May 6, 2007

Newsweek Practicing Early For Poll Follies

Newsweek publishes a breathless account of how George Bush's approval rating has dropped to 28%, and how leading Democrat contenders now outpoll the Republicans across the board for the 2008 presidential race. Coincidence, Newsweek asks? They should have asked that question of their pollsters:

It’s hard to say which is worse news for Republicans: that George W. Bush now has the worst approval rating of an American president in a generation, or that he seems to be dragging every ’08 Republican presidential candidate down with him. But According to the new NEWSWEEK Poll, the public’s approval of Bush has sunk to 28 percent, an all-time low for this president in our poll, and a point lower than Gallup recorded for his father at Bush Sr.’s nadir. The last president to be this unpopular was Jimmy Carter who also scored a 28 percent approval in 1979. This remarkably low rating seems to be casting a dark shadow over the GOP’s chances for victory in ’08. The NEWSWEEK Poll finds each of the leading Democratic contenders beating the Republican frontrunners in head-to-head matchups. ...

Like Obama, Edwards defeats the Republicans by larger margins than Clinton does: the former Democratic vice-presidential nominee outdistances Giuliani by six points, McCain by 10 and Romney by 37, the largest lead in any of the head-to-head matchups. Meanwhile, Sen. Clinton wins 49 percent to 46 percent against Giuliani, well within the poll’s margin of error; 50 to 44 against McCain; and 57 to 35 against Romney.

Yes, this would be a devastating poll, if one could rely on it. It contradicts nearly every other poll, which has consistently shown Giuliani beating Obama, Clinton, and Edwards. How could Newsweek get the results they have published?

Well, for one thing, it helps when you poll 50% more Democrats than Republicans. If one reads the actual poll results all the way to the end, the penultimate question shows that the sample has 24% Republicans to 36% Democrats. Compare that to the information given by Newsweek's NBC partners in February, which showed that party affiliation had shifted from a difference of less than a percentage point to a gap of 3.9 points -- 34.3% to 30.4%, with 33.9% independents.

Does it really surprise Newsweek that a sample where half again as many Democrats as Republicans were polled tend to prefer Democrats for President? Do they find it all that surprising that George Bush isn't terribly popular when surveys oversample Democrats? They knew that the poll had to have some problems; the margins of error for the poll were 7% for the Democrats and 8% for the Republicans, quite high for these kinds of polls.

Newsweek apparently doesn't employ people like editors and fact checkers before rushing their analyses to print. Thankfully, the blogosphere can take the time and effort to have these layers of correction so that we can provide the best possible information to our readership.

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Comments (33)

Posted by Carol_Herman [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 6, 2007 12:21 PM

Discount the numbers.

What surprised me one day, while sitting in a restaurant, was overhearing a nearby conversation; a young dating couple. Where she said to him, "I know you're a republican." And, his response was, "yes." But I don't like Bush."

First off, to find young people, going to college (with I also figured out from the conversation), in Pasadena, not a zone known to be poorly representative of democraps; led me to understand that you could have people identifying with the GOP as a party. But are not on board Dubya's train.

It seems almost apparent. Since no one looks forward to hearing him speak. And, he seems stuck in the White House; with popularity ebbing away. Perhaps, you think the leak is so slow it's hardly notice-able. But he started off weak; in 2000.

What you might guess is that there are people who look at Bush as less than lackluster. Heck, even at the debates; some journalist noticed that of all the 8, only two were willing to be supportive of Bush. And, one of them was Guiliani. (It's as if in these debates, the men are looking for sentences that can hit the headlines "t'marra.") But it also tells you that it's "topical enough" to make a headline out of it! And, not just have it as something lost in the shuffle.

There were plenty of people on the right who were sure Bill Clinton was hated. But that turned out NOT to be true.

While what does Bush have, really, that makes you think he's all that popular?

I'm still curious about france and its turnout. I think in times like this, where you'd think lots of people would stay home; you're seeing the opposite. And, if it's a trend? MORE people vote. Rather than less.

