The Washington Post

Happy Hour Roundup

* Good read: Steve Kornacki on the Massachusetts Senate race as ground zero in the right’s use of Occupy Wall Street to exploit cultural divisions in hopes of getting blue collar whites to vote against their economic interests.

* That Crossroads ad attacking Occupy Wall Street also slammed “Professor Elizabeth Warren” and her “intellectual theories,” a reminder that the use of Warren’s intellectual credentials as a cultural negative will be central in this race.

* Tweet of the day, from Ari Berman, on the Crossroads ad’s use of Doug Schoen’s bogus Occupy Wall Street op ed:

At this point it seems like Doug Schoen exists to be quoted in GOP attack ads against Democrats

* Relatedly, the Massachusetts GOP also recently used Schoen’s Op ed in an ad tarring Occupy Wall Street, and Steve Benen’s headline gets it exactly right:

Republicans put Schoen to good use

Also: “Any outlet describing Schoen as a `Democrat’ without context or asterisks is misleading the public.”

* White House officials, cautiously optimstic that they’re regaining the upper hand on the economy, are hatching a plan to ratchet up pressure on the GOP to extend the payroll tax cut as the end-of-year deadline looms.

The game plan: Aggressively paint any GOP opposition as support for a middle class tax hike.

* The Obama administration will defer its decision on the controversial Canada-Texas oil pipeline until after the election, which seems partly designed to bring enviro groups back into the fold heading into 2012.

* Your modern GOP: Support among Republicans for federal funding of alternative energy sources has dropped more than 20 points since 2009, accounting for most of the slippage in overall public support for it.

* The 2012 GOP candidates like to say that Wall Street reform is killing small banks, but that’s not how the small banks themselves see it. (As if that has any relevance at all.)

* Philip Klein has the conservative takedown of Mitt Romney’s Medicare plan and how it’s cleverly designed to have it both ways, pleasing GOP primary voters without being a general election liability.

Really, is there anything Romney does that isn’t designed to have it both ways?

* Ron Brownstein on why labor’s big Ohio victory should encourage Obama to keep up the “class warfare” in order to win Rust Belt voters:

If the class-conscious Ohio repeal campaign genuinely offers Obama a roadmap to remaining competitive with more older and blue-collar whites, he can keep graying Rust Belt states like Ohio and Wisconsin in play — and reduce his need to repeat his 2008 breakthroughs in the diverse and fast growing new swing states across the Sun Belt.

* And relatedly, this Associated Press headline suggests the national narrative has been established: “Ohio vote shows unions still a political force.”

What else is happening?

UPDATE: I forgot Brian Beutler’s chart of the day, which illustrates how the GOP supercommittee proposal would “slash benefits for low and middle income taxpayers to pay for a big tax cut that overwhelmingly benefits the rich.”

Again, that’s quite a “concession”!

Greg Sargent writes The Plum Line blog, a reported opinion blog with a liberal slant -- what you might call “opinionated reporting” from the left.


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