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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

In Other Polling Bites, Laura Bronner notes at FiveThirtyEight: “Several polls this week have found widespread support for Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package: 70 percent of Americans overall, according to Pew, with particularly strong support among low-income Americans (82 percent). In fact, while Democrats of all income groups were very supportive of the package, a majority of low-income Republicans (63 percent) were in favor, too. The Economist/YouGovfound 64 percent supported the bill overall, Data for Progress found 69 percent in support, and Morning Consult/Politico, which listed the bill’s major provisions in the question, found 75 percent in support. (Both The Economist/YouGov and Data for Progress also found broad support across the bill’s individual provisions.)”

Adam Serwer writes at The Atlantic: “Biden’s rescue bill uses the state as an instrument of broad prosperity rather than as one of vengeance—according to an analysis from the Urban Institute, the legislation could cut the poverty rate by more than a third. In the process, it stands to address the economic distresses that Trump exploited and the grievances he inflamed. And by making the bill’s benefits so broad, Democrats may also make them enduring, insulating them from future efforts to repeal them….Economists also believe that the bill—more than twice the size of the Obama-era stimulus designed to pull America out of the Great Recession—is large enough to deliver a robust recovery, rather than the halting one that followed the 2008 crisis….“Nobody thinks that there’s anything to be gained from bipartisanship politically anymore. There are a few people who still think that it’s really important in itself,” Adam Jentleson, once the deputy chief of staff to the former Democratic Senate leader Harry Reid and the author of Kill Switch, told me. “But even those people have a hard time arguing that it’s more important than actually delivering results.”….The American Rescue Plan Act is an important economic measure; it is also a down payment on a future in which the stakes for American democracy are less existential. But it is only a down payment—one that will be forfeit if Democrats allow the rest of their agenda to be held hostage in the Senate. More than just legislation, it is  a leap of faith that Americans of all political backgrounds will reward a party that seeks to make their lives better, rather than one that simply manufactures new targets for scorn. In that, the measure expresses a greater confidence in the decency of the Republican base than Trump or his acolytes ever displayed.”

Also at The Atlantic, Ronald Brownstein warns, “Advocates want more attention on the state laws to discourage Republican legislators and governors from passing them. But they also recognize that, as in the Selma era, greater awareness of state restrictions could build support for national action—and particularly for H.R. 1, the sweeping democracy-reform bill the House passed earlier this month. More public awareness, the theory goes, will raise Senate Democrats’ comfort level about establishing a nationwide standard for voting rights through their own version of H.R. 1, even if that requires curtailing the filibuster to overcome lockstep Republican opposition. In an appearance on MSNBC this week, Marc Elias, the Democratic Party’s lead election lawyer, literally pleaded for more attention: “I am begging America and the media to pay attention to this. Right now, we are facing an avalanche of voter suppression” that the country hasn’t seen in decades.” Brownstein warns, “The administration and civil-rights groups don’t have much time to generate more national attention. Republican Governor Kim Reynolds of Iowa has already signed legislation limiting early voting and reducing the hours that polls can stay open on Election Day. Bills in other states are swiftly moving forward. Elias says Democratic lawyers’ success in beating Trump’s legal efforts to overturn the election may be making Democrats complacent about their ability to block these new restrictions if they are approved. “We will do the best we can in court,” he told me, “but I almost worry that people look at the success that some of us had last cycle” and expect the same success now. “I am here to tell you that we can’t assume the courts are going to solve every political ill.”

When it comes to messaging, it really does help the Biden Administrtion to have an alert press secretary who is on game, as Jen Pasaki demonstrates in  this exchange, flagged by Aldous J. Pennyfarthing in “Jen Psaki takes on GOP’s pearl-clutching over deficits, reminds them their concern is years late” at Daily Kos:

“REPORTER: “No Republican voted for the COVID relief package, and they argue that this is the sixth package and it adds to a deficit that’s already a trillion dollars this year alone. What do you say to that criticism, that ultimately this type of a sweeping piece of legislation will be a drag on the economy down the line?”

PSAKI: “Well, I would say to them we’re in the midst of twin crises, from the pandemic to an economic downturn that is impacting tens of millions of people in this country. People are struggling to make ends meet. They are worried about whether their grandparents, their cousins, their friends are able to get a vaccine, and they are suffering because they’re worried about the mental health of their kids, who aren’t back in school yet. And the president’s focus is on addressing those crises. And I would point, send a question back to many of these Republicans as to why the deficit spending wasn’t as concerning when they were giving tax cuts to the highest incomes, but now it’s concerning when we’re giving direct checks and relief to the American people.”

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