How will the GOP settle on a candidate to nominate? Especially knowing that the HOUSE has gone "donk." And, the senate, unusually close, will have only a dozen democrapic senators running for re-election. While 24 GOP kiesters gotta protect their chairs.

No, I'm not surprised that people are looking to read tea leaves. The stakes are there. And, you get a choice. People will stay home in droves. Or vote to a certain level of involvement shown before.

Hugh Hewitt, in 2000, wrote a book saying that the GOP benefits from the larger turnouts. Well, there's less stealing that makes marginal differences, going on.

While the rising muslem tides frightens enough people. Did Bush make things better? Or worse?

Posted by The Mechanical Eye [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 6, 2007 12:37 PM

All the equivocation in the world won't hide how deeply unpopular Bush is -- every poll consistently shows the president, at his very best, in the high 30s.

Also -- do you realize how badly Republicans in general poll not among likely voters, but adults in general? Can you really give such a brave front about Republicanism when majorities of the population intensely dislike Republicans and Bush? His positions and the party in general is becoming increasingly radioactive. In the general election the GOP nominee will have no choice but to turn against Bush very hard if he wants to have a ghost of a chance against the Democratic nominee.

I suppose its fine to say you don't need Ameica's traditional allies in the Iraq War, but these days you don't even have America behind you.

But go after Newsweek and the big bad liberal media. Shooting the messenger always solves problems.

DU

Posted by AnonymousDrivel [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 6, 2007 12:43 PM

Isn't it about time we abandon the concept of objectivity in reporting from the MSM? This exemplifies yet again the open advocacy by it for the Democrat party. An institution that votes anywhere between 70+% to 85% Democrat with some Independents filling in the balance with residual Republicans is destined to be water carriers for the more liberal position. How can it not? The more alarming trend is that it is so blatant; however, better to know the "enemy" than remain perilously vulnerable to its bias.

A running theory on my part is that the Democrats have been out of power for so long that they are delirious with anticipation for the chance of a power grab and that the MSM is proactively filling in as the propaganda arm of the Left.

Consider where we are in this nation politically. Bush/Republicans have been excoriated ever since Gore lost in '00, and the Left has resented it ever since all the while poisoning the environment and avoiding bipartisanship for the sake of contrarianism. Under Clinton's tenure, Congress flipped from Democrat to Republican after decades of Democrat control, so the Donkeys never realized their full potential. Now, with 1) a truly open presidential race, 2) a Congress which is majority Democrat and has the chance to remain that way in '08 (due to more competitive seats), and 3) a good chance that Ginsberg (or another Supreme) leaves the court should a Democrat win the presidency, a triple-play has real potential. You think back benchers aren't eyeing that prize?

So, with the premise as described, I fully expect the sycophantic MSM to be the main cheerleaders for the Democrats and things will get worse, as in contemptuously dishonest reportage, before they get better. If only FOXNews had some company in providing the counterweight to the entrenched media on the idiot box. I'm afraid the internet, with all of its potential to balance the record, still cannot overwhelm the drumbeat of the old media world order.

Furthermore, objective media will become extinct in our lifetimes. We will evolve into a British model whereby there exists Left news and Right news. We'll self-select our media just as we do online... but at least we'll know what we're getting and not kid ourselves that blessed objectivity is the goal of the men behind the curtain.

Posted by Adjoran [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 6, 2007 1:18 PM

Newsweek abandoned any pretense to objectivity when they hired their current editor back in the '90s. The whole outfit went far left almost immediately. It hasn't helped their circulation, though.

Posted by jaeger51 [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 6, 2007 1:20 PM

Once again, the MSM strikes. In the never ending attempts to sway those that really don't pay attention, the headline that says Dems will beat Republicans is way more important than the facts down at the end on how the survey results were achieved. The important fact is that Joe Average will glance at the headline, or hear the headline on the 5 minute radio news on the rock station, and figure that hey, everyone is for the Dems now, I should be too. Hey, let's play "where's Goebbels? " Working for the DNC on the MSM.

