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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

The Obama Administration and the cause of Democratic unity chalk up a huge victory with Sen. Barbara Mikulski’s decision to support the Iran nuclear deal, which should provide the margin needed to secure approval of the agreement. “Opponents of the agreement said they could not remember another recent policy battle where the White House and Ms. Pelosi were so driven. In tandem, they made the Iran vote a strong test of party loyalty.,” report Carl Hulse and David M. Herszenhorn at The New York Times. “Our ability to build coalitions, to lead, to have credibility when we enter into a negotiation was really on the line,” said Representative Jan Schakowsky, an Illinois Democrat who organized the Iran deal strategy with Ms. Pelosi, with whom she consulted almost daily while lawmakers were scattered in their districts around the country. “To walk away now would diminish our ability to lead on future issues.”
Greg Sargent comments on several recent polls showing substantial support for draconian immigration policies, like Trump’s call for mass deportations. Sargent boils it down to a disturbing conclusion “…perhaps the better way to understand what’s happening here is that Trump’s supporters like the story he is telling them, which is largely that immigrants are to blame for the suffering of American workers.”
The GOP front-runner continues to rack up endorsements from hate-mongers and their groups, but Dean Obeidallah argues at the Daily Beast that “Behind Trump, the GOP Really Is Becoming the Racist Party.
Will Trump Cave? He meets with GOP chair Priebus today, and they will no doubt discuss whether he will sign the “loyalty” pledge to support the the Republican presidential nominee (and publicly reject an independent campaign). Dana Bash and Tom LoBianco of CNN Politics write that it’s likely he will sign it. But it’s hard to see all that much upside for Trump in caving so early, other than short term good-will from his competition.
The most populous state may be on the verge of securing automatic voter registration for residents who have drivers licenses, reports Alice Ollstein at ThinkProgress.
NYT’s conservative columnist Ross Douthat ponders “The End of the Republican Party?,” and strains to be “a little less pessimistic” about the prospect. But it’s not a good sign for the GOP that he and others quoted in his column are talking about it.
Campaign for America’s Future Dave Johnson offers some insight into “What Bernie Sanders Has Already Won,” including “…Fixing our country’s problems is not just about electing a president. Billionaire money has taken over many statehouses – where they gerrymander the districts to keep themselves in power. Sanders likes to say that there are two primary sources of power, “organized people and organized money,” and that when people across lines of race, gender, class, nationality, and sexual orientation reject right-wing wedge politics and come together, “there is nothing, nothing, nothing that we cannot accomplish.” In addition to proving a presidential candidate can still run a formidable campaign without fat-cat contributions, Sanders has shown how Democratic Socialist ideas can get a hearing, even with all of Trump’s theatrics distracting the media.
Democracy Is Top Economic Growth Strategy, Says Study,” explains Terry Jones at The Investors Business Daily. Jones quotes study authors MIT economist Daron Acemoglu and University of Chicago economist James A. Robinson: “Our central estimates suggest that a country that switches from autocracy to democracy achieves about 20% higher GDP per capita over roughly 30 years.” Might it follow that eliminating voter suppression in the U.S. would help improve the economy?
Granted, the presidential campaign season is too damn long. But I doubt that scheduling a few more Democratic presidential debates would hurt the party nominee’s chances, and it’s quite possible that doing so could actually help Democrats to unify and toughen up for the general election. A little extra battle-testing can be a good thing.

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