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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

Plum Liner Greg Sargent comments on the strategy of making political donations reform a leading issue for Democrats: “This week’s New York Times/CBS News poll found that this issue should be a fertile one for Democrats. It showed huge majorities across party lines think money exerts too much influence over the process, and that this disparity benefits the rich…And yet, the poll also found that fewer than one percent name money in politics as their top issue…But as Ed Kilgore notes, there’s no need to give up and forever consign campaign finance to the realm of boring process issues that only matter to “snooty wine-track good government” voters. Dem consultant Stan Greenberg has long believed it can be used to appeal to blue collar whites who might be open to the Democratic agenda, but need to hear Dems speak to their belief that government is no longer capable of solving their problems…” Sargent also quotes Greenberg and Rep. John Sarbanes, who says Dems should always cite political donations as obstacles to needed reforms, such as environmental protection, jobs and infrastructure upgrades.
Peter Beinart observes at The Atlantic: “When historians look back at this era in American history, they’ll find the lack of political debate about China astounding. Then again, given the tenor of the GOP debate about “radical Islam,” maybe American foreign policy will be better off if the Republicans running for president leave well enough alone.” I would just add that nearly every president since Harry Truman has talked tough about China as a candidate, then caved like a sinkhole as president. In an NPR interview with Kai Ryssdal yesterday, President Obama talked about the TPP as an initiative to get the U.S. a bigger bite of trade with Asia’s booming economies, which he believes will be overwhelmingly dominated by China if we don’t get more involved.
I knew he was heartless and meanspirited, but I’m a little surprised at his raw stupidity. Voters are supposed to believe this guy can lead America forward, out of partisan gridlock?
I wish Republican gaffes had more shelf-life. But it appears Americans are all too willing to forget even bigger disasters, and this CNN/ORC poll provides a depressing example.
Chris Matthews gets the GOP’s motivation in pushing voter i.d. bills exactly right on MSNBC’s Hardball: “The sheer brazen-ness of this move is one thing we can agree on. Seeing the demographic changes on the way (the rise of minorities in the American population, the rising number of single people, the changing attitudes among younger people on matters such as same-sex marriage) the thinkers in the Republican Party have decided their best bet is to make it harder for certain groups to vote. Let’s look at whom the GOP brain-trusters might like to see staying home on election day: Older people who live in big cities, especially minorities, are people who don’t have drivers licenses…Young people away from home at college…People who tend to vote for Democratic candidates…”
Lincoln Chaffee’s record.
Republican Hawk “long knives” may be out for Rand Paul. But Democrat Lincoln Chaffee, as “the lone Republican senator to vote against authorizing the war in Iraq,” may have the more impressive credentials for isolationist centrists.
Alan I. Abramowitz and Steven Webster write at The Crystal Ball: “The rise of negative partisanship has drastically altered the nature of electoral competition in the United States. Intense dislike of the opposing party and its candidates by supporters of both parties means that party loyalty and straight-ticket voting are much more prevalent than in the past. As a result, the outcomes of elections for offices from the presidency down to the state and local level are overwhelmingly determined by the balance of party support in the electorate while local factors such as the records and personalities of the candidates are much less important than in the past…Negative partisanship is likely to remain an important feature of American politics for the foreseeable future.”
Speaking of gaffes, as expected, Huck steps in it….again.

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