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Some interesting numbers and trends
Posted by: McQ on Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Mort Kondrake points to some poll results (take them with whatever grain of salt you prefer, but they do note some interesting trends) and comments:

Troop Withdrawals:
According to the Dec. 15 NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, voters oppose immediate troop withdrawals by a margin of 68 percent to 27 percent.
So who do potential voters disagree with? Apparently with the Murtha/Pelosi/Dean wing of the Democratic party.

Fighting and winning in Iraq:
According to a Fox News poll released last week, voters disagree with Dean by a margin of 51 percent to 38 percent and say, by 57 percent to 12 per cent, that U.S. and Iraqi forces will prevail over insurgents.
Those high percentages of voters disagreeing with the anti-war left are basing their disagreement on something, and overwhelmingly so. Perhaps it is the graphic evidence of progress in Iraq as witnessed by the almost 70% turnout in a relatively peaceful vote for Iraq, or the fact that the Sunnis have chosen to join the process, or reports are trickling out of Iraq of Iraqi forces taking more and more control of their streets. But by some metric, they think Dean and company are all wet.

The effect of the Bush "push back" about the War in Iraq:
That poll, released prior to Bush's Sunday "chat," showed that only 25 percent of voters said they had a better understanding of Bush's war policy after his first four speeches on the subject. Fifty-seven percent said they did not.

On the other hand, by 37 percent to 35 percent, they said they trusted Republicans on the war over Democrats, a reversal of recent trends.
Mixed results but, if the last numbers are to be trusted, trending up for the administration. Given that, the obvious message to the administration is to "keep it up". But then, the Bush team has done come pretty counterintuitive things politically in the past, so it wouldn't particularly surprise me if they went silent again.

Approval rating:
Bush's nationally televised "fireside chat" on Iraq Sunday, following a successful election in that country last week, should permit him to finish out 2005 at or just below his 48 percent RCP average at the end of 2004, controversy over "domestic spying" on terrorist targets notwithstanding.
His RCP (RealClearPolitics) average now is 44.8%.

Obviously approval ratings are a slippery number. You have to get in the entrails of the particular polls to determine what is indeed being "approved". But the average is interesting because it demonstrates trends based on the average of all the polls. And, after trending down for quite some time, it's trending back up.

I'd also point to the fact that Kondrake agrees with Dick Morris about one thing in particular:
But my guess is that Bush will only gain popularity points as a result of the wiretap disclosures and a Democrat-led filibuster of the Patriot Act. To average Americans, he'll be seen as a "strong leader" trying to defend them, rather than as a menace to civil liberties. The filibusterers, in any event, have not made a case for their actions.
Of course his mention of the filibuster is about the Patriot Act.

That's precisely the point I made yesterday regarding the Morris piece and how the filibuster would be regarded more as partisan politics than any attempt to "guard liberties" since it rejected the whole without regard to those pieces of the act considered critical to our security by both sides in the past.

As one commenter in the Morris thread pointed out, the Democrats have been offering a compromise on certain parts of the bill and the Republicans have held to their demand that the entire act be renewed, thus the filibuster. My reply was that this is much like the time Clinton called the Reublican Congress' bluff when he claimed he was going to have to shut down the government because the mean old Republicans hadn't passed his budget and they were stealing Christmas from government workers. Long on spin, short on the truth, but effective.

Democrats now get to try to explain to a skeptical public who, on the whole, find them less than impressive on national security measures, that their filibuster wasn't just a matter of partisan politics but, in fact, an attempt to ensure civil liberties. A hard row to hoe, especially when one considers which Democrats will have to make that case.

And for some commenters on another thread who seemed surprised that our job wasn't to win the insurgency, but instead to buy the time necessary for the Iraqis to win the insurgency (by keeping the insurgency at as low a level of effectiveness as possible until both Iraqi security forces and the government are strong enough to do it on their own), Kondrake notes a Bush remark:
On Sunday, he spelled out a concise goal: "a democratic Iraq that can defend itself, that will never again be a safe haven for terrorists and that will serve as model of freedom for the Middle East."
Not a mention of the US winning an insurgency.
 
