Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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April 3, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

REPUBLICANS LOSING THEIR LAST STRONGHOLD?....The DSCC just released a poll showing for the first time that Americans appear to trust Democrats more than Republicans on national security. The survey was done by a Democratic research firm, so I've excerpted a snippet from the report so you can see the exact wording of the question for yourself. Seems pretty reasonable to me.

Kevin Drum 6:14 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (103)

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Too bad no one stands out as really willing to do the work needed instead of playing politics. Neither side wins when it's victory by default.

Posted by: Cali4nian on April 3, 2006 at 6:19 PM | PERMALINK

I'll believe it when I see it. Most military families I have seen would sell their daughters on the slave market sooner than vote Democrat.

Posted by: Alan on April 3, 2006 at 6:20 PM | PERMALINK

Most military families I have seen would sell their daughters on the slave market sooner than vote Democrat.

Which is where we get all of our housekeepers. Everybody wins!

Posted by: craigie on April 3, 2006 at 6:24 PM | PERMALINK

Alan: Well, that's about 3% of the country. And nothing new. But the other 97% seems to be losing faith.

Posted by: Kevin Drum on April 3, 2006 at 6:24 PM | PERMALINK

Considering every successful foreign war the nation has ever fought has been under Democratic leadership, I suppose that it's truly a Rovian marketing miracle that the incompetent chicken-hawk GOP was ever able to convince anyone that it could find security in the dictionary with a marker and a flashlight in the first place.

Posted by: Shawn on April 3, 2006 at 6:25 PM | PERMALINK

I would like to see the number of democrats and republicans polled. Too often I have been astonished by results of such poll only to find later that the sampling of the poll was significantly biased.

Before I declare the final judgment, I would also like to hear from the pollsters a full description of the precise algorithm they used to count the votes.

Posted by: tbrosz on April 3, 2006 at 6:26 PM | PERMALINK


The only place the Republicans are actually effective at national security is in their ridiculous campaign commercials.

Posted by: ps on April 3, 2006 at 6:28 PM | PERMALINK

The difference is less than the margin of error, so this poll is certainly not the final word. However, it seems to confirm the general trend of other polls.

Posted by: Tom DC/VA on April 3, 2006 at 6:30 PM | PERMALINK

Most military families I have seen would sell their daughters on the slave market sooner than vote Democrat.

My sister was a marine, and married into a military family. 3 generations USMC - probably going to be 4. They all clearly understand that the Republican Party is the one that sends them on war-profiteering ventures, and the Democrats send them to defend vital national interests. They're telling me that this consensus is pretty common in the Corps, especially more common in the past 5 years.

But I also know some Air Force folks from my work, and the opposite is true amongst them. I guess the perspective is probably different when you're at 40,000 feet. Which sounds about right for Rumsfeld and his ilk.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on April 3, 2006 at 6:33 PM | PERMALINK

ps on April 3, 2006 at 6:28 PM:

The only place the Republicans are actually effective at national security is in their ridiculous campaign commercials.

Campaigning is the only thing that Republicans seem to do effectively - not ethically, mind you - but effectively...

Having trouble with your vision of social security reform? Go on a roadshow! Continued bad news out of Iraq? Roadshow!...Preferably with hand-picked audience members, 'tho...

Posted by: grape_crush on April 3, 2006 at 6:34 PM | PERMALINK

Alan: The slave market, huh?

Would most military families you know be willing to sacrifice their daughter for Bush's war in Iraq?

Posted by: HeavyJ on April 3, 2006 at 6:34 PM | PERMALINK

The Democrats released a poll showing that people like Democrats better? Who'd have thunk it...

Posted by: conspiracy nut on April 3, 2006 at 6:35 PM | PERMALINK

How typical is it that when someone does not agree with the result of a poll, the first response is to deny the data as somehow invalid. Again, an example of ignoring or manipulating the truth to obtain a desired objective; the same way the nation was led to into a fruitless and wasteful war.

Posted by: stumpy on April 3, 2006 at 6:39 PM | PERMALINK

Campaigning is the only thing that Republicans seem to do effectively - not ethically, mind you - but effectively...

Yes, and even if they didn't, opinion polls and two bucks will get a cup of coffee unless these people are going to be among the 40% or so who vote this November. Whereas the hardline right will be there and to ensure it expect the GOP to bring up a gay marriage ammendment anytime now. Or something.

Honestly though considering how hard the activist left and their various subsidaries work to effectively trip up the Democrats, insisting all things D' must shout and campaign as if they were running for Nancy Pelosi's district, I've found myself wondering why the GOP feels it has to work so hard. But that's another vent for another time. Pardon the digression.

Posted by: ps on April 3, 2006 at 6:41 PM | PERMALINK

These numbers will turn around, once the campaign begins. Otherwise, Diebold will protect us from you surrender monkeys!

Posted by: Freedom Phukher on April 3, 2006 at 6:43 PM | PERMALINK

But I also know some Air Force folks from my work, and the opposite is true amongst them. I guess the perspective is probably different when you're at 40,000 feet. Which sounds about right for Rumsfeld and his ilk.

Interesting. Pay's probably a little better too. Not like having to raise a family on enlisted ground rank wages. But as my grandfather said, people learn to become Democrats the hard way. Let's see what happens when Bush's deficits start knocking on the retired USAF door.

Posted by: ps on April 3, 2006 at 6:44 PM | PERMALINK

I would like to see the number of democrats and republicans polled. Posted by: tbrosz

As this is the fake T-Bone, don't you mean "You'd like to see a number of democrats and republicans poled?"

Posted by: Jeff II on April 3, 2006 at 6:44 PM | PERMALINK


TBROSZ: Before I declare the final judgment, I would also like to hear from the pollsters a full description of the precise algorithm they used to count the votes.

We'll get right on that, sir. And once we've completed this task for you, just snap your fingers again and we'll all gather round to hear your wise declaration.


