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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

NYT columnist Thomas B. Edsall writes that we have just experienced  “an election in which Republican victories up and down the ballot are accepted unquestioningly, while votes for president-elect Biden on the same ballots are not.” Edsall notes also, “So far, only five out of 53 Republican Senators have publicly suggested that Trump take steps to open the transition process to Biden; none are in the leadership….Frank Wilkinson, a writer at Bloomberg and a friend of mine, provided the best explanation for Republican complicity in a July 15 column. His headline says it all: “Trump’s Party Cannot Survive in a Multiracial Democracy.”….In other words, Trump’s refusal to concede, and the support he is getting from his fellow Republicans, is part and parcel of the sustained drive by the right, especially since Barack Obama won a majority in 2008, to constrain and limit political participation by minorities by every available means: gerrymandering, voter suppression, restricting the time and place of balloting, setting new rules for voter identification and so forth.”

In his column, “Of Course Republicans Are Doing This. It’s Who They Are,” E. J. Dionne, Jr. also shares some choice words concerning what the GOP has become: “Well, the GOP has turned out to be as despicably ready to validate Trump’s falsehoods and authoritarian behavior as its worst critics feared. With precious few exceptions, Republican leaders are quite happy to be complicit in Trump’s subversion….Some innocent souls still want to see the GOP as a normal party ready to work with Biden to solve the nation’s problems…..Sorry, but that party disappeared long ago, and we should not, in retrospect, have expected anything else….And notice how Republicans have escalated their level of irresponsibility over the years. They started with a phony election analysis in 1992; by 2008, they were allowing a wild lie to poison the consciousness of their base. Now, they are willing to do something even worse. As Daniel Ziblatt, co-author of “How Democracies Die,” said in an interview, the GOP could “damage the legitimacy not just of Biden but of our democracy as a whole.”

It will be a while before we have reliable stats regarding which demographic groups showed up and how they voted in the November 3 election. But at Esquire, Charles Pierce has a richly-deserved tribute to two groups whose contributions proved heroic: “There are lovely little rainbows over the landscape elsewhere. The most glorious one is the simple fact that the demographic groups that have the most reasons to hate the government for its empty rhetoric and broken promises—Black Americans and Native Americans—turned out like champions in a result that ought to shame the rest of us. That goes from the high-profile organizers all the way down to the door-knockers, phone-callers, envelope-stuffers, and election observers….Stacey Abrams is a power who now may well have the fate of the Senate in her hands. Congresswomen Deb Haaland and Sharice Davids, whose embrace on the floor of the House in 2019 still moves me when I think about it, both won re-election to the House. (Republican Yvette Harrell won a seat from New Mexico, too.) Indigenous voters very likely were a big part of Joe Biden’s margin of victory in both Arizona and Wisconsin.”

Georgia is already being flooded with a tsunami of Republican ads targeting Georgia voters in connection with the critically-important Jan. 5th run-off election for two U.S. Senate seats. Those who want to help Democrats win a U.S. Senate majority should check out “How To Help Win the 2 Georgia Senate Runoff Elections” by Tokyosand at Political Charge, make a donation and share the article with Georgia friends. The article includes information about where to make contributions and a comprehensive directory of links to organizations that are working to elect Democrats Raphael Warnock and John Ossoff. The article also notes that “Did you know there are 23,000 young people in Georgia who were not old enough to vote in the November 3rd election but will be for the January 5th runoff? It’s true! We need to get those young people registered to vote!” It’s no exaggeration to describe this election as one of the most important run-offs in U.S. history, as well as likely pivotal for the success of the Biden administration.

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