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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

E. J. Dionne, Jr. ruminates on the “GOP’s Flip-Flopping.” Dionne notes that WI Gov. Scott Walker excuses is own flip-floppage because it’s just changing his positions, not his votes. Says Dionne, “Sheer brilliance! Other than former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Walker’s major rivals at the moment are Senator Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Senator, R-Ky. They have all cast lots of votes. So Walker can accuse them of flip-flopping while claiming blanket immunity for himself…Unfortunately for the Republican Party and the country, Walker’s careful parsing of shape-shifting counts as one of the cerebral high points of the debate among the party’s 2016 presidential candidates.”
If Democrats didn’t have enough to worry about, Josh Kraushaar has a disturbing post at the National Journal, which notes, “One of the most underappreciated stories in recent years is the deterioration of the Democratic bench under President Obama’s tenure in office. The party has become much more ideologically homogenous, losing most of its moderate wing as a result of the last two disastrous midterm elections. By one new catch-all measure, a party-strength index introduced by RealClearPolitics analysts Sean Trende and David Byler, Democrats are in their worst position since 1928. That dynamic has manifested itself in the Democratic presidential contest, where the bench is so barren that a flawed Hillary Clinton is barreling to an uncontested nomination.”
But don’t fret too much about it because Campaign for America’s Future’s Isaiah Poole’s “Gallup Poll Finds Liberalism Ascendent, Conservatism In Decline” provides a hopeful antidote.
“…The question is not whether rioting ever yields a productive response, but whether it does so in general. Omar Wasow, an assistant professor at the department of politics at Princeton, has published a timely new paper studying this very question. And his answer is clear: Riots on the whole provoke a hostile right-wing response. They generate attention, all right, but the wrong kind,” warns Jonathan Chait at New York Magazine. “Wasow finds that nonviolent civil-rights protests did not trigger a national backlash, but that violent protests and looting did. The physical damage inflicted upon poor urban neighborhoods by rioting does not have the compensating virtue of easing the way for more progressive policies; instead, it compounds the damage by promoting a regressive backlash.”
From Kitty Holland’s Irish Times article about the national referendum approving same sex marriage, “Working class areas embracing change faster, campaigners claim“: “Gráinne Healy of Marriage Equality, said she was not surprised at the strong ‘Yes’ votes from “working class and deprived communities” after months of canvassing in communities across the social spectrum…”When we were out canvassing in areas like Finglas, there was an overwhelming Yes on the doorsteps. Once we moved into Glasnevin, there would be more resistance. It seemed the houses with two cars and plenty of money were just less open to Yes,” said Healy…”That was confirmed when the ballot boxes were opened on Saturday…Ruth Coppinger, TD, of the Anti-Austerity Alliance, said the results showed the “myth” that social change would be “led by the middle class” was “untrue…She said there was a “more complete” break away from Church-teaching in working class areas.”
Across the Irish Sea, Labour MP John Healey explains “Why Labour must win back working class voters from Ukip,” noting: “In two-thirds of the target seats we failed to take, the Ukip vote was greater than the Tory majority. And in constituencies where Ukip got a high share of the vote, the Tory to Labour swing was markedly weaker.”
At The Hill Juan Williams reports on “GOP dishonesty on ISIS and Iraq,” and reminds readers that “The GOP debating position is in tatters. And, in any event, it does not fit with the American public’s opinion of the war in Iraq. An October NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found 66 percent of Americans say the Iraq war was “not worth it.” Last week, a Rasmussen poll found 61 percent agreeing that the legacy of the war is “failure.”
Facing South’s Sue Sturgis has an encouraging edition of her Institute Index column, “Embracing the benefits of online voter registration,” which notes “According to the Pew report, which was based on a 2013 survey of 13 states that at the time had online registration, number of security breaches that have been reported as a result of online voter registration: 0…Number of states that currently or will soon offer online voter registration: at least 28”
Headline for the week, and one which would be lovely to see in a Republican newspaper in the U.S., comes from Martin Henry’s article in Jamaica’s Daily Gleaner: “Beware Working Class Raising Pitchforks In Rage. Either that or Tim Murphy’s Mother Jones post, “Does Mike Huckabee Know Where the Ark of the Covenant Is Buried?

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