Posted by: jayarbee on April 3, 2006 at 6:45 PM | PERMALINK


I'll believe it when I see it. Most military families I have seen would sell their daughters on the slave market sooner than vote Democrat.

Possibly true at one time, Alan, but we live with the policies and we're not blind. George Bush is killing his party's brand in the military, too.

Posted by: Califlander on April 3, 2006 at 6:51 PM | PERMALINK

We need to pass a constitutional amendment mandating the death penalty for war profiteering and for the making of wars for personal enrichment.

Posted by: Religious skeptic on April 3, 2006 at 6:53 PM | PERMALINK

Today's Repukeliscum Party is made up of physical cowards who enjoy strutting around in military uniforms to which they are not entitled while ensuring that other persons' sons die to enhance the profits of the Repukeliscum Party corporations.

People are beginning to understand the war profiteering bidness and see the rot that underlies it.

Posted by: POed Lib on April 3, 2006 at 6:56 PM | PERMALINK

I dunno, the question says "have the right policies for combatting terrorism" and it puts "Democrats" as the first option. I'd want to know the results if you switch it up, so that clause about the "right policies" is gone, and Republicans appear first. Also, why is it talking about who you'd vote for, why not just ask "who will do a better job of protecting you against the terrorists?"

My guess is that Americans feel conflicted about this issue, so the wording will have a noticeable effect on which way it swings. That also suggests that democrats have an opportunity, if they say the right things, to turn things in their direction.

Posted by: mk on April 3, 2006 at 6:56 PM | PERMALINK

stumpy
OK, I have a response (I'll even leave out the objection of oversampling Democrats since we don't have that data). First, the poll suffered from randomization errors. They were unable to contact cell phone only users, people with screening answering machines, etc. Second the poll likely suffered from mortality, i.e. people refusing to answer. These groups of people all share some characteristics that we know of, they use only cell phones, or they screen their calls, or they refuse to answer polls. What other characteristics they may share we do not know because we cannot reach them. Third, the poll suffered from uncontrolled treatment interaction. The effect of one question on the next question was not accounted for (and that occurs, check with anybody that routinely does statistical experiments in educational settings). The effect of these design threats is that the error margin is not known. The error margin reported is the technical portion, which assumes the above threats do not exist.

And the above assumes that they tried their best to run a good poll. I didn't even bother reading the questions to see if they were slanted, I don't know if they made any type of honest effort to randomly contact subjects, or any other number of subtle devices they could have used. If they made an honest attempt they still don't know what their margin of error is.

Another thing we know from most polls in the past is that generic Democrats always outpoll generic Republicans. When generic Dems outpolled generic Republicans by 5%, the Republicans won. The error is usually around 10% in the Democrats favor.

And in cases that specific people instead of generic parties are used, we still find the results slanted towards Democrats. You'll recall that most polls had Kerry winning. What we find is that the design threats above tend to skew all polls toward Democrats.

Now, anything else?

Posted by: conspiracy nut on April 3, 2006 at 6:59 PM | PERMALINK

"The DSCC just released a poll showing for the first time that Americans appear to trust Democrats more than Republicans on national security"

So maybe Senator Clinton's tough talk on Iran has worked after all, eh ? That's all the RightWing does is talk tough anyway, when it comes to actual implementation they're incompetent failures.
.

Posted by: VJ on April 3, 2006 at 7:00 PM | PERMALINK

Conspiracy Nut forgot to add something about the socialism we all want to bring to America.

Posted by: lib on April 3, 2006 at 7:01 PM | PERMALINK

We need to pass a constitutional amendment mandating the death penalty for war profiteering and for the making of wars for personal enrichment.
Posted by: Religious skeptic on April 3, 2006 at 6:53 PM | PERMALINK

Sir, you can count on my full support.

Disclaimer to my original posting:
There is a guy down the street, who has a USMC sticker on his car; scuttlebutt is that he just came back from a stint in Iraq about a year ago. Well until about 3 months ago, he had a bumper sticker on his car that said "Give war a chance."

But, it's gone now. I have no idea why.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on April 3, 2006 at 7:01 PM | PERMALINK

Conspiracy Nut forgot to add something about the socialism we all want to bring to America.
No, I didn't forget it; but it isn't really applicable in a discussion of threats to experimental design.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on April 3, 2006 at 7:06 PM | PERMALINK

OK, I have a response (I'll even leave out the objection of oversampling Democrats since we don't have that data). First, the poll suffered from randomization errors. They were unable to contact cell phone only users, people with screening answering machines, etc. Second the poll likely suffered from mortality, i.e. people refusing to answer. These groups of people all share some characteristics that we know of, they use only cell phones, or they screen their calls, or they refuse to answer polls. What other characteristics they may share we do not know because we cannot reach them. Third, the poll suffered from uncontrolled treatment interaction. The effect of one question on the next question was not accounted for (and that occurs, check with anybody that routinely does statistical experiments in educational settings). The effect of these design threats is that the error margin is not known. The error margin reported is the technical portion, which assumes the above threats do not exist.

This goes to show why conservaboobs are such ..... boobs.

All polls have the same problem, you fucking moron. So, fucking bozo, why is this one different, moron?

What a boob./

Posted by: POed Lib on April 3, 2006 at 7:06 PM | PERMALINK

Before I declare the final judgment, I would also like to hear from the pollsters a full description of the precise algorithm they used to count the votes. Posted by: tbrosz

It's called "addition."

Mathematics starts with counting. It is not reasonable, however, to suggest that early counting was mathematics. Only when some record of the counting was kept and, therefore, some representation of numbers occurred can mathematics be said to have started.

In Babylonia mathematics developed from 2000 BC.

Posted by: Steve J. on April 3, 2006 at 7:07 PM | PERMALINK

We have to completely eliminate the present relationship of society and corporations. The corporations are the Republicans' strength, and we have to obliterate any chance that people like this can organize themselves in the way they have now, forever.

