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Tilting at Windmills

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September 9, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

AMERICAN PUBLIC SMARTER THAN YOU THINK....Noted without comment from a Washington Post/ABC News poll released today:

Kevin Drum 12:51 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (53)

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You can't fool all of the people all of the time.

What a bitch. It must suck to be you, GOP.

Posted by: frankly0 on September 9, 2007 at 12:57 AM | PERMALINK

Well, that's great.

Our next job is to learn that no Petraeus report exists even though it had been hyped for months.

Then we need to learn that just because everyone knows that his presentation to Congress will be based on peripheral half-truths doesn't mean that anything will change in our current policy.

Posted by: Elvis Elvisberg on September 9, 2007 at 1:12 AM | PERMALINK

They forgot:

99. Do you think Congress will take any action which will change U.S. policy towards Iraq?

Yes- 0%
No - 99%

Answers may not total 100% due to rounding.

Posted by: wahoofive on September 9, 2007 at 1:24 AM | PERMALINK

And I would like to see the results of the following poll.

As you may know, the Washington Post and ABC will report on General Patraeus' report of things of Iraq. Do you think the reporting by Washington Post/ABC

a ) will reflect the true nature of the Report on Iraq
b) wll try to make things look worse that they are
c) No opinion

Do you think drop in readership/viewership and general distrust of their stories and more dependence on embedded bloggers for news from Iraq

a) will cause the mainstream news outlets like Washington Post/ABC to drop their documented liberal bias?
b) will have no effect on them as they stick with their biased views on things no matter what because liberals are after all smarter people.
c) No opinion.

Posted by: John Hansen on September 9, 2007 at 1:32 AM | PERMALINK

The support for this war has steadily declined for 4 1/2 years to where it is now. There has been temporary stalls and upticks breaking the decline. The Saddam capture, elections, new approaches in propaganda (remember the "plan for victory"). Those upturns have seemed to get smaller and smaller to where they are now non-existant. Bush went to the well once to often a long while back. It's all about keeping the base there now. He'll keep his 30%. These periodic attempts at amping up the stay the course propaganda is just going to make 1-20-2009 so much more of a party day for the rest of us.

Posted by: HL Mungo on September 9, 2007 at 1:33 AM | PERMALINK

They didn't ask how many people still believe Saddam was involved in 9/11. Most of the ones that believe Saddam was involved are likely Faux Noise viewers.

Posted by: Joe Klein's conscience on September 9, 2007 at 1:34 AM | PERMALINK

Here's a fun internet poll you can take. But before you do, guess the answer.

Do you believe President Bush's actions justify impeachment?

In this MSNBC poll (still open) what percent do you think would support impeaching the President?

Half a million responses so far. Not scientific. (found on FARK)

Posted by: jerry on September 9, 2007 at 1:54 AM | PERMALINK

Oh goody - the disingenuous tool Hansen is back spouting his war-woody bullshit. You lot fucked up spectacularly, you jackass. You can make up shit all you want, but it turns out that, while still spectacularly ill-informed, Americans are finally starting to wise up to the damage done to our country by you fiends, and in 20 years the GOP will be a regional crackpot party, limited to the deep south. Take it to the bank. All the insisting otherwise and four bucks will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks.

Posted by: Not Sure on September 9, 2007 at 2:03 AM | PERMALINK

...drop their documented liberal bias?

Hahahahahaha!

Damn those liberal facts! How they get in the way of my rainbow narrative!

Posted by: craigie on September 9, 2007 at 2:05 AM | PERMALINK

Yes, Not Sure -- it is good to see Hansen and his tired talking ponts about the horrible liberal press.

If we actually had a liberal press, Shrubbie would be lucky to poll in the upper teens.

Posted by: Chup on September 9, 2007 at 2:09 AM | PERMALINK

Documented liberal bias
Where, exactly, is this documented? I ask this alot and NEVER have had any conpervative produce it.

In fact they hardly ever produce documents that back their position. They also will not be able to use Petraeus to back their position because that will not be documented.

Ya know what I'm saying?

Posted by: Ya Know.... on September 9, 2007 at 2:35 AM | PERMALINK

John Hansen:

) will have no effect on them as they stick with their biased views on things no matter what because liberals are after all smarter people.

I'm not sure who you're referring to, but I'm fairly certain that yes, I am smarter than you, Mr. Hansen.

