Nicely done finn, but please, reread your post because I think that you wrote “center-left” when actually meaning “center-right” in many of your last few statements.
Regardless, you were correct about my exasperation of the pedantry of the first few posts. I was expecting more than fly-by surface analysis of what was presented.
And time will tell about whether Obama will act towards the progressive things he campaigned on, and gets rejected because of implementing them, but if you examine the issues in the light of exit polling results (listed below) in specific areas for government action or social/personal behavior it remains clear that we are no longer in the country of tom delay, rick santorium, or karl rove, while obama's campaign promises are well aligned with what people want.
Democracy Corps polled 2,000 voters November 4-5 and posed several questions as direct contrasts between a conservative approach and a progressive approach, some of which were directly drawn from the arguments made by Obama and McCain. The poll asked which statement "comes closer to your own view, even if neither is exactly right."
The Democracy Corps survey asked respondents to choose between one statement on Social Security, "We need to reform Social Security and protect it to ensure that it's a safety net the American people can count on," and a second, more conservative statement: "We need to reform Social Security and establish personal savings accounts so individuals have more options." The first statement, supported by 63 percent of respondents, is similar to Obama's proposal to "protect Social Security" and "ensur[e] Social Security is solvent and viable for the American people, now and in the future." The second statement, involving Social Security private accounts, was supported by 35
Regarding health care, the Democracy Corps survey offered a relatively progressive statement, which was supported by 58 percent of respondents: "Our health care system needs fundamental reform, we should regulate insurance companies and give everyone a choice between a public plan or what they have right now." This statement is similar to Obama's proposal for health-care reform, which "[r]equire[s] insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions"; allows individuals to keep their current health-care coverage if they choose to do so; and establishes "a National Health Insurance Exchange with a range of private insurance options as well as a new public plan based on benefits available to members of Congress that will allow individuals and small businesses to buy affordable health coverage." The other statement offered by the survey -- "Our health care system needs fundamental reform; we should give American families more choice by giving individuals a tax credit to choose their own coverage" -- was supported by 38 percent of respondents.
The Democracy Corps survey also specifically tested many of the policies Obama has proposed, asking voters whether each should be "the SINGLE highest priority, one of the TOP FEW priorities, but not the highest, NEAR THE TOP of the list, in the MIDDLE OF THE LIST, or TOWARD THE BOTTOM of the list of priorities for the new president." If a respondent actually disagreed with an item on the agenda, he or she would presumably place the goal "toward the bottom of the list of priorities." The data demonstrate that the public appears to want action on many of the key pieces of Obama's agenda.
Among the proposals the survey presented that a majority of respondents considered at least "near the top" of their priorities:
"Repeal the Bush tax cuts for those making over 250,000 dollars and cut taxes for middle class families and anyone making under 200,000 dollars." Sixty percent said this was at least "near the top" of their priorities. Obama proposed "broad-based tax relief to middle class families" and raising taxes on individuals earning more than $200,000 per year and families earning more than $250,000 per year.
"Make health insurance affordable and accessible to all Americans." Seventy-two percent said this was at least "near the top" of their priorities. As noted above, Obama proposed "a National Health Insurance Exchange ... that will allow individuals and small businesses to buy affordable health coverage."
"End the war in Iraq responsibly and redeploy our troops from Iraq to Afghanistan." Seventy-six percent said this was at least "near the top" of their priorities. Obama proposed withdrawing troops from Iraq in a way that is "responsible and phased, directed by military commanders on the ground and done in consultation with the Iraqi government." Obama has also proposed "providing at least two additional combat brigades to support our effort in Afghanistan."
"Repeal tax breaks that benefit companies that move jobs overseas." Fifty-nine percent said this was at least "near the top" of their priorities. Obama has said, "I want to end the tax breaks for companies that are shipping jobs overseas and provide a tax credit for every company that's creating a job right here in America."
"End dependence on foreign oil by 2025 by requiring one quarter of U.S. electric power to come from alternative energy where new investments will create new jobs." Eighty-one percent said this was at least "near the top" of their priorities. Obama's energy plan proposes that "10 percent of our electricity comes from renewable sources by 2012, and 25 percent by 2025."
"Make job-creating investments in America's aging roads and transportation systems and stimulate new economic activity." Fifty-nine percent said this was at least "near the top" of their priorities. Obama's energy plan calls for "devot[ing] substantial resources to repairing our roads and bridges."
Now, with these things being the priorities/issues that a majority of voters held in 2008 (which fall on the left side of the American political divide), and that dovetail with Obama’s campaign proposals, he apparently has the support of the majority of the voting public to initiate these programs to accomplish these goals.
The “center-right” meme is simply a rhetorical tool or crutch opponents of these programs/actions want to use to fight them or prevent them from happening.