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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

TDS Strategy White Papers

Democrats: it’s time to start thinking seriously about voter mobilization for 2014 — and particularly about the youth vote that will be critical to the outcome. But let’s start by avoiding one basic mistake.

Democrats: it’s time to start thinking seriously about voter mobilization for 2014 — and particularly about the youth vote that will be critical to the outcome. But let’s start by avoiding one basic mistake.

The 2014 elections are now just 14 months away.
If the results go the wrong way, these elections can have profoundly negative consequences — a GOP senate could even ramp up impeachment hearings as just one more concession to the right-wing activist base.
Democrats have been slow to face up to the challenge. There have been disturbingly few articles that seriously evaluate strategies and propose initiatives to motivate and mobilize the voters who will make the critical difference on election day.
The Democratic Strategist is therefore pleased to present the first of a series of Strategy Memos on voter mobilization for 2014.


New Strategy Memo from TDS: Rand Paul’s revisionist history of the GOP ignores the central fact that the exploitation of white racial resentment was for decades the GOP’s fundamental political strategy regarding African-Americans

New Strategy Memo from TDS: Rand Paul’s revisionist history of the GOP ignores the central fact that the exploitation of white racial resentment was for decades the GOP’s fundamental political strategy regarding African-Americans


The GOP split isn’t between Tea Party extremists and “Establishment” moderates. It’s between extremists who want to restore the Bush strategy of running parallel covert and overt agendas vs. extremists who want to openly assert a right-wing agenda

The GOP split isn’t between Tea Party extremists and “Establishment” moderates. It’s between extremists who want to restore the Bush strategy of running parallel covert and overt agendas vs. extremists who want to openly assert a right-wing agenda.


It’s Time to Face a Harsh Reality: The GOP No Longer Behaves Like a Traditional American Political Party. It Has Become an Extremist Party. Moderates and Sensible Conservatives Need to Firmly Reject and Condemn This Deeply Disturbing and Dangerous Trend.

By Ed Kilgore, James Vega and J. P. Green
Although it is only a few days since the 2012 election ended, the national media is already settling into a familiar political narrative regarding the GOP, a narrative that goes as follows: the Republican Party, having suffered major setbacks at the polls, is now “reassessing” its approach and seeking ways to “moderate” its image and positions.
This is a profoundly comfortable and comforting narrative–one that reflects a kind of ceremonial ritual in American politics. A political party, chastened by defeat, is widely praised by mainstream commentators as it moves back toward the center, re-establishing the basic “balance” and “moderation” of American political life.

But in this case there is one overwhelming problem with this narrative: it is profoundly and dangerously wrong.

Read the entire memo.


A Letter to a “Middle of the Road Moderate” Non-Latino Friend About the Moral Difference Between Democrats and Republicans.

By James Vega
Dear __________ ,
I’ve just read your letter in which you criticize my “lack of objectivity” about the upcoming elections and assert your view that “I don’t believe the people who dominate the Republican Party now are really any less moral or empathic toward minorities, the poor and disadvantaged than are the people who dominate the Democratic Party. I find much to disagree with in the orthodoxy of both political parties but I simply do not believe either one is genuinely less moral than the other.
Read the entire memo.


A new study of Drone warfare has sparked criticism of Obama as “cynical” and “immoral.” But the criticisms lack any context. They don’t say a single word about the Pentagon, Joint Chiefs of Staff, counterinsurgency strategy or the military establishment.

By James Vega
A report two weeks ago on the effect of the Drone strikes in Pakistan has stimulated a range of quite fierce criticisms of Obama — criticisms that have appeared in publications other than the traditionally anti-war and anti-militarist progressive press.
Read the entire memo.