Polls have their place I suppose. Political polls are kind of a relic of populism. What are the citizen on the street perceptions about this or that issue at the moment. Gives people a chance to vent if nothing else. If the Bush Cult, which supports 90 plus percent of anything and everything that Bush does doesn’t like a particular poll’s results they’ll attempt to cast doubts on the poll’s methodology. On the moderate side we’ve seen an awful lot of push polling for Bush. I tend to be of the school of thought that polls can be useful as a political tool, a rough compass of where things are. With the caveat that regardless of wether they support your world view, in a framework of real ethics some issues are not recipes in which the ingredients can be mixed or deleted at the whim of popularity. Senator Feingold is right about Bush’s fragrant disregard of FISA law regardless if in some hypothetical poll 99% of the public supports Bush’s imperial disregard for the law. One of the most dangerous preceptions of democracy in the U.S. is that it is the rule of the majority. We’re a nation of laws, not a nation of mob rule. It just so happens that at least a plurality of American’s are not crazy about the idea that Bush is playing fast and lose with the law and our constitutional rights. Wash. Post falsely reported that Americans approve of Bush’s “wiretapping tactics”
In a front-page March 15 article on Sen. Russ Feingold’s (D-WI) call to censure President Bush for “authoriz[ing] an illegal program to spy on American citizens on American soil,” Washington Post staff writer Shailagh Murray reported that Feingold’s fellow Democrats are “wary of polls showing that a majority of Americans side with the president on wiretapping tactics.” In fact, polls consistently show that a majority of Americans disapprove of the wiretapping tactics the administration has used — specifically, conducting surveillance without seeking or obtaining a warrant.
As a group, and let’s put aside the word conservative as a political label for a moment, U.S. Senator’s are conservative, they are cautious, it took a couple days of staff meetings and phone calls, but Senator Feingold now has a co-sponsor of his censure resolution, Harkin Signs on to Censure Measure . This article is nothing for progessive minded Americans to tip-toe around, Even Democrats leery of Feingold resolution
The Bush administration has argued that the president’s inherent constitutional war-making powers, and a 2001 congressional resolution authorizing all necessary force against those responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks, supersede that.
Those arguments have been met with skepticism among Democrats and some Republicans in the Senate.
[ ]…Among the more supportive Democrats, California Sen. Barbara Boxer said that she could vote for the resolution.
Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry said of the resolution: “I’m interested in it . . . The president ought to be held accountable, and I think he broke the law.”
It may amount to the same thing, but Republicans like Hagel, Snowe, Roberts and Brownback lost their spine when it came down to actual accountability. Democrats became skittish because of the same pollsters that can’t seem to pull their head out of their posteriors told Dems making an issue of Bush’s law breaking wasn’t a clear political winner, when the reverse is true. Democrats need to learn the basic rules of advertising, if you don’t repeatedly pound your message home it gets lost in the next wave of static. The Whitehouse knows this, Scott the Whitehouse spin monkey,
The American people have made it very clear they support the president’s efforts to defeat the terrorists and prevent attacks from happening. The president has made it very clear he’s not going to wait to be hit again.
Where is this statement does Scott even address the issue. He doesn’t, Frist will not, not a single irght-wing blogger that I’m aware of will discuss the issue of illegally spying on American without warrants because if Scott, his boss. and the extremists that pass for conservatives these days honestly discussed the issue the polls would show an 80% dissapproval rating of Bush’s program, not the part where we spy on terrorists, but to spy on Americans without a warrant. Warrants which are easier to get then a building permit or a hunting license. Democrats and conservatives alike better get used to that constant buzzing sound in the background of patriotic Americans that will not let this issue die tomorrow or in our lifetimes. Democrats are in the process of pumping up the base for 2006. What happens if just 3% of the base says the hell with you for not standing up for the rule of law, damn the pollsters and political expediency. Glenn Greenwald doesn’t try to put a positive spin on this uphill battle, but lays out the reality of political convictions,
If the public became convinced as part of the debate that is finally happening that the President broke the law and that such law-breaking is intolerable, does Kevin actually think that it’s impossible to find 6 Republican Senators to vote for the Resolution? Congressional Republicans defied Bush on the port deal for only one reason: because public opinion demanded it.
If public opinion begins to move even more than it already has to the view that Bush broke the law, it is far from certain that the Censure Resolution will fail. As I’ve noted many times, polls showed for two consecutive years that the public thought Watergate was a meaningless scandal and Nixon’s popularity remained sky high throughout those years. The arc of that scandal ended up changing only because tenacious politicians and journalists continued to pursue the story and the public finally became educated and angry about it. If Democrats had followed Kevin’s advice in 1972, Richard Nixon would have retired as a popular two-term President.
and digby gets our Quote of the day,
They must take action (and I don’t mean boring press conferences and 10 point plans) or it won’t matter a damn if the Republicans are on the ropes — demoralized Democrats are not going to bother with them. Come on. Speak for us. If not now, when?
I think this applys to Democratic rank and file too. If you’re reading the news and the center-left blogs and get discouraged at everytime that there is not an instant win on every new administration outrage you need to reassess how you look at the political battles are fought. Don’t be a cheerleader that thinks the season begins or ends with one touchdown or one game. Be a warrior, realize that the war for what is good and right never ends. The war to end slavery didn’t begin and end with the civil war, it really lasted from the 1700′s to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. the NSA scandal is about a specific act of lawlessness, but its more then that, its about setting yet another precedent for making our government less acountable to us, the American people and the Constitution. I don’t get near the traffic that Glenn or Digby get, but if you and a few friends and family and their firends sign this petition or just write an e-mail or send a fax to let Congress know that you will not let this issue die it can make a difference, Hold Bush Accountable: Demand a Special Prosecutor to Investigate the White House
The memos were obtained by Michael Gordon, author, along with General Bernard Trainor, of Cobra II: the Inside Story of the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq, published to coincide with the third anniversary of the invasion.
The British memos identified a series of US failures that contained the seeds of the present insurgency and anarchy.
The mistakes include:
A lack of interest by the US commander, General Tommy Franks, in the post-invasion phase.
The presence in the capital of the US Third Infantry Division, which took a heavyhanded approach to security.
Squandering the initial sympathy of Iraqis.
Bechtel, the main US civilian contractor, moving too slowly to reconnect basic services, such as electricity and water.
Failure to deal with health hazards, such as 40% of Baghdad’s sewage pouring into the Tigris and rubbish piling up in the streets.
Did Genius George sign a bill into law that had not actually been passed by Congress, Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
As if that wasn’t enough, today we read that Bush now feels it is within his power to sign a Budget Reconciliation Act into law regardless of whether or not both houses of Congress have passed it.
“10 G’s for one shot, I’ll take all the pressure you got.”
He had a habit of doing that. Ignoring his accomplishments. “10 G’s for one shot” didn’t paint a true picture. It failed to mention potting the two off the break, or jumping the four and six to pot the three after a double kiss on the one. It also left out the other six pots with perfect positional play. 10 G’s for nine shots? A thousand dollars each with two for the jump. He didn’t look at it that way. He saw one shot standing between him and 10 grand. Him and a new start.
from the short story True American Artform by Simon Kay