Posted by: Andy on September 9, 2007 at 2:38 AM | PERMALINK

Hello John Hansen! Don't let them get you down. It's hard carrying a torch all by yourself, no matter how lost your cause.

Posted by: anonymous on September 9, 2007 at 2:43 AM | PERMALINK

Republican party chair Rich Bond explained that conservatives' frequent denunciations of ‘liberal bias’ in the media were part of ‘a strategy’ (Washington Post, 8/20/92). Comparing journalists to referees in a sports match, Bond explained: ‘If you watch any great coach, what they try to do is “work the refs.” Maybe the ref will cut you a little slack next time.

Its what they do, they continually accuse, accuse, accuse. Just as with this latest Osama video. Accuse, blame, accuse, project, accuse, blame, project, insinuate, and never provide facts.

Why I think Osama has been listening to (R) GOP Dennis Milligan whos saya America needs another attack. Thats who Osama listened to, yet the media is blaming bloggers for what happened under Georges watch? The man who didnt worry about where Osama was? Why if that is so, why should I worry about an Osama video? George doesn't seem to care.

And why does the media even show those videos? Seems it only encourages Osama

Posted by: Ya Know.... on September 9, 2007 at 2:45 AM | PERMALINK

Ya know, why should I listen to Patraeus, Chalabi is more believed than he will be. So was Curveball for that matter.

Explain that John Hansen.

Posted by: Ya Know.... on September 9, 2007 at 2:48 AM | PERMALINK

John Hansen, what do you have to say to these people who did a hell of a lot more in this war than your sorry water-carrying ass will ever do - and paid a steep price for it, too?

And by the way - I may not be the smartest person on the threads here, and I am not a betting woman - but I would bet the deed to my condo I am smarter than you.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on September 9, 2007 at 2:52 AM | PERMALINK

" It's hard carrying a torch all by yourself, no matter how lost your cause."

Yes, but history is incredibly consistent: If a conservative/Bush Republican is carrying a torch, chances are 100% they will incompetently set themselves and everything around them on fire. Hey John Hansen (Hansen, a name synonymous with conservative service to our country; see Brother Robert, currently in prison for treason), yesterday I was making a list of things the Bush Administration had done that were positive and competent. I still can't come up with any....

Posted by: bmaz on September 9, 2007 at 3:11 AM | PERMALINK

BTW, where's Rumsfeld these days?

Posted by: Tilli (Mojave Desert) on September 9, 2007 at 3:19 AM | PERMALINK

This page might not have enough bells and whistles for ya, Hansen, seeing as it's a serious report on the status of the media in America and all, but do try to expand your 6"-cubed world (which is plenty of space, with lots of elbow room, for you rapidly fading GOOPERS)

In case that might short circuit your feeble workings, don't risk clicking the link. Here instead are three salient quotes/points to mull over (you can find the definition of salient at dictionary.com - I am not a special ed teacher, and you seem moderately mainstreamable):

  • "I admit it -- the liberal media were never that powerful, and the whole thing was often used as an excuse by conservatives for conservative failures." William Kristol, as reported by the New Yorker, 5/22/95
  • on election night, Fox News dropped all pretense of being unbiased and let Bush's cousin John Ellis call Florida for Bush at 2:16 am, prompting the other four networks to do the same within minutes. From that point onward, Gore had to fight an uphill battle against the perception that Bush had won Florida, which we know today he has not.
  • CNN, which right-wingers have been known to call the "Clinton News Network," chooses as its lead commentator for George W. Bush's spring 2002 Middle East policy speech . . . wait for it....Pat Robertson!

So...What the FUCK are you talking about with your "liberal media" bullshit, bullshiter?

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on September 9, 2007 at 4:17 AM | PERMALINK

I have to believe that the doubt being reflected by the American people is in some part due to the vigilance, the leadership, of the liberal blogosphere, not the MSM reporting.

Over the past ten days, it seems as if the MSM has gone from accepting the WH pre-spin of "wow, the surge works!" to starting to suggest that, "gosh, maybe things aren't quite as rosy as the WH portrays." If so, Kevin Drum may deserve some of the credit.

The thought leaders have figured it out, are writing and reading the blogs and engaging in the arguments, the next 50% have slowly developed the simple heuristic of "don't trust the WH" and the slow learners and ideologues, that 30-40%, remain, as always, either clueless or convinced the GWB is brilliant. Hence, the stats provided here.