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That’s precisely the point I made yesterday regarding the Morris piece and how the filibuster would be regarded more as partisan politics than any attempt to "guard liberties" since it rejected the whole without regard to those pieces of the act considered critical to our security by both sides in the past.
The Democrats also have a long history of taking away liberties where it suits them, to overcome, and that’s not going to be a short term process, if overcoming such can EVER be accomplished. It comes down to this; the American people do not beleive or trust the Demorats with their newfound ’civil libertarian’ mask.

(Gee, Grandma, what big teeth you have!)

And that, even, is aside from the point you’ve correctly made about the American people mistrusting them as regards national security. That, of course has a hostry dating back to the 68 and 72 campaigns, and since. When you add the two up, you have some serious reasons for the American people not to buy what the Democrats are selling.

As such, the Repubicans who already have strong reasons to stand firm in their positions, now have no reason I can think of NOT to.

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
I would add;
Unless, of course, the RINO crowd comes to play, again.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
One of the things effecting Bush’s approval ratings is the drop in gas prices of late. People feel better about things, so they feel better about the Prez.
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com
So who do potential voters disagree with? Apparently with the Murtha/Pelosi/Dean wing of the Democratic party.
You might be correct if Murtha were calling for an immediate pullout. He is not, however. Nevertheless, that is how the right-wing/mainstream press is spinning it. Click here for more details.
Those high percentages of voters disagreeing with the anti-war left are basing their disagreement on something, and overwhelmingly so. Perhaps it is the graphic evidence of progress in Iraq as witnessed by the almost 70% turnout in a relatively peaceful vote for Iraq, or the fact that the Sunnis have chosen to join the process, or reports are trickling out of Iraq of Iraqi forces taking more and more control of their streets. But by some metric, they think Dean and company are all wet.
As Jon recently pointed out, Dean was not anti-war. He backed the war. Now he says it is unwinnable. But that does not make him anti-war. Anti-war means being against the war. Dean wasn’t, as Jon detailed. Dean believes that the war cannot be "won," whatever that means. Believing a war cannot be won is not the same thing as being anti-war.

Part of the problem, of course, is that we don’t have a real definition in this case of what "winning" means. If winning means handing over Iraq to religious extremists, then we are "winning," if the preliminary election results are to be believed. The secular types got crushed. The Iranians must be smiling these days.
Democrats now get to try to explain to a skeptical public who, on the whole, find them less than impressive on national security measures, that their filibuster wasn’t just a matter of partisan politics but, in fact, an attempt to ensure civil liberties. A hard row to hoe, especially when one considers which Democrats will have to make that case
They do?
On the other hand, by 37 percent to 35 percent, they said they trusted Republicans on the war over Democrats, a reversal of recent trends.
This is amazing. Dems are basically even with Repubs on being trusted to handle the war. I would have thought that the Repubs would outpoll the Dems on this by at least 10 percent. But they are basically even here, and even that is a reversal of recent trends.

Again, I think you underestimate the public’s distaste for being spied on. Frankly, to most Americans, terrorism is just not that much of a threat. But big government is. And notice, more importantly, that the poll Kondracke cites was taken just before Snoopgate exploded in the media.

If Snoopgate helps the President, why did he beg the NYT not to report it? (And no, it was not for national security reasons; the terrorists I’m sure are quite aware of how we have been surveiling them. If you believe otherwise, you are simply naive.)
On Sunday, he spelled out a concise goal: "a democratic Iraq that can defend itself, that will never again be a safe haven for terrorists and that will serve as model of freedom for the Middle East."
And as the election results come in, and as the Shia zealots strengthen their hand, and as the Sunnis cry fraud, and as Iraq increasingly moves deeper into civil war, we move farther and farther away from that goal.

 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
As Jon recently pointed out, Dean was not anti-war.
Well, not exactly. What I pointed out was that Howard Dean was not always anti-war, and that—for a time prior to the real campaign season—he said a certain Iraq policy was acceptable.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
You might be correct if Murtha were calling for an immediate pullout. He is not, however.

Well of course not ... now. Finger firmly in the wind, he’s decided that it’s a politically unpopular stance. But Mr. "The Army’s Broken" Murtha certainly did call for it, didn’t he?

As Jon recently pointed out, Dean was not anti-war. He backed the war. Now he says it is unwinnable. But that does not make him anti-war. Anti-war means being against the war. Dean wasn’t, as Jon detailed. Dean believes that the war cannot be "won," whatever that means. Believing a war cannot be won is not the same thing as being anti-war.

