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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes


This week the media is full of coverage of the 50th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery March for Voting Rights, and many Democratic office-holders will be heading to Alabama for the commemorative activities. If you haven’t done so yet, do see “Selma,” if only to better appreciate the great courage, sacrifices made and the blood that was shed so African Americans could exercise the most basic of democratic rights, which white Americans took for granted. Then think about Chief Justice John Roberts’s role as a voter suppression guru in the Reagan white house, his leadership (author of the majority opinion) of the 2013 decision gutting the Voting Rights Act and why every American who cares about democracy should support the Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2015 (more valuable information about the Act right here). For a list of House Reps and Senators now supporting the Act, click here.
And, speaking of Reagan, there has been a fair amount of scribbling lately about why the sainted Reagan would be too liberal for today’s tea party, given his record on certain issues, like immigration. But let’s not forget how destructive Reagan’s legacy has been overall, a reality that is well-summarized in “Reagan started our fall into abyss of greed,” a letter to the editor by James V. Burke.

For an essential guide to understanding America’s political future, study the Center for American Progress publication, “States of Change: The Demographic Evolution of the American Electorate, 1974-2060” by TDS co-founding editor Ruy Teixeira, William H. Frey and Rob Griffin.

WaPo syndicated columnist Dan Balz puts the study in context of the current political moment.

Hard to lose one of the greatest U.S. Senators, retiring Sen. Barbara Mikulski. But Dems have an extremely-strong menu of potential senatorial candidates in Maryland, including Reps. Donna Edwards, Chris Van Holland and Elijah Cummings, Sec’y of Labor Thomas Perez, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and several other formidable state leaders.

Brendan Nyhan’s “Voters Unlikely to Care Much About the Hillary Clinton Email Furor” gets it right at The Upshot and shares a good quote from John Sides, “In October 2016, no persuadable voter will be thinking about Hillary Clinton’s email account.” The Hillary-haters are going to have to come up with something a tad more substantial to keep voters awake.
Also, Phillip Bump explains “Why Hillary Clinton probably isn’t sweating this email stuff, in three charts.”

There’s clue or two for Dems interested in getting more of that high-turnout senior vote in Helaine Olen’s Slate.com post “The Semi-Retirement Myth: Don’t buy the tales of meaningful work into your 70s. Your retirement is inevitable–and bleaker than the last generation’s.” Here’s a hint from Olen: “Congress could pass legislation strengthening age discrimination laws, not to mention heeding the call by senators like Elizabeth Warren and Sherrod Brown to increase Social Security checks. A poll conducted last year found 79 percent of Americans agreed Social Security benefits should be increased, with the bill paid by the wealthy.” Whether congress passes such legislation or not, Dems should be highly-visible in support of these reforms. Dems should also consider that when seniors are compelled to take entry-level jobs to survive, fewer of those jobs will be available for younger workers.

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