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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

Will the racist slayings in Charleston help improve chances for passing the Voting Rights law which will be introduced today? Expect lots of coverage over the next week or so, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of President Johnson’s signing the Voting Rights Act (July 2nd). But, as Ed Kilgore noted yesterday, “Or maybe GOPers will be too busy congratulating themselves from finally abandoning Confederate insignia to pay attention.”
No surprise, unfortunately, that the Ku Klux Klan is cranking up a recruiting drive in the wake of the Charleston shootings. The nation-wide uprising against Confederate battle flags and license plates is long-overdue. But, even more importantly, we also need more and better anti-racist education in America’s schools, which should be a cause that attracts a broad constituency.
E.J. Dionne, Jr. believes it’s time for Americans to face a hard truth, regardless of the political reverberations: “We cannot go on like this, wringing our hands in frustration after every tragedy involving firearms. We said “enough” after Sandy Hook. We thought the moment for action had come. Yet nothing happened. We are saying “enough” after Charleston. But this time, we don’t even expect anything to happen…What’s needed is a long-term national effort to change popular attitudes toward handgun ownership. And we need to insist on protecting the rights of Americans who do not want to be anywhere near guns.”
Former Sen. Jim Webb may have damaged his chances for a spot of the Democratic ticket with this equivocation, which amplifies his image as a tad too cold to win hearts and minds.
In sports you sometimes have to win ugly. In politics, however, you don’t want to win this ugly.
Thomas B. Edsall is on to something in his latest NYT column. It’s another way of saying class consciousness is inordinately weak ink America. In one graph, Edsall notes, “In his book “The Great Risk Shift,” Jacob Hacker, a political scientist at Yale, joins the argument by documenting the economic pressures on individuals resulting from the widespread erosion of social insurance. “For decades, Americans and their government upheld a powerful set of ideals that combined a commitment to economic security with a faith in economic opportunity,” Hacker writes. “Today that message is starkly different: You are on your own.”
Joel K. Goldstein explains at Crystal Ball why the “third term jinx” is not all that well-reasoned.
New meme for Democratic project to flip a few Republicans: “Do you really want to support a party that thinks this guy should lead the free world?”
Say g’nite, Governor.

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