Semantics. You can do better than this. This isn’t an argument, it’s a disagreement on what term to use. The movement which is against the war is called the "anti-war" movement. Get over it.

Part of the problem, of course, is that we don’t have a real definition in this case of what "winning" means.

Actually we do and it’s been articulated any number of times right here. If you’re too addled to puzzle it out, I’m certainly not going to waste more time explaining it to you.

This is amazing. Dems are basically even with Repubs on being trusted to handle the war. I would have thought that the Repubs would outpoll the Dems on this by at least 10 percent. But they are basically even here, and even that is a reversal of recent trends.

Right. And do the Dems take advantage of it? No. They continue the self-destructive behavior that has seen them lose election after election. Thus the trend, of which you’d have thought they’d take advantage, begins to reverse.

Again, I think you underestimate the public’s distaste for being spied on. Frankly, to most Americans, terrorism is just not that much of a threat. But big government is. And notice, more importantly, that the poll Kondracke cites was taken just before Snoopgate exploded in the media.

And I think you overestimate what they’re going to consider "being spied upon" to be. Well see as further facts come to the fore, but if I’m not mistaken, we’re talking about approximately 500 cases here. We’ll see whether Joe Sixpack considers himself to have been ’spied upon’ or whether he ends up considering what was done to be appropriate given a global WoT and the attendent threat (and that has zip to do with the legality of the situation, which is murky at best).

If Snoopgate helps the President, why did he beg the NYT not to report it? (And no, it was not for national security reasons; the terrorists I’m sure are quite aware of how we have been surveiling them. If you believe otherwise, you are simply naive.)

Oh, I see, so since your enemy might have an idea that they may be surveilled, it’s ok if you tell that eh?

Speaking of naive.

And as the election results come in, and as the Shia zealots strengthen their hand, and as the Sunnis cry fraud, and as Iraq increasingly moves deeper into civil war, we move farther and farther away from that goal.

Ah the factfree assertion that they’re in a civil war? Proof? MK don’t need no stinkin’ proof.

But indeed, I believe there are problems with the vote and the count and those problems are going to have an effect in the next few days. Whether its "civil war" or not, it seems a little presumptious to make such an assumption. But that certainly doesn’t stop our favorite unsubstantiated conclusion jumper from engaging in his favorite sport.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Well of course not ... now. Finger firmly in the wind, he’s decided that it’s a politically unpopular stance. But Mr. "The Army’s Broken" Murtha certainly did call for it, didn’t he?
No - a 6-month timetable was his position from the beginning. You have been misled to believe otherwise. (Reading Real Clear Politics does not help.) That was my point. Thanks for making it.
Semantics. You can do better than this. This isn’t an argument, it’s a disagreement on what term to use. The movement which is against the war is called the "anti-war" movement. Get over it.
Get over it? Get over what? One can be for the war but believe that the Bush administration is too incompetent to successfully prosecute it. (Kind of like Andrew Sullivan) Or one can be for the war, but believe that our job is now done. (Like Murtha) Or one can be for the war, but believe that it is impossible to "win" due to the ethnic and sectarian make up of the country. Or, one can be against the war from the get-go. (Like me). There are several positions one can take with respect to the war.

For partisan reasons, Bush sycophants like to lump everyone who does not agreee with Bush 100% into one category: anti-war. But like most things in life, the reality is much more complicated.
Actually we do and it’s been articulated any number of times right here. If you’re too addled to puzzle it out, I’m certainly not going to waste more time explaining it to you.
Right - a shining beacon of freedom on the hill. Since that is never going to happen, the definition is meaningless. So what is the real definition?
Right. And do the Dems take advantage of it? No. They continue the self-destructive behavior that has seen them lose election after election. Thus the trend, of which you’d have thought they’d take advantage, begins to reverse.
And if they did, you would bitch about their irresponsible dissent. We shall see if it matters in 2006.
And I think you overestimate what they’re going to consider "being spied upon" to be. Well see as further facts come to the fore, but if I’m not mistaken, we’re talking about approximately 500 cases here. We’ll see whether Joe Sixpack considers himself to have been ’spied upon’ or whether he ends up considering what was done to be appropriate given a global WoT and the attendent threat (and that has zip to do with the legality of the situation, which is murky at best).
And I think you don’t have a clue about how pervasive it is. Go read Jay Rockefeller’s letter and listen to Bush’s talk about monitoring, detection, etc.
Ah the factfree assertion that they’re in a civil war? Proof? MK don’t need no stinkin’ proof.
The former Prime Minister Allawi said it. So too the Deputy PM. Guess they don’t know what they are talking about, and you do.