There is no legal or Constitutional reason why we cannot make any kind of corporate participation in politics illegal.

Posted by: cld on April 3, 2006 at 7:07 PM | PERMALINK

...but it isn't really applicable in a discussion of threats to experimental design.


Wow! nut discovers relevance!

what's next? tbrosz finds humility?

Posted by: lib on April 3, 2006 at 7:08 PM | PERMALINK

but it isn't really applicable in a discussion of threats to experimental design.

He's such a blithering moron, he forgot to estimate the understatement of standard errors due to cluster randomization, the impact of Level 1 covariates in a Level 2 design, the impact of false discovery rates on the over-estimation of Type II errors and the impact of Repukeliscum stupidity on the increase of heat and final collapse of the entire universe in a final collapse of the cosmos.

Posted by: POed Lib on April 3, 2006 at 7:10 PM | PERMALINK

Califlander: Possibly true at one time, Alan, but we live with the policies and we're not blind. George Bush is killing his party's brand in the military, too.

Thanks for posting, Califlander.

Posted by: shortstop on April 3, 2006 at 7:12 PM | PERMALINK

All polls have the same problem, you fucking moron
I'd have never guessed. And as I pointed out just after you apparently stopped reading, those errors that all polls have apparently tend to favor Democrats.

It's tough being a fucking moron.

But I've read the questions now, and the first one passes muster, the next two don't. And the 4th question was worthless unless 2&3 were rotated, plus it relied on flawed questions. When you write questions to get the response you want, it kind of calls the motive of the poll into question.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on April 3, 2006 at 7:15 PM | PERMALINK

POed
Let's not confuse your imaginary number crunching problems with design problems.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on April 3, 2006 at 7:17 PM | PERMALINK

seeing as how the discussion has clearly digressed from how the Democrats might capitalize on the Republicans boondoggling of foreign and domestic security and/or an enjoyable recap of the Republican's (many) miserable failures to a personal polemic pissing contest among the fringes... all I can say is:

Scotty! Beam me up!

Posted by: ps on April 3, 2006 at 7:22 PM | PERMALINK

The DSCC poll shows that Dems are favored over Reps in national security issues by what....2%, and they claim that as an advantage?

They should have polled in San Francisco, they could have achieved a 4% margin.

Posted by: Jay on April 3, 2006 at 7:32 PM | PERMALINK

Conspiricy nut also forgot to explain how all us secular western liberals secretly yearn for Sharia law in our hearts.

Posted by: BillS on April 3, 2006 at 7:33 PM | PERMALINK

When you write questions to get the response you want, it kind of calls the motive of the poll into question

Kinda like a Fox "News" poll.

Posted by: ckelly on April 3, 2006 at 7:35 PM | PERMALINK

Probably offtopic, but an intersting note on tpm,

"A bit more follow up on this issue of this year's Social Security actuarial report. Atrios got hold of this portion of the Social Security Act which mandates that the annual report be released no later than April 1st of each year. It's only April 3rd so it's not that late -- black letter law notwithstanding. But Matt Yglesias called Treasury Department public affairs and was told not only that it isn't out yet but that there's not even any timeline or projected date when it will be released.

This administration doesn't play fast and loose with the law on Social Security for nothing. Something's up."

Posted by: cld on April 3, 2006 at 7:35 PM | PERMALINK

You mean the government is slow in responding to something. How unusual.

Posted by: Jay on April 3, 2006 at 7:41 PM | PERMALINK

The DSCC poll shows that Dems are favored over Reps in national security issues by what....2%, and they claim that as an advantage?

Geez, I vowed to concentrate on work tonight instead of this crap, but Jay, I could do a search on your "name" and probably come up with 457 instances of you claiming that the public does not trust Dems on security, no how, no time, no fucking way.

Now, presented with more proof that you are, as always, full of dog doo, this is your response? Move them goalposts! Push 'em along!

Pathetic. We're embarrassed for you.

Posted by: shortstop on April 3, 2006 at 7:43 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin's post implies that a similar poll has been run in the past, hence the phrase "for the first time..."

And lo and behold if you actually click the link and READ you find this statement...
The overall results represent a five-point improvement for the Democrats compared to polling from last year..

Which would seem to be the point of Kevin's post and render moot any of cnut's proposed built-in Dem bias. But why read the damn thing when you can bloviate, right c-nut, right Jay?

Posted by: ckelly on April 3, 2006 at 7:44 PM | PERMALINK

If you guys are done shooting at the hat on a stick, my main comment on the poll (not much information on how it was done) is that "generic" candidates don't reflect what happens when you start sticking some real candidate names in. This is reflected by the large percentage of "depends on individual."

An sidebar comment is that if a poll like this was sponsored by the Republican Party, and done by a polling group associated with the Republicans, I suspect many of you wouldn't have given it a second look based on that alone.

Nobody has looked that closely at the Democratic national security plan. For example, the part quoted in the poll describes "doubling the size of Special Forces so that the U.S. can be better equipped to hunt down al Qaeda members and Osama bin Laden."

Okay, let's say we have doubled the number of Special Forces. Bin Laden is, by all accounts, in Pakistan. Now what? Remember how many people were shrieking and swinging from the rafters when we shot one stinking drone missile at a Pakistan facility? Just exactly what are these extra Special Forces going to actually DO?

Posted by: tbrosz on April 3, 2006 at 7:46 PM | PERMALINK

Consider the source shortstop. tbrosz nailed it, had the "RSCC" unveiled a poll showing the public trusted the reps on national security by 2%, there would have been a huge scoffing sound coming from the left.

Also, "doubling the size of special forces" is diametrically opposed to what your sage Murtha has proposed. Now that's consistency. "Real Brain Damage"

Posted by: Jay on April 3, 2006 at 7:52 PM | PERMALINK

Sometimes the best approach to security isn't the best publicity or most exciting politics.

