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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

In his column, “Please don’t mainstream Trump,” E. J. Dionne, Jr. warns of the threat of media complaisancy in the months ahead: “Many forces will be at work in the coming weeks to normalize Trump — and, yes, the media will play a big role in this. On both the right and the left, there will be strong temptations to go along…There will be much commentary on Trump’s political brilliance. But this should not blind us to the degree that Trumpism is very much a minority movement in our country. He has won some 10.6 million votes, but this amounts to less than a quarter of the votes cast in the primaries this year. It’s fewer than Clinton’s 12.4 million votes and not many more than the 9.3 million Bernie Sanders has received.”
All of a sudden, Red State loves them some Merrick Garland.
Senior editor Jeet Heer explains at The New Republic why “Bernie Sanders Owes It to His Supporters to Keep Fighting,” and notes, “The fact that Sanders, this late in the race, can draw a majority of voters in Indiana means his revolution has yet to run its course. He owes it to his supporters in California and other late states to give them a chance to vote. Nor is a vote for Sanders meaningless, even if his loss is foreordained. The delegates he continues to rack up will give him a greater voice in the convention and allow his supporters to shape the party platform…57 percent of Democrats say they want Sanders to stay in the race. The party base, if not the party elite, appreciates what Sanders is doing by continuing his fight. He has every reason to listen to them..”
At Politico Ann Karni ponders “Clinton’s dilemma: To punch or not to punch: Brooklyn operatives are studying how Trump’s GOP rivals fought and failed against the unscripted mogul.” Karni quotes Cl;inton Spokesman Brian Fallon: “She will not be passive, like we saw from so many of the Republicans he vanquished…But she will also not follow him into the gutter. She can challenge him in the way the Republicans wouldn’t — on the issues and on his hateful rhetoric.”
Associated Press reports “In the Year of Trump, Democrats Are Fielding a Near-Record Number of Female Senate Candidates.” As AP notes, “Democrats will have female Senate candidates on the ballot in nine states in November, a near-record…Donald Trump, whose commanding win in Indiana cemented his improbable status as the GOP’s presumptive presidential nominee, is viewed unfavorably by 70% of women, according to Gallup…Women vote in higher numbers than men–in 2012, 10 million more women cast ballots than men–and vote more heavily Democratic. This year, strategists in both parties expect those trends to be magnified given Trump’s unpopularity with women, Clinton’s historic candidacy (though she herself faces high negative ratings), and the large number of women running for Senate.”
Roll Call’s Walter Shapiro provides a plausible take on the GOP’s mess in his “Republicans “Couldn’t Muster the Honor to Fight Trump: Demands of party unity recall Vietnam War excuses.” Shapiro warns, echoing Dionne, “Nervous Republicans and bored journalists will have a shared interest in creating a story line about how the real-estate baron has grown in stature as a candidate. A week without crude insults and Trump will seem like a modern-day statesman. A few cordial meetings with GOP leaders and Trump will be hailed for embracing conservative principles.”
At Salon.com, via Alternet.org, Conor Lynch has a provocative post, “What the Left Can Learn From Donald Trump: Winning the Working Class Means Fixing Your Sales Pitch: Trump’s policies are a nightmare, and his message is full of hate. But the Left must learn to connect like he does.” Lynch urges, “If progressives hope to restore democracy and economic justice in America, they must rail against the economic elite as forcefully as Trump has railed against the liberal elite.”
Just to show yas how fair-minded we are, congratulations to Georgia’s Republican Governor Nathan Deal for having the mettle to veto two wingnut bills, the transgender bathroom bill and now the ‘campus carry’ bill passed by gun nuts in the state legislature. We stop short of recommending a ‘Profiles in Courage’ Award just yet, at least until Deal OKs Medicaid expansion, the lack of which has already proven to be life-threatening for too many Georgians. Still, the Governor’s recent boldness is commendable, especialy at a time when his party is collapsing under the weight of Trumpmania.
Now it seems prophetic:

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