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TDS Strategy White Papers Archives
The 2014 election produced the most serious discussion about Democrats and the white working class in many years. What Democrats need to do now is to carefully review that debate, identify disagreements about facts and then seek the data to resolve them.
The most important and unstated "lesson" of 2014 is that the GOP's embrace of extremism as a calculated political strategy worked perfectly. It has invalidated key elements of Democratic political strategy and it is urgent that Democrats now face this rea
Democrats Still Need a Compelling Economic Message
Memo to Democrats: You're going to have to talk about National Security this election. Here's how.
The progressive wing of the Democratic Party is facing a fundamental choice about political strategy.
Dems: A Successful Populist Strategy Will Require More than Just Progressive Economics.
Democrats: unity was absolutely indispensable for our recent victories but Dems also face divisive issues they must debate. It is therefore vital Dems figure out how to maintain maximum unity even as they disagree. Here's where to start.
A TDS Strategy Memo: Ed Kilgore: The Strategic Lessons of 2013
Dems: A Successful Populist Strategy Will Require More than Just Progressive Economics. It Must Also Include a Populist Approach to Overcoming the Widespread Distrust and Hostility toward Government
September 23, 2013 The Extremist Conquest of the GOP: Five Years of Strategy Memos from The Democratic Strategist The GOP is not engaged in a struggle between moderates and extremists. The entire Republican Party has been infiltrated and transformed
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.
TDS Strategy Memo: mainstream political commentators are in deep denial about the GOP's extremism and increasingly display symptoms that resemble Stockholm Syndrome
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 "Friends of Hamas" fiasco won't stop conservatives from slandering and libeling Dems.
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
Lessons of 2012: The Struggle Downballot
The Lessons of 2012: The President's four-year grand strategy worked
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.
A Letter to a "Middle of the Road Moderate" Non-Latino Friend About the Moral Difference Between Democrats and Republicans.
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.
Progressives and Democrats cannot possibly match the vast financial resources of business and the wealthy and must turn to building powerful, long-term grass-roots organizations. That makes "Working America" the most important political project in America
The White Working Class is a Decisive Voting Group in 2012 - and Most of What You Read About Their Political Attitudes Will Be Completely Wrong
The Surprising Size of "White Working Class" America - Half of all White Men and 40 Percent of White Women Still Work in Basically Blue-Collar Jobs.
The Conservative "Christianization" of Thomas Jefferson: A New Book Claims America's Great Champion of Religious Freedom and Tolerance Was Actually Just a Conventionally Devout and Pious Christian. Sadly, Millions of Americans Will Believe It's True.
Why Democrats Should Ignore Swing Voters and Focus on Voter Registration and Mobilization
Progressives and Democrats Cannot Possibly Match the Vast Financial Resources of Business and the Wealthy and Must Turn to Building Powerful, Long-Term Grass-roots Organizations. That Makes "Working America" The Most Important Political Project in America
Obama's recent State of the Union speech can provide a solution to progressives' most difficult dilemma in the 2012 election - how to combine legitimate criticism of Obama with active, passionate opposition to Republican extremism.
Thomas Jefferson's Religious Philosophy: A Profound and Inspiring Progressive Response to Rick Santorum and the Religious Right
After the primaries Democrats will be on receiving end of a propaganda campaign of a scope and ferocity unparalleled in American history. Dems must anticipate this onslaught and begin now to plan how best to respond.
The Civil Rights Movement's success was based on a coordinated three-prong strategy of civil disobedience, grass-roots organizing and mass boycotts. To achieve similar victories, a national "We are the 99%" movement must adopt and apply that same approach
Progressives: let's not lose perspective. Occupy Wall Street is indeed very popular, but not as wildly popular as recent polling makes it seem. The polls provide a basis for realistic optimism but not for euphoria or premature declarations of victory.
Wake up, commentators. The most dangerous group of "right-wing extremists" today is not the grass-roots tea party. It is the financial and ideological leaders in the Republican coalition who have embraced the extremist philosophy of "politics as warfare."
Progressives, let's face the fact: the "bully pulpit" is not a magic wand. It's time to stop reciting those two words as if they were a magical incantation that can transform public opinion.
Progressives: there are two profoundly condescending assumptions that will inevitably undermine all attempts to build an independent social movement that reaches ordinary Americans. Democracy Corps' new methodology points the way to a superior approach.
The Democratic Strategist Interviews Erica Seifert, Lead Analyst, Democracy Corps.
Democrats: the major reason why it's so hard to get support for job creation is because business and mainstream economists - who both backed Keynesian policies in the 50's and 60's - now oppose them. No serious Democratic strategy can ignore this reality.
Democrats: Hang on a minute about those "anti-Keynesian" voters. There is indeed a large group who can accurately be described that way but they are not a "majority" and Democrats can still reach them - but not by repeating the traditional clichés
TDS Strategy Memo:Why can't the Dems make jobs a winning political issue? It seems like it should be a "slam dunk" but it's not. Here's why
A "common-sense populist" Democratic Communication Strategy for Re-building Public Trust in Government.
Beyond Civility: in the 1950's and 60's the modern politics of "talking points", "sound bites" and "message discipline" had different names - "propaganda", "thought control" and "brainwashing" Our standards of political discourse have been deeply degraded
A "common-sense populist" Democratic Communication Strategy for Re-building Public Trust in Government.