Wars, for instance, tend to be real gambles. Killing people makes new enemies, wars cost a lot of blood and treasure and can't be guaranteed to end when you are tired.

Diplomacy sometimes helps, and it costs very little. Sane, non-threatening policies usually help. Strengthening your economy so that you can use it as a carrot and a stick is useful. Having an educated public that actually understands security issues is important. Listening to your potential enemies, speaking their language and understanding them can help create good policies.

Not very dramatic, not a lot of American flag lapel pins, you don't get to call your critics traitors, and it is pretty hard to call any of it a crusade to juice your base, but probably a hell of a lot more effective than, well, you know.

Posted by: searp on April 3, 2006 at 7:56 PM | PERMALINK

The public has been deluged with misleading information about alleged "illegal" monitoring of calls. When they focus on the subject and learn what is really at stake, they may have quite different feelings. I say "might" because this White House has been inept in getting its message out. Bush's last press conference was much, much better that his prior performances so he may really get fired up and make the case that his assistants have failed to make.

The Republican Congress has turned off a lot of conservatives with their free spending ways and Bush has failed to even suggest vetoing spending. That is a situation that will depress turnout. The other big problem is immigration and this dopey "guest worker" plan. It may be hard to get them to turn out and that is bad news.

The Democrats, however, can usually be relied upon to blow it so hope is not lost. The latest "security" plan is a good example.

Posted by: Mike K on April 3, 2006 at 7:59 PM | PERMALINK
Jay 7:41 PM the government is slow in responding to something. How unusual.
With the Bush Regime and its apologists, that isn't a bug: it's a feature. Posted by: Mike on April 3, 2006 at 8:02 PM | PERMALINK

If we all just learned how to speak Arabic, had our women wear burqa's and convert to Islam then we could avoid a war? Why are you just telling us now searp? All this senseless killing when all we had to do was bow to UBL. Who would have thunk it?

Posted by: Jay on April 3, 2006 at 8:02 PM | PERMALINK

"This administration doesn't play fast and loose with the law on Social Security for nothing."

This administration plays 'fast and loose' with pretty much everything pretty much all the time.

Posted by: jefff on April 3, 2006 at 8:04 PM | PERMALINK

The only place the Republicans are actually effective at national security is in their ridiculous campaign commercials.
---------------------------
You mean perhaps FAX machine Yes?

What an intellectual devolution there was from the founding priests of the 30s-50s, serious thinkers like Irving Kristol and Daniel Bell, to the acolyte staff bureaucrats and lawyers, figures like Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, John Bolton, and others, who succeeded to power. How anti-intellectual their crackpot belligerence appealing to the culture's worse fears and provincialism. How they rode to decisive office on the tyranny of money in American politics and ultimately the vulnerability of an extraordinarily uninformed, susceptible President in George W. Bush. Noses ever pressed to the window, what a wanna-be establishment they were and are, and how tightly and hungrily they held together in or out of power-"basically just Bill Kristol and a fax machine," Fukuyama describes the relentless propagandizing that always surpassed substance, yet was effective enough in the substantive wasteland of thinking about America's post-cold war foreign policy. Credentialed without intellect, savagely partisan without sensibility, what they thought needed knowing of the world they cherry-picked (much as they slanted intelligence on Iraq) from ethnocentric, colony-nostalgic academics of kindred views.
-------------------
Woooo!! Intellectuals and Fax Machines!!
Err Propaganda Machines

Yes ALAN Sell your Daughter into Serfdom, to Chicken Hawks and Propagandists, THEY ALWAYS NEED more cannon fodder, because as they are ChickenHawks!

Oh Im Fukuyama and IM so smart that Bush and the Neo-Cons Misunderstood my Big Giant Head.
and my extravagant Speech!! Waaa Waaa!! Wilsonism!! Fen Hampson Save ME!! Save me Clercs of Brain Matter!

You see what happens when one speaks extravagantly?
Do not listen to it for it is the sign of an imbalanced mind

Posted by: one eye buck tooth [X^B on April 3, 2006 at 8:11 PM | PERMALINK

Mike, FEMA has never been a first responding organization. The state of Florida is well aware of that in light of FEMA's slow response to Hurricane Andrew. Also, FEMA use to react a little quicker until they were put under the DHS umbrella. And who do you suppose INSISTED that FEMA become part of DHS? Any guess?

Posted by: Jay on April 3, 2006 at 8:13 PM | PERMALINK

Except for gay marriage right jeff? There the repubs are puritanical, right? Can you be fast and loose and puritanical at the same time?

Posted by: Jay on April 3, 2006 at 8:16 PM | PERMALINK

Serious Thinkers.
WTF is that?
Really. Some one here Tell me.
I have Read that Crap and I dont get it.
These guys fill you full of crappy rehashed history, and then the Politicians repeat it.
Intellectual?
Nay Sir, they are to me but Parrots.


Posted by: one eye buck tooth [X^B on April 3, 2006 at 8:17 PM | PERMALINK

How anti-intellectual their crackpot belligerence appealing to the culture's worse fears and provincialism. How they rode to decisive office on the tyranny of money in American politics and ultimately the vulnerability of an extraordinarily uninformed, susceptible President in George W. Bush.

Well that Certainly Explains Rush Limbaugh and Anne Coulter Eh?

Posted by: one eye buck tooth [X^B on April 3, 2006 at 8:19 PM | PERMALINK

Yew InteelyEcktualls IS FUNNY.
I think I LOVE YEW!!

Posted by: one eye buck tooth [X^B on April 3, 2006 at 8:21 PM | PERMALINK

Of course, this result is less encouraging when you consider that pollsters also asked the same question with "drooling fuckwit" substituted for "Democrat." DF was preferred over the GOP by an even larger margin.