Time will tell.


 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
No - a 6-month timetable was his position from the beginning. You have been misled to believe otherwise. (Reading Real Clear Politics does not help.) That was my point. Thanks for making it.

Good grief ... you cannot be as militarily ignorant as you seem.

Any "immediate" withdrawl would take 6 months for heaven sake.

Get over it? Get over what?

That those who oppose the war are called the "anti-war" faction and not the little red herring you tried to flop out there in answer to my point.

For partisan reasons, Bush sycophants like to lump everyone who does not agreee with Bush 100% into one category: anti-war. But like most things in life, the reality is much more complicated.

But syncophants for Bush are lumpabile, is that it MK. Heh ... you are a walking, talking, typing contradiction.

Right - a shining beacon of freedom on the hill. Since that is never going to happen, the definition is meaningless. So what is the real definition?

Red herring number two. The definition stands, not that you’re able to deal with it intellectually or otherwise.

And if they did, you would bitch about their irresponsible dissent. We shall see if it matters in 2006.

You’re really into the fish today. Why not just answer the point? It was you who dissented. As many times as you say what I say doesn’t matter, why does it suddenly matter now?

Why didn’t they take political advantage of it MK?

And I think you don’t have a clue about how pervasive it is. Go read Jay Rockefeller’s letter and listen to Bush’s talk about monitoring, detection, etc.

I did. And I also read Sen. Pat Robertson’s press release where he said your hero has, over the years, vocally supported the program many times with the latest being two weeks ago.

The former Prime Minister Allawi said it. So too the Deputy PM. Guess they don’t know what they are talking about, and you do.

So if I name three do I win the point?

More to the point: Two Iraqi politicians out of literally thousands say so and you think that makes it so?

Brilliant. But at least, for a change, you actually tried to back up a point with something resembling a fact (even though, as usual, you provided nothing, like a link, to back the assertion).

Time will tell.

Indeed ... but that’s usually the case, isn’t it?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Well, not exactly. What I pointed out was that Howard Dean was not always anti-war, and that—for a time prior to the real campaign season—he said a certain Iraq policy was acceptable.
The Democrats have been about as steadfast as a fart in a winter storm.
Good grief ... you cannot be as militarily ignorant as you seem.
Let’s remember who we’re talking about here, shall we?
And let’s also remember it’s not limited to military subjects.
Like for example, his frothing defense of the Murtha of all losers.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
As one commenter in the Morris thread pointed out, the Democrats have been offering a compromise on certain parts of the bill and the Republicans have held to their demand that the entire act be renewed, thus the filibuster. My reply was that this is much like the time Clinton called the Reublican Congress’ bluff when he claimed he was going to have to shut down the government because the mean old Republicans hadn’t passed his budget and they were stealing Christmas from government workers. Long on spin, short on the truth, but effective.
I would ask in return, Bruce, just what it is about the Patriot act that’s so terrible, if they’re willing to extend it for three months, rather than slice it off at the ankles outright.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
“For partisan reasons, Bush sycophants like to lump everyone who does not agreee (sic) with Bush 100% into one category: anti-war. But like most things in life, the reality is much more complicated.”
This is the fourth time since I have been reading this online magazine (Book (they are a little slow in Idaho) take note; you still haven’t gotten the fact that this is an online magazine) that MK has been right. Stardate noted. (Yeah, I can’t remember the exact Star Trek terms.)
 
Written By: notherbob2
URL: http://
Typical liberal rejoinder. Low on facts (If you read the thread your name does appear - I used it. [and, just for emphasis, you quoted me using it. How wrong can one be?] So that makes mis-statement number one for Book. As for where he mis-identified this site; I guess Book is used to the liberal cocoon practice of forgetting what was said in one thread when moving to another. What most readers see here is KA-DING! - one more score on Brook. I love to nail the liberals. If Brooke wants to fantacize that I mean that literally...
 
Written By: notherbob2
URL: http://

 
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