Posted by Jeffrey Carr [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 6, 2007 1:22 PM

Speaking of Giuliani's poll position, Ed, how do you explain his approval rating among conservatives, who are so alarmed by anything offending "family values"; Giuliani being the man who married his cousin, then lived in an adulterous relationship with his mistress while his wife and children lived in Gracie mansion (note I'm not bringing up the four occasions that he's been caught on film dressed as a woman)?

You'd almost think he was a Democrat with that moral track record, wouldn't you?

Posted by Jeffrey Carr [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 6, 2007 1:30 PM

Say, Annon Drivel, a question for you.

In your post, you refer to the media as Democratic syncophants. Later you predict the loss of "objective" media.

Here's a simple question for you. Do you consider Fox News to be objective, or do you consider it to be a media outlet with conservative bias, in counter-point to the so-called "liberal" bias of MSM?

If you consider it to have a conservative bias and therefore, by definition, NOT objective, then what media outlet were you referring to when you said "objective media will become extinct"?

Posted by jaeger51 [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 6, 2007 1:31 PM

Once again, the MSM strikes. In the never ending attempts to sway those that really don't pay attention, the headline that says Dems will beat Republicans is way more important than the facts down at the end on how the survey results were achieved. The important fact is that Joe Average will glance at the headline on the newspaper in the break room at work, or hear the headline on the 5 minute radio news on the rock station, and figure that hey, everyone is for the Dems now, I should be too. Hey, let's play "Where's Goebbels?" Answer: working for the DNC on the MSM.

Posted by Del Dolemonte [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 6, 2007 2:05 PM

The Mechanical Eye sez:

"But go after Newsweek and the big bad liberal media. Shooting the messenger always solves problems."

LOL. You southpaws "shoot the messenger" every time you bitch about "Faux News". If Fox had been the one oversampling Republicans in their polls, you'd be baying at the moon about their doing so immediately.

In this case, Newsweek was busted for cooking a poll by oversampling Dems. They're not the first to do this, as the CBS/NY Times poll has also been caught oversampling Dems in the past (in one case by 14%!). So we have every right to complain about Newsweek's dishonesty.

Actually, I don't give a hoot about this Newsweek "poll" and "story" anyway. After all, Bush isn't running for anything any more, so any poll numbers about him are irrelevant, except to his enemies. Unlike his predecessor, he's obviously never governed by them.

Speaking of Clinton, he did have high job approval numbers. But if you look at his "favorability" or "personal approval" numbers, they were much lower. In fact, right after leaving office, Gallup had his favorability at only 39 percent!

Posted by mw [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 6, 2007 2:08 PM

"Yes, this would be a devastating poll, if one could rely on it. ... -ed

Just thought I'd highlight this quote for future reference. I concur with the Captain's assessment of the poll, but would not be surprised to find a more defendable poll with similar results in the not-too-distant future. The poll trends for American perspectives on Iraq and Bush are consistent and unmistakeable. To the degree that Republican presidential candidates are unwilling to distance themselves from Bush and his policies on Iraq, to that degree their support will continue to erode outside of the minority hard core "loyal bushie" cadre.

There are two glimmers of hope for Republicans in the 2008 general presidential election.

1) Romney, who's demonstrated ability to effectively shift core postions at the whim of the polls when politically convenient, will be critical in the general election. After gaining the nomination, he can be expected to "think about" Iraq, have an epiphany as he did on abortion, and shift to a position that is more aligned with the American electorate.

2) Hagel, who's solid conservative credentials and well established bona fides in opposition to the administration Iraqi strategy align perfectly with the general senitiment in the electorate. Unfortunately he has virtually no chance of getting past the same "loyal Bushie" cadre to secure the nomination.

Posted by AnonymousDrivel [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 6, 2007 2:25 PM

RE: Jeffrey Carr (May 6, 2007 01:30 PM)

Do you consider Fox News to be objective, or do you consider it to be a media outlet with conservative bias, in counter-point to the so-called "liberal" bias of MSM?