Posted by: PTate in FR on September 9, 2007 at 6:57 AM | PERMALINK

I have to believe that the doubt being reflected by the American people is in some part due to the vigilance, the leadership, of the liberal blogosphere, not the MSM reporting.

Hear, hear. Kudos to Kevin and the others. The right is so pissed at the liberal blogosphere that it is comparing Osama's Last Tape to lefty rants at the bottom of some blog. I really doubt that the US public is going to see Osama as a liberal blogger.

Posted by: Bob M on September 9, 2007 at 8:49 AM | PERMALINK

John Hanson,

Yes, it is a wonder that all of those FAUX viewers were blocked from this poll.

But, geez, at least you still have the WaPo editorial board, John Solomen, and Howard Kurtz on your team. Any news yet about the parting of John Edwards new cut? Not to mention that fellow who sits in on Hume's All-Stars. Jeff something to the right of Genghis or other.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on September 9, 2007 at 9:28 AM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin.

I'm smelling a big liberal rat. This is completely at odds with the recent Zogy poll showing that most Americans believe that war will be won.

You know, a trick of these liberal posters is to show the distribution of party affiliation in their polls. That is, they canvas twice as many liberals as conservatives and independants. Also, their sampling methods may not be independant or use proper statistics.

I notice Kevin didn't divulge this information. Notice he "posted without comment." Another liberal ploy.

Posted by: egbert on September 9, 2007 at 9:29 AM | PERMALINK

Eggie, old chap, are you still referring to that Zogby poll showing Michigan and Notre Dame running 1-2 in college football?

Posted by: thethirdPaul on September 9, 2007 at 9:43 AM | PERMALINK

Eggy, dear, that isn't what the Zogby poll said. 54% said that the U.S. has not yet lost the war in Iraq, not that they believe it will be won. Do try to get your facts straight, won't you?

Posted by: PaulB on September 9, 2007 at 9:53 AM | PERMALINK

By the way, eggy, dear, the two polls are not even remotely contradictory. It is entirely possible for someone to believe that the war has not yet been lost and also to believe that Petraeus will not give an accurate accounting of the war and that Bush will not change course under any circumstances.

Posted by: PaulB on September 9, 2007 at 9:54 AM | PERMALINK

This is completely at odds with the recent Zogy poll showing that most Americans believe that war will be won.

I thought Egbert was wrong, too, but I remembered a recent poll that said most Americans believe the war could be won, and also that most Americans believed that we wouldn't win it.

Posted by: Swan on September 9, 2007 at 10:11 AM | PERMALINK

The Bushies have achieved the impossible: neither it matters that the majority of Americans does not trust them, nor does it matter that a majority of Americans opposes their policies. They can do whatever they want, and half of the elite opinion makers are always there to cheer them on, and most of the other half support them, no matter how halfheartedly, and their well proven incompetence, mendacity, and deceptions continue unabated with absolutely no real consequences for their leaders.

Posted by: gregor on September 9, 2007 at 10:22 AM | PERMALINK

Egbert,

you are truly making great strides!

I remember a time, long ago (6 weeks?) when you where using your youth group - an their flaming love for republicans - as a sample prooving how much americans love the current administration.

Now you are alredy lecturing other people about how thems statistics are done.

Impressive, very impressive. They desperately seek those kinds of skills in the industry, where burgers need to be flipped correctly.

Get one ready for me with extra bacon you math-wizard...

Posted by: backbert on September 9, 2007 at 10:28 AM | PERMALINK

Look, all we have to do is bomb Iran and everything will be OK. The Iranian government will collapse, the Shiites in southern Iraq will start watching Fox News, the Sunnis in Iraq will want us to build Wal-Marts, the Taliban will give up and turn in Osama, Hezbollah will convert to Christianity, the Saudis will let us have all their oil for free, and God's Chosen People (AMERICA) will continue their happy motoring and Divine Right to Shopping and Easy Credit. Praise Jesus!

Posted by: Wacko on September 9, 2007 at 10:29 AM | PERMALINK

And the Baghdad Bombers will be admitted to the NFL as the newest expansion team.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on September 9, 2007 at 10:35 AM | PERMALINK

And visiting teams will have to rely on a whole slew of Hail Marys.

