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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

Greg Sargent’s Plum Line considers “How GOP convention chaos could help Clinton win the White House” and notes that “convention craziness could conceivably hurt the GOP in two ways. First, it could create impressions of a party in chaos even as Clinton (should she win the nomination) begins laying out her general election agenda. Second, even if that blows over, intra-GOP bitterness and recriminations could continue to divide the GOP after the convention has come and gone.”
At Rothenblog Nathan Gonzales reports that Democrats blew a good chance for a pick-up of a U.S. House seat (VA-2) — by failing to field a candidate. Please explain, Virginia Democratic Party.
Could this be the beginning of a right to left party-switching trend? Read “Kirk goes full RINO to save Senate seat” by Seung Min Kim and Bergess Everett at Politico.
The American Legislative Exchange Council has been extremely effective in blocking and undermining needed progressive reforms, like early voting, environmental protection, greater Obamacare access and a modest minimum wage increase, to name just a few causes they have blocked with ‘template’ legislation in the nation’s state legislatures. If you google for a few minutes, you can find some good print reports on ALEC here, here and here, for example. And here is a list of ALEC’s member corporations, and here is a list of companies that have quit ALEC, mostly because of public pressure.
Yet, overall, the mainstream media, particularly television news, has failed to adequately educate the public about the destructive effects of this secretive organization. There are a few exceptions. In national media, Moyers & Company has an excellent 1-hour report on ALEC’s agenda and effects. One exemplary exception at the local level is chief investigative reporter Brendan Keefe of ’11-Alive,’ an Atlanta NBC affiliate. Credit Keefe with a gutsy effort to inform the public about ALEC’s activities in this video:

John Oliver gets medieval on ALEC and does a great job of informing his audience in this short clip. And here’s a good example of a media-savvy citizen’s creative video clip on ALEC, which delves more extensively into ALEC’s issues and activities:

American Prospect Senior Editor Eliza Newlin Carney explains why “Chaotic Primaries Signal Voting Trouble Ahead.” Her lede: “If the long lines, ballot shortages, technical glitches, and poll-worker errors plaguing this year’s presidential primaries are any indication, Election Day 2016 could prove mighty chaotic…the polling place breakdowns in recent primaries, which have drawn just under 30 percent of voters, bode poorly for a general election that is expected to feature double that level of turnout.”
Sanders supporters, please take note: Bernie and Jane Sanders will vote for Clinton, if she is nominated. “If Bernie wins, hopefully Secretary Clinton’s supporters will support him,” says Ms. Sanders. “and if she wins we hope our supporters will support her.” It would be good if both candidates affirmed that they would not only “support” the other Democratic candidate; they would also campaign vigorously for the Democratic nominee. A spirit of Democratic unity at the top could help down-ballot candidates.
At Democratic Underground a poster named “eridani” notes that “Ironically, in 2008 it was Clinton supporters vowing to stay home–or vote for John McCain–if Obama became the nominee. At the time, that same HuffPo columnist warned that “balkanized Democrats could give the White House to John McCain.” That May, primary exit polls found less than half of Hillary Clinton’s supporters in Indiana and North Carolina saying they’d consider voting for Obama in the general election. Even in early July, after Obama had secured the nomination, only 54 percent of Clinton backers said they planned to vote for him…Those self-described “PUMAs”–“party unity my ass”–may have stayed home by the dozens that November, but at the end of the day nine out of 10 Democrats supported Obama in an election that featured the highest turnout in 40 years. A similar dynamic played out with Howard Dean supporters in 2004.”

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