Posted by: TK on April 3, 2006 at 8:27 PM | PERMALINK

Howard Dean is running for President again?

Posted by: Jay on April 3, 2006 at 8:28 PM | PERMALINK

Of course, this result is less encouraging when you consider that pollsters also asked the same question with "drooling fuckwit" substituted for "Democrat." DF was preferred over the GOP by an even larger margin.
Posted by: TK on April 3, 2006 at 8:27 PM | PERMALINK

Hey dat mus be one o dem inteellyectuals!

Droolin Fuckwit!
Oh MY EYES! I AM BLINDED BY PURE I.Q.!!

YaY oh YAY Third Grade Diatribes!!
I suppose you want I should Say nanna nanna boo boo or Cry to Mommy with your Hurtful Words?

LOL I love YEW TWO!!

Posted by: one eye buck tooth [X^B on April 3, 2006 at 8:30 PM | PERMALINK

and there you have it Folks, Intellectualism in the Third Degree. Thank You TK for that insightful "Droolin".. Of course YOU with your WIT have done Tremendous Damage to the Psyche of Democrats and Liberals WordlWide!!

And Here I am thinking Karl Rove was a Genius..WOW!
TK can I call you TurdBlossom?

Posted by: one eye buck tooth [X^B on April 3, 2006 at 8:34 PM | PERMALINK

GOP
Ghastly Old Perverts
Gangrenous Odorous Puss?

Say YOU are RIGHT TK I do feel Smarter!!

Posted by: one eye buck tooth [X^B on April 3, 2006 at 8:36 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz:
I would like to see the number of democrats and republicans polled. Too often I have been astonished by results of such poll only to find later that the sampling of the poll was significantly biased.
Or alternatively the percentage of people who self-report as Republicans has been dropping and the percentage of people who self-report as Democrats hase been increasing.

Posted by: Bill Arnold on April 3, 2006 at 8:51 PM | PERMALINK

Bill:

I didn't write that quote, but your point on identification is a good one. I think you'd find a lot of people say "independent" to ward off judgment. It has the same mollifying effect on the observer as the term "agnostic."

Posted by: tbrosz on April 3, 2006 at 8:56 PM | PERMALINK

Bill Arnold said:
Or alternatively the percentage of people who self-report as Republicans has been dropping and the percentage of people who self-report as Democrats hase been increasing.

Precisely. After Perot flamed-out, pollsters were unable to find the people who had voted for him -- they were too embarrassed to admit it.

The same thing is currently happening with GWB voters.

Posted by: Disputo on April 3, 2006 at 9:07 PM | PERMALINK

"what's next? tbrosz finds humility?
Posted by: lib"

Never happen!

Posted by: Ace Franze on April 3, 2006 at 9:12 PM | PERMALINK

War profiteering. Hummmm. I read today that the congress had authorized $200,000,000 to build 142 clinics for the folks in Iraq. A way to help repair the damage. A wonderful gesture. Right. After the war profiteers got done, it seems there is just about enough money to build 20 clinics.

Posted by: Ron Byers on April 3, 2006 at 9:18 PM | PERMALINK

On what basis would the public come to their opinion that the Democrats would be better at combating terrorism and protecting our national security than Republicans? I don't mean to be a dick here, but let's be serious: when was the last time they saw a Democrat do either?

Posted by: Toby Petzold on April 3, 2006 at 9:28 PM | PERMALINK

Here is a link. http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/news/world/14249080.htm

Really wonderful story of the inability of a big American company to complete 86% of the primary health care clinics it was hired to build. Your tax dollars at work. When in the history of America war profiteering is discussed, two wars will stand out. The Civil War and the Iraq war. Quite a legacy for our President. He might even have to start, but not complete a wing to incompetence in his presidental library.

Posted by: Ron Byers on April 3, 2006 at 9:28 PM | PERMALINK

Toby,

Democrats defending the nation. Democrats tough on national defense. Lets see. Well there was Wilson in WWI. Then there was FDR in WWII. Then the guy who was a member of my Kiwanis Club, Harry Truman. Lets see he was pretty strong on defense in WWII, Korea and the Cold War. Kennedy did ok in the Cubian Missile Crisis. Johnson didn't do that well in Vietnam, neither did Nixon who declared victory and left. Reagan fought hard in Granada but ran like a scared rabbit in Lebanon. Bush I did Iraq I right, but sonny has really fucked Iraq II.

I guess you are going to dump on Clinton, but you gotta admit he didn't let any Americans die in Bosnia. I admit Somalia was a disaster.

My point is that in the big wars you want Democrats. In peace you want Democrats. I don't see any real reason to fight little wars, so what reason do you have to hire Republicans on national security anyway.

Oh, Ike. Well Ike followed Truman's lead in the cold war and let us slip into Vietnam.

Posted by: Ron Byers on April 3, 2006 at 9:35 PM | PERMALINK

"Okay, let's say we have doubled the number of Special Forces. Bin Laden is, by all accounts, in Pakistan. Now what? Remember how many people were shrieking and swinging from the rafters when we shot one stinking drone missile at a Pakistan facility? Just exactly what are these extra Special Forces going to actually DO?"

tbrosz-I'm thinking that those doubled special forces might 1) give us the manpower to avoid a situation where Bin Laden or someone like him gets away (a la Tora bora)& ends up in long term hiding where it's hard for us to look for him. They might also (2) be able to carry out a hunt and seek mission with more nuance than say a drone missile.

your other points I think, are pretty good. As someone who not only wants to believe this poll but sees it as possibly the tip of an iceberg of inevitable awakening Re just how badly this administration has bumbled actual operations regarding national security, I aprreciate your cautions. But you are, I think, spitting into the wind, sir.

Posted by: URK on April 3, 2006 at 9:41 PM | PERMALINK

I think you'd find a lot of people say "independent" to ward off judgment. It has the same mollifying effect on the observer as the term "agnostic."