FOXNews is, en toto, "conservative" relative to the "liberal" MSM. However, it (FOX) reliably incorporates the Left POV and the Right POV during the newsday to balance both sides of an issue. In this regard they are overwhelmingly balanced compared to their competition (when they aren't covering tabloid stories in which case politicization is secondary to entertainment value). During the news analysis portion of their line-up where things are more opinion-driven, the daily selected topics trend conservative; however, and this is important, the hosts still bring in representatives of both the conservative and liberal POVs. It's not unusual, however, for some of the bigger advocates on the Left to refuse to debate or to, in fact, cancel their appearance near airtime. So much for defending convictions.

In summary I consider FOXNews the most balanced and, consequently, objective of the news outlets though much of its content is too frivolous to me. Nonetheless, they aren't alone in pushing such "news" since it remains a highly profitable exercise.


If you consider it to have a conservative bias and therefore, by definition, NOT objective, then what media outlet were you referring to when you said "objective media will become extinct"?

At this point I find FOXNews the most objective and not overwhelmingly biased to the point of discredit - a condition I do ascribe to old media. The prediction was one based on perceived trends. I think FOX (and FOXNews) will hold the middle or shift right while the remaining media (as pertains to TV) will shift left. (MS)NBC will lead the charge to the sinister side with CBS and ABC following that lead. As niche programming ensues, polarization of news will continue though an occasional, token conservative might make it onto the old media sets while the new media will be more accepting of liberals - but less so than before.

The consumer will choose viewable/acceptable content based on the media source's ideology and will acquire the contrarian perspective by switching channels and not by sticking with one source to get both sides. As it is FOX is the most credible and balanced; however, that will change if old media continues veering Left. There's that largely untapped and previously ignored demographic that FOX can attract by remaining moderate or shifting Right.

Will a new outlet enter the market to split the middle if the poles diverge too much? I doubt it. The confluence of radio, TV, cable, press, and internet will see that the methodologies from the old institutions die while we acquire info/politics a la carte. By the time we are of age to be major consumers of news and drivers of the day's newsworthy events, we'll already have our political compass calibrated and we'll seek our own comfort zones. For better or for worse. We won't need the traditional hand-holding of talking heads to guide us down the information superhighway. We'll take our own paths and carry our own bias reinforced by the media outlet with which we most agree. At that point pure objectivity is an illusion just as is the illusion that any individual is purely objective. Now, if only we could enhance the instruction of critical thinking in our educational institutions, we might approach a more balanced objectivity that reflects "truth". But that's a debate for another day.

Posted by Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 6, 2007 2:57 PM

Mechanical Eye:

Bush is more popular than Reid and he thinks he is running the country now. Bush is as popular as Pelosi and I keep hearing she has a mandate or some such nonsense.

Rasmussen has Clinton and Gulliani tied but has Bush at 40 as of yesterday. All the other polls have Bush in the mid 30's or there abouts, but have the Republicans Gulliani and McCain beating just about all the Democrats. Polls show that the approval rating for the Democrat Congress is about the same as the Republican White House.

The truth is the story was written and Newsweek just had to go through the formalities of coming up with the numbers.

In truth, there will be other polls and so long as they are all over the place, we will have to take them all with a grain of salt.

I think this need to go to the Polls the way the ancient Greeks consulted the Delphi Oracle is not healthy, not at all.

BTW, the Democrats are not going to win until they come up with something other than slapping Bush around, the man will be going back to Texas soon and the Democrats will have to do more than run their mouths if they want to win.

Posted by docjim505 [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 6, 2007 3:10 PM

AD wrote (May 6, 2007 12:43 PM):

Furthermore, objective media will become extinct in our lifetimes. We will evolve into a British model whereby there exists Left news and Right news. We'll self-select our media just as we do online... but at least we'll know what we're getting and not kid ourselves that blessed objectivity is the goal of the men behind the curtain.

I think the rest of your analyses are very good, but I disagree with the idea that we will get a "British" media, or at least one that is openly "British". Most media people seem to have a pathological need to claim that they are unbiased, neutral and fair. I'll even give them the benefit of the doubt and stipulate that they believe their own claims and aren't simply laughing up their sleeves at the rest of us for being gullible enough to believe the fraud. Why they have this need, I'm not sure. Perhaps it's a simple business decision: if (for example) the NYT openly admitted that it is a leftist paper, it might lose whatever conservative / centrist readership it has.

