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Massachusetts election could save Democrats from themselves

Democrats must use this moment to recommit themselves to the progressive agenda that got President Obama elected.

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As a Massachusetts voter, I was not happy to see Scott Brown win the Senate seat that Ted Kennedy held for 47 years. The loss is no doubt a huge boon for conservatives, a monumental embarrassment for Democrats across the nation, and a massive political problem for progressives. 

The election, however, does offer a silver lining. The Democrats can no longer pretend they are on the right track. Indeed, the end of the “supermajority” held by the Democrats held in the Senate may force them to fight – boldly – for serious change. If they do not, they will be unable to fend off this effective populist, right-wing movement, which now has all the momentum going into the midterm elections this November. 

The Democrats should use this moment to make a sea change in their strategy and move in a far more populist, progressive direction on healthcare, jobs, and financial regulation.

In the past year, the Democrats have shunned their base. These loyal liberals donated sweat, time, and money to elect President Obama and helped cement large majorities in both chambers of Congress. Yet within days of his historic victory, Mr. Obama started keeping his base – and more important, its progressive goals – at arm’s length.

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