Or "libertarian."

Posted by: Gregory on April 3, 2006 at 9:57 PM | PERMALINK

I read today that the congress had authorized $200,000,000 to build 142 clinics for the folks in Iraq.

Not even the photos from Abu Ghraib make me as furious about the incompetence of our occupation of Iraq as all this crap about "building clinics" and "building schools". The US should resolve NEVER to build another clinic or school in another country. Building a clinic or a school is completely f'ing useless. What's useful is providing OPERATIONAL FUNDING for a clinic or a school - paying and training doctors, paying and training teachers, providing teaching materials and medical materials and medicine, paying their utilities bills (including internet access). If you give them the operational support, they can always find a freaking building to put it in, or throw one together out of cinderblocks.

But of course if you just pay all those Iraqi doctors and teachers their salaries, then no money goes to American construction contractors, or to the American security firms that protect those contractors, or to...

Any time you read "building clinics", substitute "kicking back US taxpayer dollars to war profiteers". And that's even before they get started on the graft and cost overruns. And hiring US nationals at $100,000 a year instead of locals at $5000.

Posted by: brooksfoe on April 3, 2006 at 10:00 PM | PERMALINK

Gee, if Bush nukes Iran, eliminates all taxes for those earning more than $1 million, and decrees and end to social security, the Democrats could increase this to three points!

Of course, the Democrats could also get some balls and start standing for something. Nah, never happen.

Posted by: Dicksknee on April 3, 2006 at 10:16 PM | PERMALINK

"What we find is that the design threats above tend to skew all polls toward Democrats."

If this is the case - why? That's really kinda odd. What's going on?

Posted by: Dan S. on April 3, 2006 at 10:33 PM | PERMALINK

You have doubled the number of Special Forces. You find out that OBL is in Pakistan. You know the exact location. You send the special forces there. What then? What does the so-called Democratic security plan say about that?

Just saying that you will get Osama is not a plan. You have to have a vision and a plan. Sadly Democrats don't have either.

Posted by: tbrosz on April 3, 2006 at 11:18 PM | PERMALINK

As little as I like the Dem. silence in the face of administrations lies, this poll seems to show that 'giving them enough rope to hang themselves' is working.

tbrosz,
The poll in and of itself isn't the issue. What we see here is a dramatic turn around in responces to polls on this issue. In previous polls, the GOP had a huge lead on this issue. That political capital is gone.

Posted by: joe on April 3, 2006 at 11:45 PM | PERMALINK

You have doubled the number of Special Forces. You find out that OBL is in Pakistan. You know the exact location. You send the special forces there. What then? What does the so-called Democratic security plan say about that?

Huh? You capture him. What are you talking about? Do you want it spelled out at the level of hypothetical deployment of individual soldiers around the perimeter and how exactly they enter and secure the location?

If you're referring to jurisdiction issues with Pakistan, if it's actually OBL, and you know it, Pakistani cooperation will be assured. We even got cooperation for that weird missile strike that may or may not have killed a few senior AQ guys along with the kids and women; we'd definitely get cooperation for OBL.

The problem is the more diffuse situation: do we get full cooperation from the Pakistanis in finding OBL in the first place? What stance should we take towards them to assure such cooperation? The Bush "He's mah buddy" approach to the Pakistani relationship (like the similar approach to the Russian relationship), based on personal connection rather than results, doesn't seem to be doing so well. A more regularized diplomatic approach, with interests and goals and incentives/disincentives clearly spelled out, would be more in the Democratic tradition and probably more effective.

Posted by: brooksfoe on April 3, 2006 at 11:57 PM | PERMALINK

I'll believe it when I see it. Most military families I have seen would sell their daughters on the slave market sooner than vote Democrat.

I believe of the 12 Iraq II veterans running for Congress, 11 of them are Dems. I wonder what your "most" entails.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on April 4, 2006 at 12:52 AM | PERMALINK

You have doubled the number of Special Forces. ... What then? What does the so-called Democratic security plan say about that?

First, we have them arrest Rumsfeld and Cheney. After a few months of torturing them (not for information, just for fun) we dump them in Somalia with a bus ticket (from Vienna) and 8 bucks.

Just doing that one thing should reduce terrorism, worldwide, more successfully than BoneHeads, Inc has managed so far. And if it doesn't, well, whoops! Freedom is messy!

Posted by: craigie on April 4, 2006 at 1:00 AM | PERMALINK

brooksfoe 10:00pm -- If this blog had a 4-point rating system, I'd give this a 10.
An excellent point, and one that bears considerable repeating. I don't think I have ever encountered it in other threads/blogs (unlike 80+% of what most blogs consist of, highly repetitive and predictable points --including of course my own postings)

Posted by: smartalek on April 4, 2006 at 1:17 AM | PERMALINK

When was the last time I saw an illustration like this?,

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/graphics/2006/04/02/wiran02cbig.jpg;jsessionid=SXZ4ETQC3UHOXQFIQMFSFFOAVCBQ0IV0

Oh, yes, just when they started calling it Shock and Awe.

Posted by: cld on April 4, 2006 at 1:37 AM | PERMALINK

Just to make absolutely clear that Jay is BSing, this statement is flat-out wrong:

"Mike, FEMA has never been a first responding organization. The state of Florida is well aware of that in light of FEMA's slow response to Hurricane Andrew. Also, FEMA use to react a little quicker until they were put under the DHS umbrella. And who do you suppose INSISTED that FEMA become part of DHS? Any guess?"

FEMA is not a first responding organization when run by incompetent Bush cronies - as in Andrew and Katrina. Under Clinton's administration with James Lee Witt and some other pros - FEMA actively coordinated the first responders from states and localities in the Midwest floods, Northridge earthquake, the Red River Floods, Hurricane Frances, etc.

They deployed hundreds of people in the ready, thousands of tons of supplies, emergency communication teams and the like. They were ready because they had put the time, training and planning in order to be ready.

