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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

At CNN Politics, Harry Enten explains why “Why Nancy Pelosi’s impeachment strategy is politically smart,” and notes, “After Mueller’s statement, Pelosi again decided to strike a center chord. She didn’t call for impeachment proceedings to begin, but indicated such action may be necessary in the future depending on what House committees investigating potential obstruction of justice issues find…Polling shows that’s likely the right move for now. Voters seem most open to a path in which obstruction of justice is investigated, but not via an impeachment inquiry. A clear majority of voters (57%) agreed with the statement that Congress should “investigate whether Donald Trump committed obstruction of justice during the course of the Mueller investigation” in a CNN poll taken after the Mueller report was released. This includes 94% of Democrats, 52% of independents and even 18% of Republicans…In the CNN poll, 61% of voters were against impeaching and removing Trump from office…An ABC News/Washington Post poll similarly showed that only 37% of Americans want Congress to begin impeachment proceedings, while 56% were opposed…Put it all together: Voters are very much open to the idea that Trump did something wrong, but they don’t want to go the road of impeachment just yet.”

Writing about the CNN poll, Daniel Politi notes at slate.com “Among Americans as a whole, support for impeachment increased only slightly to 41 percent, up from 37 percent last month. On the opposite end, 54 percent are opposed to impeachment. And despite the slight uptick, it is hardly the highest it has ever been compared to the 47 percent who supported impeachment in September 2018…Democrats are increasingly in favor of impeaching President Donald Trump, with 76 percent saying they support the move to oust the president from office, according to a new CNN poll. That marks a seven-percentage-point increase from April when support for impeachment stood at 69 percent among Democrats, according to the poll conducted by SSRS.”

From “Democracy Fights Back: Republican attempts at voter suppression have inspired a movement to restore and expand access to the polls” by Adam Eichen at The New Republic: “Florida is just the tip of the iceberg. Activists are winning pro-democracy battles across the country. Just on election night 2018, voters approved over 20 pro-democracy ballot initiatives. Now, 15 states and Washington, D.C. have automatic voter registration. Nineteen states and D.C. have same day registration. Fourteen states and D.C. will have joined the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (with three more likely to join by the end of the year). Public financing of elections is spreading via municipalities. Five states last year attempted to limit gerrymandering(with varying degrees of success). And on a federal level, the House of representatives passed the For the People Act (H.R.1), an omnibus package that includes, among many other things, public financing of Congressional elections, nationwide automaticand same-day voter registration, and independent redistricting commissions.”

“Twitter is not exactly known as a platform for centrist, middle of the road, political discourse,” Hana Trudo writes in her article, “Dem Centrist Group Launches Twitter Campaign to Get People to Ignore Twitter” at The Daily Beast. “But Third Way, the prominent think tank for moderate Democrats, is hoping to change that. The group is targeting roughly 10,000 “influencers” on the platform by promoting paid content that aims to change the progressive conversation to centrist chatter ahead of 2020. And they’re doing so, in large part, by encouraging the individuals they’re targeting on Twitter to not pay too much attention to Twitter…with Democratic lawmakers continuing their leftward drift, the group is rethinking what type of incentive structures matter. The Twitter campaign is a recognition that social media conversations—and the powerful public opinion shapers who participate in them—can be as influential in shaping how lawmakers act as, say, polling data…Ultimately, Third Way’s goal is not simply to influence the influencers, but to shape the direction that the Democratic Party takes heading into the 2020 primaries.”

At the lefty Counterpunch, John Rynn, author of author of Manufacturing Green Prosperity: The Power to Rebuild the American Middle Class,” has some salient thoughts on the importance of a permanent infrastructure strategy for Democrats. An excerpt: “Increased infrastructure spending is proposed by the DemocratsOur Revolutionthe Green Party, the the CPC, and BLM up to about $200 billion per year, to fix what is clearly crumbling…What we actually need right now is a massive increase in spending to rebuild the crumbling infrastructure and create new green infrastructure to prevent the worst of global warming and other environmental catastrophes. This spending could provide a decent job to anyone who wants one and at the same time rebuild the critical manufacturing sector (I have proposed an approximately $1.5 trillion per year plan for this purpose).” Rynn urges creation of a “permanent sector of the economy”  dedicated to “permanently spend all of their time maintaining, updating, and expanding national infrastructure…Infrastructure thus enables modern wealth creation and growth, supports manufacturing, creates millions or even tens of millions of jobs, and ideally can be used to prevent ecological collapse…There is plenty of infrastructure building in American and world history to be proud of in the past hundred years or so that can provide lessons for current agendas. Promoting economic democracy is a new function of government that could help evolve left-of-center parties from declining, boring remnants of the past into inspiring and attractive political movements of the future.”

