Shop Talk’ presents a panel discussion addressing a question many campaign managers must be wondering: “Is a Digital Obsession Handicapping Campaigns?
At Brookings Fred Dews addresses an interesting question, “Is Compulsory Voting a Solution to America’s Low Voter Turnout and Political Polarization?” and quotes from a TDS founding editor: “Senior Fellow William Galston, the Ezra K. Zilkha Chair in Governance Studies, imagines a “future in which Americans must vote, or face a penalty.” In that hypothetical future, Galston sees campaigns appealing to more moderate, swing voters who “preferred compromise to confrontation and civil discourse to scorched-earth rhetoric.” He sees the House and Senate “doing serious legislative work” and congressional leaders returning power to the committees, “where members relearned the art of compromise across party lines.” Read more at CNN.com.”
Here’s a variation on the tax credit for voting idea, sort of a carrot with an implied stick.
Joan Walsh explains why Rand Paul’s soulless, insipid response to the Eric Garner tragedy indicates that his presidential campaign will likely tank.
Paul Krugman weighs in on Sen. Schumer’s critique of President Obama’s decision to use his political capital to enact health care reform: “Democrats had their first chance in a generation to do what we should have done three generations ago, and ensure adequate health care for all of our citizens. It would have been incredibly cynical not to have seized that opportunity, and Democrats should be celebrating the fact that they did the right thing…If more Democrats had been willing to defend the best thing they’ve done in decades, rather than run away from their own achievement and implicitly concede that the smears against health reform were right, the politics of the issue might look very different today.”
As a presidential swing state with hot races for governor and U.S. Senate in 2016, North Carolina is likely to get more attention than any other state from both parties and the media, explains Alex Roarty at National Journal.
At Roll Call Alexis Levinson has an insightful explanation of Tom Tillis’s well-played endgame, resulting in his narrow (1.7 percent) victory, despite Kay Hagan’s exceptionally-good U.S. Senate campaign.
Here’s a nifty widget for determining whether you are in red, blue or purple territory at any given moment.

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