So please, if you don't know the facts - keep quiet. Thank you.

Posted by: Samuel Knight on April 4, 2006 at 9:26 AM | PERMALINK

Raise your hands if you support Pelosi, Reid and Dean to protect the United States against its foreign enemies.

Raise your hands if you think the US doesn't have any foreign enemies - they are all imaginary constructs invented by BushHitlerChimpieHalliburton to hornswaggle the US into accepting facism.

Posted by: DBL on April 4, 2006 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

Raise your hand if you have a Bush/Cheney 2004 bumper sticker tacked on the corkboard over the computer in your mom's basement.

Posted by: Jim J on April 4, 2006 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

You have to have a vision and a plan. Sadly Democrats don't have either.

And what, pray tell, is the Republican "vision" and "plan"? As far as anyone can tell, it appears to be sit back and watch our military slowly bleed to death while sinking into the quagmire. Then complain about how Democrats don't come up with the perfect plan(as if a Republican apologist is ever going to approve of anything that Democrats offer) to fix the mess that you insisted on creating.

Posted by: Ringo on April 4, 2006 at 11:57 AM | PERMALINK

Special forces are much better suited for the type of military operations that the US will be engaging in during the "War on Terrorism:" Training allied forces, nation-building, working on the ground against insurgents, clandestine intelligence-gathering and fighting. That's why Kerry, who had some experience in the field, made increasing Special Forces a cornerstone of his defense policy.

Posted by: Wombat on April 4, 2006 at 11:57 AM | PERMALINK

Red alert! Time to scapegoat random scientists!

Christmas trees under attack!

Christians under attack!

EVERYONE UNDER ATTACK!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!
.

Posted by: Grand Moff Texan on April 4, 2006 at 12:04 PM | PERMALINK

The Republicans have been just a spectacular failure at national defense. I'm glad that people are noticing.

Democrats need to say this, and say it loudly, at every opportunity.

Posted by: Ticked-Off Economist. on April 4, 2006 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

Most national polls that I've seen on the issue, from whatever source, have seen significant erosion of the Republican advantage, to the point where the two parties are usually very close on the point, despite being pretty far apart just a couple years ago.

This poll that Kevin posts is, unsurprisingly given the provenance, one of the more favorable to Democrats, but the general trend is clear across a wide array of polls; Republicans are losing the edge on this issue.

Republicans are very good at sounding good in the abstract on security, mostly by confusing the issue of where blame is to be placed when things go wrong, but after several years of them have undivided control over security policy, its become harder for them to pass off blame for failures.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 4, 2006 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

The Republican "plan" and "vision" on national security has actually never been anything but "let's spend as much money we can under the banner of 'defense', no matter how wasteful or ineffective, and people will actually believe that we're 'tough' on defense and national security"--well, the public simply isn't buying it anymore.
Too bad for the GOP.

Posted by: Ringo on April 4, 2006 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

Religious skeptic: We need to pass a constitutional amendment mandating the death penalty for war profiteering and for the making of wars for personal enrichment.

No need for that. Just enforce the existing Constitutional provision that only Congress has the power to declare war.

No more un-Constitutional "authorizations" for any President to launch a war whenever he feels like it.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 4, 2006 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely wrote: Republicans are very good at sounding good in the abstract on security ...

Republicans are very good at lying, about any issue.

That's the only way Republicans can win any election: lie, cheat and steal.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 4, 2006 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

AGAIN -- I am a swing voter. If the DEMS can keep their gay agenda in the closet - you might win back some suburban moms.

I don't want pedophile boy scout leaders, or gay sex taught in schools. The way the GOP wins the votes of white suburbans is by scaring us with the homosexual agenda of the left.

The GIANT middle of the country HATES George II but would vote for any candidate that will save our kids from Hollywood and Gays.

Posted by: sarah on April 4, 2006 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

And if the DEMS would protect American workers from Illegal Mexicans they would also win a HUGE chunk of the right who is also xenophobic.

Dont start ranting about liberty for all... that's bullshit. The ONE issue that will win votes for Dems is protecting American jobs for Americans.

The GOP will sate the racists with rhetoric - but they open the borders for the multinationals who want us all working for minimum wage.

WE have been betrayed by the GOP -- but are the DEMS any different?

Preparation H seems to love Mexicans.

I don't think there is a dimes difference in the parties... they all work for Israel, Big oil, cheap labor and run away spending.

Any difference?

Posted by: sarah on April 4, 2006 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

Sarah:

What gay agenda is this? Shouldn't gays have the same rights as the rest of us?

You don't like what Hollywood puts out? Be a parent to your children and control what they see. Cancel your cable/satellite subscription, and limit their TV time. Encourage them to--like--read. There is nothing forcing your kids to dress like sluts and ghetto boyz. Try putting your foot down.

It seems to me that people like you are abdicating their responsibilities, and would rather blame queers and Hollywood than yourselves.

Posted by: Wombat on April 4, 2006 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz: Just saying that you will get Osama is not a plan. You have to have a vision and a plan. Sadly Democrats don't have either.

Bullshit!

As many times as I've posted these cites, you continue to ignore them, Tom. No wonder Gregory hounds you for being shamefully disingenuous.

One. More Time. Bushies have borrowed from Dems.

