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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

In “Economist: ‘Voter restriction bills will cost Texas billions‘,” at kvue.com, Ashely Goudeau reports “Two Republican-backed bills to make sweeping elections changes could cost Texas billions of dollars and thousands of jobs, according to local economists….Central Texas Economist Ray Perryman, Ph.D., analyzed data, studies and research of state economies correlation to voting access. His team found when voter access is restricted, business and the economy suffer due to the loss of business, jobs and major events and deals….Among other things, Senate Bill 7 and House Bill 6 ban drive-thru voting, limit voting hours and stop elections clerks from proactively sending out mail-in ballot applications to registered voters. Republicans say the bills will enhance voter integrity, but democrats and critics say the bills aim to suppress voters, particularly minority voters….”As of 2025, if a bill like this would come into effect and be in effect for about five years, we’ve found Texas could lose about $14.7 billion in GDP and roughly around 73,000 jobs,” Dr. Perryman said….Dr. Perryman also estimates Texas’ tourism and economic development would take a $16.7 billion hit in the first five years if one of the bills becomes law. And those figures only increase the longer the laws are in effect.”

Washington Post columnist E. J. Dionne, Jr. writes, “The Supreme Court faces a legitimacy crisis not because progressives are complaining but because of what they are complaining about: a reckless, right-wing, anti-democratic court majority, and a conservative court-packing campaign marked by the disgraceful Republican blockade against President Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland in 2016 and the unseemly rush to confirm Justice Amy Coney Barrett just before President Donald Trump’s defeat last November….Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Trump were the court-packers. There would be far less talk of court enlargement if McConnell and Trump had not abused their power. Nor would enlargement be on the table if conservative justices had not substituted their own political preferences for Congress’s decisions, notably on voting rights and campaign finance reform, 5-to-4 rulings on which Breyer, rightly, joined the dissenters.”

Adie Tomer explains why “Biden’s infrastructure plan replaces federal cynicism with a sweeping vision” at Brookings: “Put it all together and the Biden proposal offers the most powerful ingredient when it comes to infrastructure reform: It sells a vision. The plan unapologetically calls out our next destination, whether that’s safer streets or cleaner power. It offers sweeping investments to make such a vision real, from replacing aging pipes to delivering rural broadband. And it brings people—especially our workforce—along for the ride….Biden has used the stump the way a forward-looking president should. The administration has delivered a vision to the American people—a promise of a new kind of country. And the country itself is responding, with polling that shows bipartisan support for the plan’s ideas….America was built for these kinds of grand visions. It is starting to feel like another one may soon come to life….Biden’s plan is an enormous bet on America—a bet that trillions of dollars of targeted investment can improve people’s lives, make our industries more globally competitive, and repair our fragile natural world. It’s also a major bet on the power of federal investment. Rather than asking states and cities to do more, as the Trump administration’s plan sought, the proposal recognizes the economic moment and essentially says that it’s time for the federal government to lead.”

Ronald Brownstein writes in The Atlantic: “One asset Democrats have in this struggle is time. However successful Republicans are at tarnishing Biden’s programs at the outset among core GOP voters, Biden has an opportunity to change those perceptions through the actual implementation of his plans. Even during the putative honeymoon period at his presidency’s start, Biden’s approval rating among rural and non-college-educated white voters has remained stuck at only a little over one-third. But the stimulus package has drawn substantial support in polls even from Republican voters, and those numbers could rise even more as families feel the effects of the aid. Likewise, if Democrats can pass Biden’s infrastructure program this summer, that will leave plenty of time before the next two elections to start repairing bridges and roads, and to break ground on new water systems, new wind and solar installations, and new broadband facilities. Even small gains in nonurban areas from such initiatives would fortify Democrats’ position in states near the tipping point of American elections, including Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, North Carolina, and Georgia, Hildreth told me. “I think we are maybe a decade from having a majority in critical rural counties, but we just need to cut margins right now,” he said. “Literally the motto is ‘Lose less.’”

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