Massachusetts voters who backed Barack Obama in the presidential election a year ago and either switched support to Republican Senate candidate Scott Brown or simply stayed home, said in a poll conducted after the election Tuesday night that if Democrats enact tougher policies on Wall Street, they'll be more likely to come back to the party in the next election.So the idea that President Obama and the Democrats should move to the center (and where exactly is the center, when the right is full of teabaggers?) is, as I've said before, stupid. Obama needs to embrace progressive ideas and principles if he wants to have a successful presidency, and congressional Democrats need to fully and seriously support the party's platform, not kow-tow to Republican obstructionists, if they want to stay in office.
A majority of Obama voters who switched to Brown said that "Democratic policies were doing more to help Wall Street than Main Street." A full 95 percent said the economy was important or very important when it came to deciding their vote.
In a somewhat paradoxical finding, a plurality of voters who switched to the Republican -- 37 percent -- said that Democrats were not being "hard enough" in challenging Republican policies.
It would be hard to find a clearer indication, it seems, that Tuesday's vote was cast in protest.
The poll also upends the conventional understanding of health care's role in the election. A plurality of people who switched -- 48 -- or didn't vote -- 43 -- said that they opposed the Senate health care bill. But the poll dug deeper and asked people why they opposed it. Among those Brown voters, 23 percent thought it went "too far" -- but 36 percent thought it didn't go far enough and 41 percent said they weren't sure why they opposed it.
Among voters who stayed home and opposed health care, a full 53 percent said they opposed the Senate bill because it didn't go far enough; 39 percent weren't sure and only eight percent thought it went too far.
However, Obama's sudden embrace of Republican economic ideas seems to signal that he's not going to take that advice. I don't know who's advising him, but he needs to be kicked out on his ass. Summers, Geithner, whothehellever it is, they need to go. And frankly, I'd rather see Paul Krugman as Treasury Secretary than Tim Geithner, anyway. If the President wants to keep my support and vote, though, he'd better remember how he got to the White House in the first place. I didn't vote for him to become "Republican-Lite."