I'd say, however, that the truth is that media people simply can't admit, even to themselves, that they have normal human biases. They are brought up from their freshman year in J-school with the idea that "good" reporters are unbiased and neutral observers, or at most that their biases are in the interests of the greater public good. Further, the DC / NYC press corps lives in its own echo chamber; they all live and work in the same small geographical areas, cover the same beats, deal with the same sources, attend the same parties, etc; it's natural that they should share the same opinions. It therefore never occurs to them that they ARE biased because most if not all of their fellow journalists have the same beliefs (I think that this accounts for their hatred of and scorn for Fox News; it is unorthodox, like a liberal Episcopal minister in a Wahabist madrassa).

As I think about this, I become more convinced that media people really CAN'T admit their biases. American society places a great emphasis on fair play, tolerance, open-mindedness, and trying to understand other points of view (I don't say we're good at it!). For a journalist to admit that he IS biased is to admit that he really CAN'T understand other points of view or opinions. He stops being a Journalist... and becomes merely a partisan hack, no different from (choke) Rush Limbaugh or Al Franken. Journalism then stops being a hallowed Profession and becomes... well, something ANY fool can do who can string together a few words into a comprehensible sentence. It loses its glamour, its chic, its nobility. In short, for American journalists to openly admit that they are biased would be to destroy their Profession... and their own self-images. Not many people have the guts to do that.

Posted by Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 6, 2007 3:16 PM

mw:

Hagel? That is just nuts. And the desire to see surrender is about 0% among the GOP.

And considering the fact that it is looking like Hagel will face a primary challenge he may not win in Nebraska. It seems the people of his home state are fed up with the man.

Posted by Jim [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 6, 2007 3:16 PM

Mechanical Eye,

I might remind you that the Democrats in Congress aren't polling very well either... I guess it's becoming less about how unpopular Bush and the republicans are and more about the lesser of two evils. For my money, I'll still take the republicans since they're the only ones interested in protecting this country and supporting our troops.

Jim C

Posted by Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 6, 2007 3:26 PM

doc:

I read an article in WaPo years ago about how the media has missed every major social change since WW2. The writer {who was an ombudsman} explained this by stating that most reporters had become journalists and when they became professionals rather than working people...they ceased to spend their time with working people.

They went to cocktail parties and socialized with the people they were supposed to be reporting on and they became more and more estranged from ordinary people. So they completely overlooked the coming of the civil rights movement or for that matter the coming of Ronald Reagan.

Posted by dajames [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 6, 2007 3:50 PM

The margin of error for the newsweek poll was 7-8 %, according to their pollsters.

Really, Newsweek isn't that far out of the trend in Bush's approval ratings:

http://www.pollster.com/presbushapproval.php

--- He keeps going down like that his legacy will be a symbol of presidential tragedy.

Posted by syn [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 6, 2007 3:59 PM

When President Bush completes his second term in office how empty will be the life of the Bushhater.

In any case, if given a choice I'd believe the National Enquirer before I'd ever believe Time or Newsweek.

Posted by Del Dolemonte [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 6, 2007 5:02 PM

dajames said:

"The margin of error for the newsweek poll was 7-8 %, according to their pollsters. "

That alone shows the poll is flawed and irrelevant. The normal margin of error in polling is typically between 3 and 4 percent.

I had to laugh when I read some parts of that "poll". When they show all the previous Presidents' lowest-ever job approval poll results, they use Gallup/CNN for their numbers-except for one President, a feller from Arkansas. They couldn't find a single CNN poll showing Bill Clinton with a "bad" job approval number-so they used their own!

Posted by mw [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 6, 2007 5:02 PM

"Hagel? That is just nuts. And the desire to see [*strike* surrender */strike*] orderly withdrawal is about 0% among the [*strike* GOP */strike*] "Bushie loyalists". - terrye

Terrye,
Like I said: Hagel would be a lock to win the general election, and has no chance to win the nomination.

Posted by Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 6, 2007 5:32 PM

mw:

Like I said he has zero chance becasue the vast majority of the GOP think the man is either insane or a turncoat.

