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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

In this short clip MLK concludes one of his best speeches on the steps of the state capitol in Montgomery, Alabama at the conclusion of the 1965 Selma to Montgomery march for Voting Rights. As we celebrate the 30th Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, the film “Selma” seems to be gathering momentum for a “Best Picture” Oscar, accompanied by debate about LBJ’s level of support for the Voting Rights Act. I come down in the middle: It’s true that LBJ would not have fought for it and signed it in 1965 without MLK’s determination. But give Johnson some credit for coming up with visionary leadership when it counted.
At The Hill Ben Kamisar’s “Lawmakers Reflect on ‘No’ Votes on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday” surveys the current and past attitudes of current Republican members of congress who voted against the MLK holiday at the federal or state level. Three of them, Sens. McCain, Hatch and Isaakson say they regret their vote.
At Latin Post Michael Oleaga reports on his interviews of LULAC and Rock the Vote leaders and discusses “How to Mobilize Latino Millennials After Midterms.”
Livia Gershon’s “Why Democrats Can’t Figure Out White Working-Class Voters” at vice.com marshals a combination of revealing anecdotes and analysis to shed some interesting light on the Democrats’ quest for a bigger bite of this elusive demographic. Among Gershon’s insights: “Depending on how you define the white working class, you can come to a wide variety of conclusions about voting patterns. But spend too much time thinking about these details, and you miss a major piece of the puzzle: The huge number of white working-class people, and lower-income people of all races, who don’t vote at all…Elisabeth Jacobs, the researcher, said that if we want to understand how class affects voting as we look toward 2016, the gap between voters and non-voters is in some ways more important than the party breakdown. “If you’re talking about the white working class versus the white working class voters, you’re talking about very different universes of people,” she said.”
Here’s great headline that encapsulates a good idea from WLRN, a PBS affiliate in south Florida: “Democrats’ Free Tuition Strategy: Unleash Eager Parents Against Reluctant GOP” by Rick Stone.
Looks like conservatives are trying to brand Rep. Chris Van Hollen as “Robin Hood” for his new tax plan which would reallocate some income from the wealthy to the middle class. Maybe that’s not such a hot idea, since Robin Hood has been a hero to working people for centuries.
Michael Tomasky’s explains in his Daily Beast post, “The Biggest, Most Important 2016 Debate” that “…Wage stagnation is basically a Democratic issue, one that most voters would probably trust the Democrats to do a better job on than Republicans. Although of course, if it comes to be October 2016 and wages are still as flat as they’ve been since the crash, that could be a problem for the Democrats. So what they need to do is frame wages not as a post-crash, Obama-era problem, but instead to make sure Americans know that this is a deep historical problem, and that the moment to address is right now…The Democratic Party wasn’t always much good at articulating a theory of economic growth that could counter the Republicans’ trickle-down argument. They’re finally finding their voice on this. And so, the real importance of the next election is not the Supreme Court, not climate change, not foreign policy, crucial as all those things are. It’s that it could write the obituary of supply-side economics. ”
Ohio progressives must now prepare for a brutal battle against Republicans’ all-out assault on unions — and middle-class economic security in the buckeye state.
“Simple”might be a stretch. But Chris Cillizza and Aaron Blake present a plausible path for Dems to retake a U.S. Senate majority in 2016.

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