Posted by: stupid git on September 9, 2007 at 10:36 AM | PERMALINK

Worth sharing--From Ray McGovern, CIA expert:
"What Gen. David Petraeus has set in motion, or at least condoned, is the massaging of data to justify what his boss, President Bush, wants to do in Iraq; namely, to keep enough troops “in the fight” in order to stave off definitive defeat before he and Vice President Dick Cheney leave office in January 2009."
"That’s what the “surge” is all about, and Petraeus is smart enough to know that only too well.
"Like his apparent role model, Colin Powell, he can bear four stars on his shoulder, but he must also bear on his conscience thousands of Shanks as a result of his eagerness to play in the Bush/Cheney charade."
"A more precise counterpart, and role model, to Gen. Petraeus is the late Gen. William Westmoreland, commander of our forces in Vietnam."

"The argument over whether or not the “surge” is working brings back un-fond memories of the deliberate smoke-and-mirrors approach Westmoreland forced on intelligence analysts in Saigon, including deliberate falsification of the numbers on enemy strength."

"It would be tempting to sift through the ample grist of the present and cite, for example, facts like the demonstrable failure of the surge to meet its stated aim; the key judgment of the latest National Intelligence Estimate that the current government in Baghdad “will become more precarious over the next six to twelve months”; the conclusion of a blue-ribbon group of retired generals that it is necessary to rebuild the Iraqi police from scratch; the amply justified fear on the part of analysts in the General Accountability Office and the intelligence community that the Army will continue to do all it can to water down their assessments; and, not least, the controversy over the various methodologies being used to track the security situation in Iraq, including such basics as what incidents to count and how to categorize them."

I shall resist that temptation in what follows. Rather, I believe it will be much more instructive to show that this kind of thing has happened before within the lifetimes of half of us. It was an unconscionable performance on the part of Gen. Westmoreland and his Pentagon bosses that thousands more (troops)—not to mention Vietnamese—died as a direct result of the dishonesty.
Vietnam Flashback .My flashback was occasioned by press reports yesterday that senior Army officers in Baghdad were trashing the conclusions of the NIE and the GAO analyses..."

Posted by: consider wisely always on September 9, 2007 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

What a stupid poll about what people think about what someone is going to say.

Kevin's view that this poll is good and significant is further evidence of how partisan bias has replaced good faith judgment with respect to the Iraqi war and our national security. General Patraeus is regarded as an honorable man. We could at least wait to see what he has to say. Instead, Kevin and liberals in general are more interested in trying to further poison the political divide on the war.

Posted by: brian on September 9, 2007 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

Don't you liberals ever go to bed like decent people do?!

I'm having a good time watching egbert spend the weekend quoting the Zigby poll, the Zogy poll...the parody is too obvious if he comes out and calls it the Ziggy poll?

Posted by: shortstop on September 9, 2007 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

General Patraeus is regarded as an honorable man.

No, in fact he's not, even by people who know how to spell his name.

The "political divide" here is not between Republicans and Democrats, BTW--it's between 70-odd percent of Americans, including most Republican voters, and the backwashers like you and the apparently suicidal Republican Congressional caucus.

Posted by: shortstop on September 9, 2007 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

What part of that public actually votes?

Posted by: MaryLou on September 9, 2007 at 12:04 PM | PERMALINK

Posted by: John Hansen on September 9, 2007 at 1:32 AM | PERMALINK

Do we now know 'egbert's' name?

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on September 9, 2007 at 12:14 PM | PERMALINK

"What a stupid poll about what people think about what someone is going to say."

Dear heart, the poll speaks directly to the credibility of the administration and of Petraeus. As such, it's highly relevant to the dog-and-pony show that both are going to be putting on next week, a dog-and-pony show that the U.S. public has already judged and found wanting.

"Kevin's view that this poll is good and significant is further evidence of how partisan bias has replaced good faith judgment with respect to the Iraqi war and our national security."

ROFLMAO.... No, dear, it doesn't. It simply shows that we don't think that either the Bush administration or General Petraeus are displaying "good faith judgment" with respect to events in Iraq. Moreover, as previous threads have documented, we have ample reason to think this.

"General Patraeus is regarded as an honorable man."

No, dear, he's not, not by anyone who has examined his record over the past four years or who has observed his deliberate lying in the past few weeks.

"We could at least wait to see what he has to say."

Dear heart, he's already said it. We know precisely what he's going to say next week.

