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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

Al Hunt probes the political ramifications of the increasing percentage of “nonreligious” Americans, who are now about 23 percent of the electorate.
In yet another post-mortem/where-do-we-go-from-here take on the UK elections, Will Straw, a losing Labour candidate for Parliament in Rossendale and Darwen, suggests “Four ways for Labour to win back working-class voters.” Writing in The Guardian, Straw observes: “If we want a majority again, we will need to think hard about how to win back the working-class voters, many of whom are highly aspirational, that we have lost in post-industrial areas…It was complacent to assume that the Ukip [right-wing Independence Party] surge would be to Labour’s benefit…Labour’s national message that Ukip were “more Tory than the Tories” failed to resonate with many working-class voters who had decided a decade ago that Labour was no different to the Tories.”
At Politico TDS founding editor Stan Greenberg writes on the UK elections: “The Conservative Party upended the pollsters with the success of their late-breaking nationalist campaign, and they are still celebrating. Had the Labour Party addressed earlier voter doubts on public finances and immigration and made a broader economic offer, it would have been less vulnerable to these tactics, but that came late.”
National Journal’s Sarah Mimms explores “How much of a factor will Hillary Clinton’s gender be in the 2016 presidential race?
Paul Krugman hails the opening of a much-needed and long-postponed debate about the Iraq disaster, made inevitable by Bush 3.0.
E. J. Dionne, Jr. notes in his latest Washington Post column that “other hawks would rather see the was-the-Iraq-War-right question magically disappear because they know it’s a no-win for them. Most Americans now think the war was ill-advised. Why remind them that most of the same people who are super hawks now brought them an adventure they deeply regret? Thus did the Wall Street Journal editorial page on Friday come out firmly and unequivocally in favor of — evasion. “The right answer to the question is that it’s not a useful or instructive one to answer, because statesmanship, like life, is not conducted in hindsight.” On the GOP side it may be that Jeb’s blundering is very bad news for Lindsey Graham and other Iraq war supporterts and equivocators, but good news for Rand Paul.
And from Michael Tomasky’s Daily Beast column, “How Dubya is Winning 2016 for Hillary“: “…In a general-election context, the GOP nominee will probably have to tack back pretty quickly toward the anti-war position. This will give Hillary Clinton a great opportunity. For one thing, it’ll weaken the salience of the whole “she can’t defend the country cuz she’s a girl” line of attack, which will come, however subtly. It will allow Clinton to define the terms of what constitutes a sensible foreign policy, and the Republican man will likely have to agree with her…Poor Republicans! Crime is down; they can’t scream law and order. And now war is unpopular, so they can’t say the Democrats are soft on whomever. Their economic theories are increasingly discredited. I guess that leaves the old standby: race-baiting. But we may have reached a point where that doesn’t work anymore either…”
At MSNBC.com Suzanne Gamboa has a warning for Democrats: “If the turnout rate of the projected 40 million Latinos matches those of whites and blacks in 2008, 66 percent and 65 percent respectively, the number of Latinos who voted in 2012 – 24 percent – could double, Pew calculated…There are some very promising organizations doing incredible work in the community and are trusted: Mi Familia Vota, Voto Latino, NCLR (National Council of La Raza). But those are the same groups that have to fight over scraps because major investors don’t appreciate (the value) of investing in the community,” said Cristobal Alex, who leads the Latino Victory Project.”
The Nation’s Leslie Savan addresses a concern I’ve been wondering about: What are the political consequences of ALEC-supporting Verizon acquiring HuffPo?

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