Beyond "sabotage" - the central issue about the growing political extremism of the Republican Party is that it's undermining fundamental American standards of ethical political conduct and behavior. It's time for Americans to say "That's enough".
Obama cannot be an activist, an organizer and a legislator at the same time. He is right to redefine himself but has not successfully made one coherent role his own. The careful study of these three political roles suggests how he can proceed
Progressives: Obama's recent criticisms seemed deeply unfair but could turn out to be the most helpful thing he could possibly have done for us - if it makes us finally take seriously the job of building an independent grass-roots progressive movement.
An urgent TDS Strategy Memo: Democratic Unity after the Elections
Is the Electorate Moving to the Right? Ruy Teixeira says no.
"Independent voters" are the political equivalent of ectoplasm - they only appear on devices specially designed to measure them and are invisible in everyday normal life.
What's behind the changing number of "moderates" and "independents" within the Republican coalition between 2006 and 2010?
EDITORIAL: It's Time To Unmask the Republican Agenda
Democrats: calm down and regain some perspective. Yes, we'll suffer losses this fall, but there's actually not any profound Anti-Obama or pro-Republican attitude shift going on. This may sound wildly at variance with the polls you've seen, but it's true.
Progressives: we've forgotten (or maybe just never learned) the ideas of "critical support" and "strategic voting" which European center-left voters have applied for years. It's how they defeated conservatives many times in the post-war period.
Democrats: President Obama's recent speeches provide a coherent Democratic message for the fall. They are clear, serviceable and ready to be put to use.
A message strategy for combating the "enthusiasm gap" - Theme: This election is not about Washington. It's about resisting a conservative attack on "people like you".
Watch out Democrats: the exposure of the dishonest manipulation of videos shown on Andrew Breitbart's websites will not moderate attacks by conservative extremists. It will intensify the search for new and even more aggressive tactics to employ.
Progressives need an independent movement, but not because Obama "failed" or "betrayed" them. Progress always requires an active grass-roots movement and the lack of one for the last 30 years is the key cause of progressive "failures" and "defeats"
Part I. Republicans: Move Right and LosePart II. Does Liberalism Hurt Democrats?By Dr. Alan Abramowitz
A Special TDS-Demos Online Forum: Progressive Politics and The Meaning of American Freedom
The Democrats major problem is not the tea party minority; it's the non-tea party white working class. The key strategic question is whether an aggressive populist appeal is actually the best way to seek their support. By Andrew Levison
Urgent: A TDS STRATEGY MEMO on the Supreme Court
Democrats who disagree with Obama's Afghan plan face a difficult decision -- They can categorically reject and oppose the administration or play a role in the emerging struggle between those who seek a political solution to the conflict and a military one
Zero For Thirty-One: Lessons From the Loss in Maine By Jasmine Beach-Ferrara
Democrats -- Don't be misled. The media is going to call Obama's new Afghan strategy a "betrayal" of the Democratic base -- but it's not. It's actually a decisive rejection of the Republican/Neo-Conservative strategy of the "Long War" By James Vega
Military Strategy for Democrats: The key issue in Afghanistan isn't the number of troops we send, it's the mission that they're given -- and that's why the military doctrine and strategy of "counterinsurgency" is totally inadequate as a guide.
The strategic failures this summer were the combined result of three different mistakes, not just one. They involve more than just the health care campaign and require a coherent, multi-pronged Democratic strategy to correct. By James Vega
What is "Right-Wing Extremism?" By James Vega
More on Earned Privilege, "Merit," and Tea Parties By Ed Kilgore
The tea party protesters were not all traditional conservatives. Many combined a small business viewpoint and "populist" distrust of large institutions -- including the Republican Party. They are not "in the bag" for the GOP. By Andrew Levison
The "Movement" Roots of Obama's Political Strategy -- Martin Luther King's campaigns in Birmingham and Chicago and the congressional campaigns of King's Top Aide Andrew Young. By Andrew Levison
Bipartisanship and Successful Polarization By Ed Kilgore
The New Center for American Progress Report "The State of American Political Ideology 2009" Reveals the existence of a substantial group of "ambivalent" or "inconsistent" voters -- Here's what Democrats need to know in order to understand them.
Get Ready Democrats--Obama's Opponents Are Getting Set to "Unleash Hell" By James Vega
On "Ending the Culture Wars" By Ed Kilgore
Obama the Sociologist -- Obama's Fundamental Political Strategy is Based on a Sophisticated Sociological Perspective That Political Scientists, Campaign Managers and Even Many Progressives Largely Ignore. By Andrew Levison
Improving the Way Democrats Discuss Political Strategy by James Vega
Defining Obama's Political Strategy: Radical Pragmatism, Grassroots Bipartisanship and the Abandoned Center by Ed Kilgore
Planning Ahead for Democratic Victory in 2010--Setting Initial Goals and Objectives By Ed Kilgore
How Democrats Can Keep and Expand the Support of the Younger White Working Class Voters who Voted for Obama in 2008 by Andrew Levison
The Best Sound-Bites and Brief Quotes from the Democratic Convention in Denver
McCain's Dirty Politics Attack -- How Democrats Can Respond by James Vega
Military Strategy for Democrats -- How the Democrats Can Argue with McCain and the Republicans about Military Strategy and Win by James Vega
Obama and Iraq: A General Election Strategy by Bruce W. Jentleson
Military Strategy for Democrats: The Reality Behind McCain's Claim That the Surge Has Succeeded by James Vega
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