Weak Actions on Wall Street and Weak Health Care Policies Make People Upset – 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.
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 (completely) 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.
The firm Research 2000 conducted the post-election survey Tuesday night on behalf of three progressive organizations — the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Democracy for America and MoveOn.org.
Taken from interviews of 500 Obama backers who voted in the Senate election and 500 Obama backers who sat out the election, the firm discovered that 18 percent of Obama backers who voted in the Senate race ended up casting ballots for Brown.
Of that group, 82 percent said they favored a public option for insurance coverage, with 14 percent opposed. Of those who sat out the election, 86 percent favored the public option, while only seven percent opposed it. The findings suggests that progressive arguments that disappointed Obama supporters deserted have serious merit.
UPDATE: With little, if any, historical precedent for the current situation in Congress, anything is possible on Capitol Hill over the next few weeks. Progressives have seized on the chaos and the polling numbers above to argue that the message voters sent was that Democrats haven’t been bold enough. So far, more than 100,000 people have signed a petition calling for the Senate to put the public option back into the health care bill and pass it using the parliamentary maneuver known as reconciliation, which only requires 50 votes plus the vice president. Meanwhile, top Democrats are taking the idea seriously.
“Congressional Democrats have now been given fair warning by voters about what they expect in 2010: faster change, bolder change, and a willingness to fight big corporations on behalf of the little guy,” said Adam Green, whose organization is leading the petition effort. “The Lieberman-Nelson strategy lost Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat. Now it’s time to push the public option through reconciliation — and then, on to strong Wall Street accountability.”
Tea Party Bloc Leader Arrested for Child Rape; Police Find Stolen Grenade Launcher In His House – Marine Sgt. Charles Dyer, aka “July4Patriot,” is a leader of the “Oath Keepers” bloc of the Tea Party movement — an organization devoted to recruiting military and police-force veterans into a Patriot-movement belief system predicated on a series of paranoid conspiracy theories, especially the notion that the federal government intends to begin rounding up citizens and putting them in concentration camps.
Dyer played a prominent role in connecting the Oath Keepers to the Tea Party movement, speaking at a July 4 Tea Party rally in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. And he’s been involved in organizing militia “maneuvers” in Oklahoma.
Dyer cropped up again in the news — this time in the police blotter for allegedly raping a 7-year-old girl:
An ex-military man has been arrested on charges of rape of a child and forcible sodomy.
Charles Alan Dyer, 29, of Marlow, was arrested Tuesday afternoon by Stephens County Sheriff’s deputies, said Sheriff Wayne McKinney. Dyer served in the United States Marines in Iraq.
Oh, and guess what police found when they searched his home:
During the search the sheriff’s deputies noted several firearms and a device believed to be a Colt M-203, 40-millimeter grenade launcher, a complaint filed in the United States District Court of Western Oklahoma by Alcohol, Firearms and Tobacco Special Agent Brett Williams said.
As the story from KAUZ-TV notes, Dyer had a history of making bizarre claims in his videos — as well as violent fears of being arrested.
“We come home and those bastards want to talk about how we’re domestic terrorists and a threat to this country. It makes me so angry,” said Charles Dyer, who has been accused of committing rape.
… More incriminating evidence against Dyer has surfaced in a YouTube video. The video shows Dyer, a former U.S. Marine, talking proudly about domestic terrorism. “Join the military?”, said Dyer. “Depends on what you want to do with it. Me? I’m going to use my training and become one of those domestic terrorists that you’re so afraid of from the DHS reports.”
(Question: As both a Tea Party guy and a confessed terrorist, does he believe he should be water boarded and sent to Gitmo? – JLV)
Inhofe: “I Believe In Racial And Ethnic Profiling” – Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) knows he’s not politically correct, but he doesn’t care: “I believe in racial and ethnic profiling,” the GOP senator announced at a Senate Armed Services Committee review of Fort Hood shootings on Thursday.
And now some random thoughts I spotted: – Congressional Republicans are huddling behind closed doors to decide who gets to shout down President Obama during his State of the Union speech next week. Their main criteria: who needs his or her campaign coffers filled the most by jubilant fist-pumping teabaggers, and who has the sweetest vibrato.
If reincarnation really happens, I want to come back as a Washington, D.C. pigeon with superior divebombing skills and overactive bowels. I have some scores to settle.
Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others?” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.