"Instead, Kevin and liberals in general are more interested in trying to further poison the political divide on the war."

No, dear, we're just interested in reality and the truth, two things the Bush administration are manifestly unfamiliar with. You should take a look at them sometime.

Posted by: PaulB on September 9, 2007 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

You can't fool all of the people all of the time.
What a bitch. It must suck to be you, GOP.
Posted by: frankly0

Really? Why would it suck to be the GOP? They and their policies are wildly unpopular and yet they still get their way with the Dems and the media. The whole country knows it's a load of bull, and yet what do you think we Americans will do about it? Wait for the next election and hope, just like with the last two elections? That's working out quite well, isn't it? Obviously most of the Dems are quiet Lieberdems who have actually supported this war from the initial authorization vote, and they will support it for the rest of their careers.

Posted by: jussumbody on September 9, 2007 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

Neat poll. Too bad the people don't hold sway in this democracy anymore.

Posted by: Boronx on September 9, 2007 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

These polls are worthless.

Very few people have the competence to assess whether the report was correctly compiled. Of those that do, few will spend the time to do so.

For the rest, their responses will proceed directly from self-identification.

If you are a GOP dead-ender (a 28 percent-er) then you'll assert that the report is accurate. You'll also assert that if the report was negative then Bush would change his policy ('cause he's a good person, right?). If asked about the economy you'll assert the economy is doing well. If asked about social security you'll claim it is bankrupt. If asked about WMD's you'll say they were found in Iraq. Etc.

Polls like this are but proxy measures of party sentiment.

Posted by: Adam on September 9, 2007 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

Too bad it's not a democracy anymore.

Posted by: consider wisely always on September 9, 2007 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

I have a comment:

IMPEACH AND IMPRISON BUSH AND CHENEY!!!

Thank you.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on September 9, 2007 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

Mouth foam level here: four feet and climbing.

And you thought global warming was what was going to drown us.

Posted by: harry on September 9, 2007 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

From the article:
...As on many issues involving Iraq, Democrats and Republicans have decidedly divergent views, with independents largely tilting toward the Democratic vantage point. Just 23 percent of Democrats and 39 percent of independents expected an honest depiction of conditions in Iraq. By contrast, two-thirds of Republicans anticipated a straightforward accounting....
Two-thirds of Republicans demand to be fooled all the time. Their faith is insane. No empirical reality will ever penetrate their ideological illusions.

Example #1, John Hansen at 1:32 AM who fails to list option 1d) will reflect all the spin inherent in the report and 2d) will see ABC/ Wash Post continue their neo-con propaganda efforts.

....liberals in general are more interested in trying to further poison the political divide on the war. brian at 11:40 AM

Strange how RepubliConTarians are deaf to all their own demagoguing about the war, terror, and terrorism. At no time did they attempt to have a bi-partisan consensus, but instead reverted to their standard operating procedure of smear&lie

Posted by: Mike on September 9, 2007 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

You would expect an honest Republican answer to a poll why, exactly ?

Posted by: opit on September 9, 2007 at 6:09 PM | PERMALINK

I think PolAnimal is kind. "AMERICAN PUBLIC SMARTER THAN YOU THINK"? Bah. They may be smart but they are cowards.

I was in NYC recently. I saw "No end in sight" - a competant documentary on the the war. There we all were sitting in a movie theatre watching the republican machine violate everything that makes sense and is good. Violating us. And Quite casually. Off to war without a plan or an idea. And impeachment is still a whimsical idea. Something no one really bites the bullet to do.

We are a bunch of ninny-headed freaks. The conservatives say that you have to fight for liberty. How true. How wierd they ended up backing this feckless dolt. This boy-prince. The faux cowboy. How awful that we sit on our behinds and complain. Watch movies that just rehash the same old story.

Posted by: exclab on September 9, 2007 at 6:34 PM | PERMALINK

*

[Think of the *'s as ratings of wingnuttery.]

Posted by: mhr on September 9, 2007 at 8:13 PM | PERMALINK

LOL reading you wankers saying this liberal monkey-spunk.

Have you been reading the news lately out of Iraq? Oh, yeah, can't find any headlines, cuz we are pwning the shit out of al-qaida and the iraqis themselves are whupping ass on the terrorists.

Marines are bored in iraq. Not enough action. They want back into Afghanistan to rescue the NATO tards.

Liberals PWNED!

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