Friday, September 05, 2014

A simple Prism to the see local Democrats' internal rivalries

ILLUSTRATED: There is an internecine rivalry within the Democratic Party between those concerned with the inputs to the government process, and those concerned with the substance of the output.

"Education, followed by trade, and maybe coal."  That’s the answer to the question what the main issue is dividing the Democratic Party in the mid 2010s.  At all levels of government, especially the local level, I see most issues in this civil war as being along a fault line of Inputs vs. Outputs.

Ask an unreconstructed liberal what is means to be a Democrat, and they will talk about adherence to processes like supporting traditional public school systems and unionized civil servants.  They will talk about robust funding and authority for the 2% who run our public institutions (Reaganites believe in cutting taxes and accountability in the 2% who control capital).  Currently, New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio is the totem politician for this wing.

The other wing of the Democratic party, again this manifests itself mostly at the local level, is what Edward Luce called “McKinsey Democrats.”  These are data driven, wonks who are focused on the substance of public policy outcomes.  In a profile of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, (perhaps the best article on urban politics I have ever read) Luce described how the mayor works with private entities to fund and effect municipal goals.

De Blasio is criticized by “reformers,” and Emanuel is criticized by a lot of traditional Democratic constituencies like union households.  Just a guess, but as more civic data analytics comes online and public knowledge, the leverage will shift to the  Emanuels of the party.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

2012 Obama Campaign song


The background chorus constantly sings "MEDICARE"

With a bad medical history,
 You can now be insured.
Winding down the wars,
Haven’t you heard.
Wall Street and Detroit are back,
He cares about middle class wishes.
And best of all,
Bin Laden is with the fishes.

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Perfect Political Animal

ILLUSTRATED: The four (plus 1) traits of a perfect politico.
1. You need a good grasp of Constitutional and political theory.  The constitution is the basic document of politics, and knowing the theory helps conceptualize everything.
2.An encyclopedic erudition of public policy.  Tax policy is the most important to understand, no matter what level of government you operate at.
3. Have an anthropological understanding of the electorate.  Know your people, enough said.
4. A tactical sense for leveraging a public agenda.  This is the most difficult to explain, but you need a sense of what constituencies will coalesce with you, and how to wedge between coalitions arrayed against you.  Always know what impact you want.
5. Be able to use 1 and 2 above, to persuasively influence the electorate (3), in pursuit of 4.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

GOP Endorsements

ILLUSTRATED: Congressional Republicans are in a pickle

While I don't have the polling research to back this up, my intuition tells me that a disproportionately large amount of Romney's support comes from Republicans in blue places. Therefore, most GOP Republicans have a base that is very anti-Romney. Yet, most must feel that he is the only realistic GOP president right now.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

What Obama's 2012 message ought to be

ILLUSTRATED: Use Obama's life story to focus on CHOICE and ACCESS
Mitt Romney and I came from different backgrounds, but we both had a shot at Harvard Law School. Upon graduation, Mitt went into business consulting and private equity, which is fine. I went into community organizing and civil rights law. The point is, upon graduation, we could make an economic choice. Everybody, needs capitalists, and everybody, including Mitt Romney, needs community builders. We have the resources in America to give young people of few means, a shot at a great education, and the choice to pursue their dreams. That means better schools, and less debt burden. I worked to solve both in my first four years....

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Kitchen Table analogy for the Debt Ceiling

You are at the kitchen table reading through your bills. Your credit card bills and utility bills are due tomorrow. Your banker will give you a loan today. What do you do?
Of course you will take the loan. It is the least bad option for your credit situation.
-Even if the vote comes close to the deadline, tens of billions will be lost hedging bets.
-The long term deficits for the future will go up, since interest rates on Treasury notes will go up.
-People's savings will be hurt.

This (should be) a slam dunk case for the Democrats to make. When Wall Street and Main Street have aligned interests, I think that's a political winner.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Memo to Democrats

ILLUSTRATED: The path onward and upward.

TO: National Democrats
RE: The way forward

The storm has passed. Last night was our worst night, and it was and will be their best night for some time.

1. The biggest political fight in the next 18 months will be within the GOP. Thus any generic polling before the spring of 2012 is worthless.

2. The Great Lakes region is where Obama and Biden need to spend their time doing town halls explaining the benefits of their programs. We also need to recruit solid House candidates. That is the key region we need to swing back.

3. The West Coast and Northeast held. This was not a wipe out.

4. California passed some very far reaching political reforms and kept its energy policy. Recruit good candidates there to capitalize politically on the rebirth there.