This has nothing to do with being a Bush loyalist. Lieberman might have crossed the aisle to vote with the Republicans, but at least he won as an Independent. Hagel, on the other hand abandoned his entire caucas to suck up to the likes of Feingold.

Chances are he will not win that primary in which case he will not even have a job much less will he be running for president.

Posted by Mwalimu Daudi [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 6, 2007 6:11 PM

It has been a giggle to read some of the comments by the Kool-Aid Krowd praising the Newsweak poll results. Remember - these are the same moonbats that treat election results from your typical Third-World hellhole as gospel truth ("Percentage of citizens who voted for Our Glorious Maximum Leader, Eleventy-Star General Sy Kho: 99.75%. Percentage of citizens who did not follow directions: 0.25%"). They think if Jimmy Carter says they are o.k., who are we to think otherwise?

At any rate, I will take Newsweak and their polls seriously - when they explain how flushing a Koran down a toilet in Gitmo can happen when the facts say otherwise.

Posted by mw [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 6, 2007 6:15 PM

Terrye,

Well, since we are just making unsupported assertions in a thread that says we will not believe any polls even if we cite them, let me add my unsupported assertions to your unsupported assertions:

o There is a statistically significant minority in the GOP that actively support a Hagel candidacy.

o There is a larger minority in the GOP that self identifies as "loyal Bushies" that think that Hagel "is either insane or a turncoat.." For evidence of the self-identification , I suggest you look at the left column of this Blog, and tell me if you see a "Blogs for Republicans", "Blogs for Conservatives", or "Blogs for Bush" banner.

o Said minority is a large minority, but wildly over-represented in the blogosphere and is not representative of the GOP at large..

o There is a majority in the GOP that have yet to make up their mind about Hagel or anyone else, most of which do not spend their Sunday afternoons on a political blog, and probably did not even watch the debate.

o Hagel will have no problem retaining his seat if chooses to run for re-election. Sigh - I can't resist. I know I am breaking with your preference, but I have to provide some support for this last statement. There are 187,000 registered independents in Nebraska, but only 4,000 voted in the last Senate Republican primary. they can choose which primary to vote in. Independents really like Hagel. If he needs them in the primary, they'll show up.

Posted by Captain Ed [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 6, 2007 6:26 PM

There is nothing in that link that shows Hagel has a "statistically significant" minority of support for a presidential run. In order to be statistically significant, it has to be above the margin of error, and I have seen nothing that shows Hagel getting 4-5% of Republican primary voters. He's in the noise, along with Ron Paul, Jim Gilmore, etc etc etc.

Posted by docjim505 [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 6, 2007 6:37 PM

Terrye,

I've read similar things. I think they also apply very much to the clowns in Congress: they spend so much time in DC or conducting "fact-finding tours" in Bali, Hawaii, and the golf courses of Scotland that they lose touch with the peons... er, their constituents, I meant to say.

As regarding the media, I can understand their inability to forecast the future; Cassandras are few and far between. What gripes me is the lack of intellectual honest that allows them to claim that they aren't biased.

Posted by mw [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 6, 2007 7:15 PM

"There is nothing in that link that shows Hagel has a "statistically significant" minority of support for a presidential run. - Ed

I'd like to help you Ed, but by the rules of this comment thread, I can only offer completely unsupported but strongly held assertions. BTW, Hagel would win by a landslide in the general election.

Posted by Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 6, 2007 7:27 PM

mw:

I come from Indiana. My Senator is Lugar, He is very moderate, independent and he could not win a general election.

If there was a groundswell of support out there for Hagel, we would be seeing evidence of it somewhere other than your posts.

Are you his mother?

Posted by kad | May 6, 2007 7:42 PM

Newsweek was not careless with this poll. They purposely did this poll to further encourage Democrats to challenge Bush on the war.

They messed with the sample to match their story.

Newsweek wanted to be the first to claim Bush is tanking into the 20s like its partner MSNBC claimed civil war in Iraq. I notice that other MSM outlets are not giving either much play.

As for the polls, the Republicans should have challenged these phony polls back in 2005 when the media decided to run down Bush's poll numbers. But as usual, they didn't fight back.