Gabriela Resto-Montero’s “Democratic presidential candidates call for change at California’s Democratic Party Convention” at Vox  rounds up choice comments of the 14 Democratic presidential candidates, including: ““Here’s the thing, when a candidate tells you about all the things that aren’t possible, about how political calculations came first, about how you should settle for little bits and pieces instead of real change, they’re telling you something very important — they are telling you that they will not fight for you,” she [Elizabeth Warren] said…“Beating Donald Trump is a must, but that is a floor, not a ceiling,” [Sen. Cory] Booker said. “We are bigger than that, we have greater ambitions than that.” And, “In these times, Democrats can no more promise to take us back to the 2000s or 1990s than conservatives can take us back to the 1950s,” [Mayor Pete] Buttigieg said. “If we want to defeat this president and lead the country in a new direction, we must be ready to transform our economy and our democracy into something different, something better.”

Emily Yoffe explains why “Democrats Need to Learn From Their Al Franken Mistake: The country lost an opportunity to model how fair procedures can work in a #MeToo case” at The Atlantic: “The lessons of this debacle remain unlearned, and the consequences of Franken’s case continue to play out, in the presidential race and beyond. The Democratic reaction to the Franken allegations and the precedents it set will present a danger to the Democratic Party until it reconsiders the episode, and thinks about ways to stop such unfair and swift destruction from happening…The Senate is the rare workplace in which an established set of proceduresaddresses such violations. The inquiries are conducted by staff (or sometimes outside attorneys) with subpoena power. They are intended to provide an unbiased examination, and recommend proportional punishment—if appropriate. One of the greatest misfortunes of the Franken case is that this process was abruptly terminated in favor of political posturing…The Senate could have modeled how fair procedures can work in a #MeToo case outside the criminal-justice system, illustrating the necessity of restraint and patience when volatile issues are being adjudicated…When people are accused and punished unjustly, a backlash inevitably ensues. When that happens, the crucial and urgent cause of addressing sexual misconduct is undermined.”

Progressive activists are keeping watch over who is sponsoring the Republican Convention. David C. Morris notes at Fortune that “CREDO Action, which is associated with the wireless provider CREDO Mobile, has gathered more than 65,000 signatures for a petition urging Google (GOOGL, -1.34%) and Microsoft (MSFT, -1.70%) to pull out of supporting the RNC, saying “It is irresponsible and dangerous for corporations like Google and Microsoft to promote Trump’s hate by sponsoring the Republican convention.”…Microsoft has already said that it will provide only technology and support, not cash, to the convention. Coca-Cola (KO, -0.24%) has also dramatically scaled back its support of the event… Facebook has confirmed to Recode that it will remain a sponsor of the GOP’s July convention in Cleveland. That’s despite an activist group urging tech companies to pull their support for the event, which they characterize as “sponsoring” Trump’s contentious platform.” Facebook and Google would be difficult to boycott, but activists can certainly make them conclude that supporting the GOP convention is not worth the headaches and bad image they get from sponsoring the most extremist GOP in history.

At FiveThirtyEight, Amelia Thomson-Deveaux addresses a question that may be of interest to the various presidential campaigns, “Who Do Non-Religious Democrats Prefer?” Thomson-Deveaux observes, “People who identify as atheists, agnostics or “nothing in particular” accounted for 35 percent of Democratic primary voters in 2016, according to the Cooperative Congressional Election Study,1 and as we mentioned in our article, are a growing constituency within the Democratic Party. And according to crosstabs from Morning Consult’s weekly tracking poll for May 20-26, support for Sen. Bernie Sanders is higher among religiously unaffiliated voters than among religiously affiliated voters. Former Vice President Joe Biden, meanwhile, has an edge among religious Democrats…religiously unaffiliated Democrats — in particular, atheists and agnostics, who together accounted for 17 percent of primary voters in the 2016 CCES study — are substantially more liberal than Democrats who are still part of organized religion…Marshaling Democrats by invoking their secular identity, though, would be risky for Democratic politicians…”

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