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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

Both The Atlantic’s Ta-Nehisi Coates and Chauncey DeVega at Salon.com have made the point that simplistic appeals for nonviolence in response to rioting in Baltimore undervalue the role of systemic racial discrimination in creating the crisis. DeVega also notes that MLK’s impressive insights about the problem and its remedies are being overlooked by those who cherry-pick his quotes on the topic. Ed Kilgore has some salient thoughts on the traps awaiting Democrats, as well as Republicans, as they address the crisis in Baltimore and other cities.
At The Boston Globe James Pindell reports that “American millennials are split on whether the US justice system is fair to people of different races and ethnicities, a new poll from Harvard’s Institute of Politics found.”
Dems take note and prepare: Kevin D. Williamson of The National Review has the GOP’s message du jour about the Baltimore violence being parroted across Republican-friendly media outlets.
Regarding police-community violence in Baltimore, Ferguson and other cities, Democratic candidates may want to explore a two-part strategy, which recognizes that police in many cities need better training in race-relations and nonviolent conflict-resolution. But to prevent rioting and community violence, we also need more jobs and educational opportunities for Americans of all races. The best way to accomplish this is a major national investment in putting millions of unemployed and underemployed Americans to work on infrastructure upgrades, and funding the President’s proposal to offer two years of free community college tuition for students.”
At The London School of Economics Daily Blog John B. Holbein & D. Sunshine Hillygus explain “How preregistration can help increase youth voter turnout,” based on their paper ‘Making Young Voters: The Impact of Preregistration on Youth Turnout’, in the American Journal of Political Science.
A Bloomberg View editorial has a couple of good insights about the benefits of Senator Bernie Sanders’s presidential candidacy: “Sanders can also force Clinton to make and articulate choices on precisely the type of issues that she will be most eager to evade, including a host of knotty questions related to inequality…”The American people want Secretary Clinton, all candidates, to talk about why the middle class continues to decline, why the rich get richer, why Wall Street continues to have unbelievable power over the American economy,” Sanders has said. “The American people not only want a serious debate on this campaign, they want candidates who will deal with the most important issue, and that is are we prepared to take on the billionaire class which has so much power over our economic and political life.”
At National Journal Scott Bland, Andrea Drusch, Josh Kraushaar and Alex Roarty present “Hotline’s Senate Race Rankings: Majority Up for Grabs: Republicans have to defend many more seats than Democrats in 2016, putting their majority at risk. But they have opportunities in Nevada and Colorado.”
Roll Call’s Stuart Rothenberg is skeptical that campaign finance reform can become a pivotal issue: “Most voters are motivated by partisanship and mood (that is, whether they are reasonably content with the status quo), but issues like the economy, taxes, spending, abortion, the environment and national security also can energize them…Campaign finance reform, on the other hand, has rarely been a decisive issue to voters, though it certainly has been a frequent topic for editorial writers, reformers and especially under-funded, underdog candidates. Without a particular scandal that captures the public’s attention, that’s more likely than not to be the case again in 2016.”
In “Taking Back the States…Again,” Andrew Mayershon of Boston Review probes the weakness of Democratic fund-raising, particularly the dearth of sugar daddies willing to bankroll Democratic candidates in non-presidential year elections.

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