Posted by mw [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 6, 2007 8:00 PM

"Are you his mother?"

Not by blood. I recently adopted him.

Posted by Pam | May 6, 2007 9:45 PM

Chuck Hagel, no way. I don't know if the surge will work, but I support giving it as Gen. forgive me for spelling his name wrong, Petraious has said, "our last best hope." I pray to God we can bring some order and stablilty to that gov. For our sakes and for the innocents in Iraq that will die when we pull out.

Posted by Karen [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 6, 2007 10:22 PM

I think people are mistaking some Bush disappointment as a dislike for him or diapproval of his presidency instead of being disappointed in Bush's inability to clearly defend WHY he has made the choices he has. I pay attention so I GET IT, however, I am disappointed he has not been able to clearly get the point across to Joe Blow out there. So I could be polled as "disapproving" when in fact I approve of the war on terror but I am disappointed in the mis-steps. But I by no means support voluntarily LOSING by premature withdrawal. So it can boil down to HOW the question was asked.

And we still have to point to the fact we have not been hit again, so the measures he took, while unpopular, are yielded desired results.

Posted by M. Simon [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 7, 2007 5:05 AM

mw,

re: the shift in the electorate to the "get out now" position.

Being unhappy with the progress in the war is not the same as supporting an evolution in Iraq similar to the evolution in South East Asia following April 1975.

Some of use saw that event and what followed. We have not forgotten and will do everthing in our power to prevent a repeat.

NEVER AGAIN

Posted by mw | May 7, 2007 12:12 PM

"NEVER AGAIN" - MS

MS,
I've alos done some thinking and blogging about the comparison between Vietnam and Iraq. Usually the comparison is not welcomed in comments on right-of-center blogs, but since you brought it up, permit me to share a few thoughts. I was also around for "the event" in April, 1975 and as well as "the events" in 1967-68, and came to the same conclusion as you: "NEVER AGAIN". The difference, is the mistake that I do not want to see repeated are the mistakes made 4-5 years into the Vietnam escalation in 1968, that set the stage and was the root cause for the 1975 denoument. I posted about it here and here:

"In 1995, Robert McNamara (widely referred to as "the architect of the Vietnam War") writing in his memoir "In Retrospect: The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam", revealed that as early as 1967 (with 25,000 American dead) he no longer believed that America could win the war in Vietnam, and as a direct consequence of expressing that view, resigned (or was fired) from the LBJ administration. This McNamara quote is excerpted from Harold P. Ford's analysis "Thoughts Engendered by Robert McNamara's In Retrospect":

"We were wrong, terribly wrong... Enemy morale has not broken . . . . It appears that [the enemy] can more than replace his losses by infiltration from North Vietnam and recruitment in South Vietnam. . . . Pacification has if anything gone backward. As compared with two, or four, years ago, enemy full-time regional forces and part-time guerrilla forces are larger; attacks, terrorism and sabotage have increased in scope and intensity. . . . In essence, we find ourselves--from the point of view of the important war (for the [hearts and minds] of the people)--no better, and if anything worse off. This important war must be fought and won by the Vietnamese themselves. We have known this from the beginning . . ." Robert McNamara -"In Retrospect" (pp. 262-263).

Neither McNamara nor LBJ chose to share that insight with the American public. Ultimately it took 50,000 American lives for a majority of Americans to learn that their government could not be trusted on the reasons for, nor the "light at the end of the tunnel" progress in, Vietnam. It is reasonable to posit, that if McNamara had recognized in 1968 that his loyalty was owed first to the American people, and second to the LBJ administration, had communicated what he knew then to the American people, we might have seen a better end, a quicker end, and fewer deaths and casualties in Vietnam".

Anyway, I think I've worn out my welcome in this thread. I'll leave you (or anyone else) the last word if want it.

PS - Just wnat to clarify one thing - In an earlier comment in this thread I pointed to a "Blogs for Bush" banner in the left column. It just occurred to me that it is only in the left column in Skin#2 - my preferred CQ experience. For any in other skins, I do know the difference between right and left.