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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

How Will the terrorist attacks in France affect U.S. politics? It seems logical that Ben Carson might get a bump, if it is only temporary, since he seems to be riding a crest of Islamophobia. But I’ll be surprised if the other Republican candidates don’t try to top Carson’s fear-mongering. Watch what happens with Marine Le Pen’s campaign to be elected President of France. Trump and the neocons will be monitoring her tone for tips about xenophobic pandering.
In Presidential Campaign, It’s Now Terrorism, Not Taxes,” as the lead issue of the 2016 campaign, writes Jonathan Martin at The New York Times. Further, says Martin: “Much is not known about the attack’s impact on the race, given short attention spans in politics and the news media and the fact that it did not occur on American soil…” However, notes martin, “Further, the scale of the assault, its direct link to the Islamic State and the fact that one of the attackers appeared to have been a Syrian refugee who came to Europe through Greece is also pushing the Republican candidates to speak more loudly about keeping Middle Eastern migrants out of the United States.”
At The Washington Post Jenna Johnson reports on what the candidates are saying about bringing Syrian refuges into the U.S. Johnson reports that some Republicans are advocating more liberal immigration policies toward Christian refugees, and further “Lavinia Limon, the president and chief executive of the U.S. Commission for Refugees and Immigrants, said she is surprised that the once-nonpartisan cause of helping refugees fleeing violence has become so politicized. She noted that it takes about three years for refugees to go through stringent security screenings — a process that she doubts terrorists would wait through when there are other ways to get into the United States.”
Republican Governors Robert J. Bentley of Alabama and Rick Snyder of Michigan are now refusing Syrian refugees, according to Rick Rojas, reporting in the New York Times.
In the Democratic presidential debate on Saturday, Former Secretary of State Clinton and former Maryland Governor O’Malley stressed the importance of coalition intervention against ISIS. O’Malley also emphasized he need for Americans to stand by their Muslim neighbors in the U.S., who may experience unjust treatment in the wake of the Paris atrocities. Sen. Bernie Sanders differentiates his views on the U.S. “regime change” from those of his fellow presidential candidates: “”These toppling of governments, regime changes have unintended consequences,” he said. “On this issue I’m a little bit more conservative than the secretary and I am not a great fan of regime change.”
“The Associated Press contacted all 712 superdelegates to the Democratic National Convention next summer, and asked them which Republican they thought would be their party’s strongest opponent in the general election…Of the 176 superdelegates who answered the question, 65 said Rubio, the first-term senator from Florida, would be the Democrats’ strongest opponent.” After Rubio, the delegates said Kasich and Bush would be the next strongest opponents for the Democratic nominee.
“GOP Candidates Suck Up to Hatemongers: Ted Cruz, Bobby Jindal, and Mike Huckabee fete a man who thinks the Bible says we should execute gays,” writes David Boaz at The Daily Beast.
Sena McElwee explains why “Higher voter turnout could limit the far right” at Aljazeera America, and notes that data indicate that “Liberal Republicans” are the least likely self-identified group on the political spectrum to cast ballots. He concludes from his analysis of the data that “Increased voter turnout would bring more moderate, center-right and left-leaning voters into the electorate…Policies such as automatic voter registration, which would work to bolster turnout, could therefore reduce polarization and make our politics more representative of the popular will.”
Harold Meyerson addresses an important political topic that merits a lot more attention in his post “Why America Needs Another Trust-Busting Movement” at The American Prospect.

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