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Democratic Goals/Resolutions for 2014?

by: tmess2

Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 09:52:19 AM EST


As we start a new year (a mid-term election year), it is an appropriate time to look at goals/resolutions for 2014 for the Democratic Party.

For the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, two separate resolutions/goals:

1) Out of the nine Republican targets (Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, North Carolina, South Dakota, and West Virginia), win at least five of the nine.  Realistically, 2008 was a great year for Democrats running for the Senate and winning 20 senate races again is not likely, but if we can win five of these nine we keep control.

2)  Take at least one Senate seat away from the Republicans (best chances may be Georgia, Kentucky, and Maine).  We are going to need some Tea Party help to do this, but the one thing that we can count on the Tea Party is to give us a Senate seat or two by winning a primary.

For the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee:

A simple resolution, defy history and pick up seats in the mid-term election of a second term.  The party not in the White House normally picks up seats in the mid-term, especially when the other party is in its second (or more) consecutive term in the White House.  The Democratic goal is hindered by the dwindling number of swing seats.  A majority may be too much to ask for, but ending the year with 205-10 representatives might be achievable.

For the Democratic Governors Association:

1)  Of the nine Republicans up for re-election in swing or lean Democratic states (Florida, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin), win at least four. 

2) While this to some extent overlaps with the other resolution, have a strong showing in the southwest (defending Colorado, seeking open seats in Arizona and Texas, and challenging Republicans in Nevada and New Mexico).  While it may not be possible to win all of these seats, keeping them all competitive is a necessary step to laying down a foundation for taking these states in 2016.

For the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee:

1)  Regain control of some state legislative houses (particularly Iowa House and New Hampshire Senate and one of the houses in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Michigan).

2) Narrow the gap in other states.

Realistically, a lot of state houses have large Republican majorities (partially for geographic reasons, partially due to gerrymandering).   However, picking up five or six seats per state would be a down payment on taking some of these houses later in the decade.  Additionally, it might allow Democrats to work with more moderate Republicans against some of the more extreme measures put forward by the Tea Party.

tmess2 :: Democratic Goals/Resolutions for 2014?

For House Democrats:

Work with moderate Republicans to push for hearings/votes (including by discharge petition if necessary) on Immigration Reform and other legislation that has passed the Senate.   At the very least, by pushing discharge petitions, make House Republicans take a stand.  If we do not have Immigration Reform passed in 2014, it should be crystal clear that all 201 (or more if we win some special elections) Democrats supported passing the bill and it was the unwillingness of any Republican to buck party leadership that stopped it from passing.

For both House Democrats and Senate Democrats:

1)  Pass a minimum wage increase that includes automatic indexing. 

2) Get a debt ceiling increase passed without paying a ransom to the Tea Party.

For democrats in the states:

1)  Defeat attempts to pass Right to Work (for next to nothing) laws.  Work for referendum to repeal such laws where they have been enacted by Tea Party controlled Republican legislatures.

2) Resist attempts to enact voter suppression laws and continue to work to improve access to the ballot box.

For the Obama administration:

1) Minimize/avoid any new problems with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.  Realistically, we know that any new program will have some glitches in the rollout.  Unlike most programs,  however, we have to understand that Republicans in Congress have zero interest in actually passing a legislative fix to any problems that develops so we need to make it work right under the current law.

2)  Some foreign policy successes.   

3)  Success in the Supreme Court.  There are at least five major cases pending in the Supreme Court (three to be argued this spring -- more on this next weekend) that could throw monkey wrenches into administration policies.

4) Fill vacancies in the federal courts.  There are currently 92 vacancies in the lower courts.  Of those 92 vacancies, the Administration has nominees for 53 of those vacancies.  With the changes to Senate rules, those 53 nominees should be able to be confirmed (at least if the Senate Judiciary committee will hold hearings).  The Administration needs to nominate individuals for the remaining 39 vacancies and fill new vacancies quickly just in case the Republicans take the Senate in November.  (It should be noted that with filibusters, the White House could only fill 45 vacancies in 2013 and there are still 15 nominations pending that were made before July 2013.) 

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