August 8, 2005, The Weekly Standard writes:

Is it conceivable that John Kerry is owed an apology by the Bush administration? All last year the Bush campaign pounded Kerry for minimizing the global war on terror (GWOT, as it's known to national security bureaucrats). "Senator Kerry has questioned whether the war on terror is really a war at all," said Vice President Dick Cheney at one point, with evident contempt. "In his view, opposing terrorism is far less of a military operation and more of a law enforcement operation."
August 15, 2005, again from the Weekly Standard, William Kristol writes:
LAST WEEK IN THESE PAGES we called attention to the John-Kerry-like attempt of some Bush advisers, led by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, to abandon the term "war on terror." These advisers had been, as the New York Times reported, going out of their way to avoid "formulations using the word 'war.'" The great effort that we had all simplemindedly been calling a war was now dubbed by Rumsfeld the "global struggle against violent extremism." And the solution to this struggle was, according to Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, speaking here as Rumsfeld's cat's-paw, "more diplomatic, more economic, more political than it is military." [Emphasis added.]
Of course, our allies, the Brits, got the GWOT switch to GSAVE memo, too. July 27, 2005:
The "war on terror", the resonant catchphrase of the Bush administration for the past four years, is to be discreetly phased out in favour of more nuanced language, officials signalled yesterday.
The rebranding is part of what America's critics will say is a long overdue acknowledgement by the Pentagon of the complexity of the challenge of combating al-Qa'eda.
Officials are instead starting to favour the rather less snappy phrase "struggle against violent extremism" as the administration puts increased stress on longer term initiatives - diplomatic, economic and educational - to defeat terrorism.
The phrase "war on terror" was "very simple, easy, concise", the official said. "The definition lends itself to images of those in uniform combating extremism and terrorists but the struggle is broader than that."
[...]
He added, however, that there was a recognition "that the struggle is beyond military and intelligence, and a 'let's get 'em' component."
[...]
US News and World Report said the new strategy acknowledged that America needed to work more closely with foreign partners, in an implicit renunciation of the "we can go it alone" impulses after September 11. [Emphasis added.]
And then there's North Korea, another national security vision that came from John Kerry. From a post last year:
Nash: Kerry: In addition to supporting the efforts of France, the UK and Russia to pressure [Iran] to conform on the issue of uranium enrichment, we must enter into discussion with them ourselves.
Bush (pre-election): We will not enter into discussion with [Iran] ourselves. We will let France, the UK and Russia do that.
Bush (now): In addition to supporting the efforts of France, the UK and Russia to pressure [Iran] to conform on the issue of uranium enrichment, we must immediately enter into with them ourselves. [Cite]
Who knew that Bush would adopt Kerry foreign policy?
tbrosz: I also missed any reference to the U.S. taking a major role in Iran negotiations, as opposed to letting the EU lead. Got any links, or actual quotes? Not a sarcastic request, I'd really like to see them.

Answer: August 17, 2005, Washington Post:

Some Republicans in Congress are starting to quietly urge the administration to communicate with Iran directly, as it has with North Korea. [Emphasis added.]
The disparity in strategies has grown more evident. At a news conference last week, Bush was asked why it might be acceptable for Iran to develop civilian nuclear power but not North Korea. Bush suggested that Tehran has been more honest.
"North Korea is in a different situation," he said, because "they didn't tell the truth when it came to their enrichment programs." The statement was a striking shift in tone for a president who has regularly accused Iran of hiding weapons programs.
More cites on Kerry's approach to North Korea are here.

Ah, and let's not forget Dem chemical plant security legislation that Repubs blocked. And links to Dem port security bills to strengthen our vulnerable seaports that Repubs also blocked in Congress.

So, Tom, are you trying to tell us that obstructionism of national security initiatives is the kind of vision and plan that Repubs offer America?

Shucks, where did the Bushies get those ideas? What about Iraq? A reminder from a post with the link to John Kerry's four-point plan on Iraq that was echoed in a Bush speech from Nov. 30, 2005...since some people like to conveniently forget. Another cite on a Kerry Iraq proposed plan is here.

Bushwacko propaganda shills are everywhere!

Buh-bye.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on April 4, 2006 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

This is the issue the Democrats have to hammer away on. The only reason that Bush and the Republicans did well in 2004 was because they were perceived to be stronger on security issues and better able to keep the country safe.

Now, with no improvements in port secrurity, border security, infrastructure security, or the ability to respond to a disaster (i.e. Katrina), the Democrats are well positioned to argue that they will be more effective in securing the country.

Posted by: MattW on April 4, 2006 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

Wombat -- people like sarah want their country back from homosexuals.

We don't want public displays of affection between homosexuals - nor do we want it in our schools.

Yes _OUR_ schools.

I don't want equal rights for gays, and I am another disaffected conservative looking for someone on the left to save us from the boy king.

That doesn't mean I'll sell out my children's future and raise them in an environment riddled with the excesses of prepubescent fags in media and fashion.

Posted by: Tj on April 4, 2006 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

Tj: people like sarah want their country back from homosexuals.

I want my country back from homophobic cretins like you and "sarah".

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 4, 2006 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

Then you won't control the congress.

We are a majority. The homosexual agenda is not negotiable to the people who vote NO DEMS.

We end up with Bush because he is against men adopting little boys to sodomize them.

PUhleese don't tell me that aint true, because the adoption and foster care people are seething at the demographic studies showing children adopted by gay households to be having SEVERE emotional and learning problems... these kids are traumatized by the environments they have been dumped into

So if Dems are trying to find a strategy to become more than just the party of Barnie Frank and his houseboy, and Israel - then you better find other ways to attract the middle of the country

Posted by: Tj on April 4, 2006 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

Hopefully the Democrats will not become the party of anti-semites and paranoid homophobes. Set up a third party and run Judge Moore. He's about tj's and Sarah's speed (and mentality).

Posted by: Wombat on April 4, 2006 at 5:55 PM | PERMALINK
Wombat -- people like sarah want their country back from homosexuals.

Look, I'd rather have homosexuals controlling all three branches of government than Republicans but, alas, the homosexuals don't have the country to give back.

I don't want equal rights for gays, and I am another disaffected conservative looking for someone on the left to save us from the boy king.

No, you aren't. You are looking for someone further on the racist, homophobic right, not someone on the left.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 4, 2006 at 6:06 PM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: 4534534gfh on April 4, 2006 at 9:53 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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