Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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October 1, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

YET MORE POLLS....Another day, another poll about the war. Roughly speaking, today's new Washington Post poll just confirms what we all knew already: the country turned against the war in mid-2005 and has stayed opposed ever since.

But, as usual, a fair number of people are confused. For example, 52% think Bush's schedule for troop deployments is about right (or should be even more aggressive). However, 70% think funding for the war should be reduced. In other words, about 18% of the population supports Bush's war plan but doesn't support funding it. Or else they don't realize that the budget request and the troop deployment plan are tightly linked. Or they just reflexively support whatever the president proposes but just as reflexively want to spend less money. Or something.

Beats me. I just work here.

Kevin Drum 11:20 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (82)

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Comments

The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.

Posted by: JS on October 1, 2007 at 11:49 PM | PERMALINK

Truly. Now you know what the average pol feels like.

Posted by: bleh on October 1, 2007 at 11:52 PM | PERMALINK

"Or they just reflexively support whatever the president proposes but just as reflexively want to spend less money."

I dunno. Sounds like pretty straight-forward Republican base logic to me.

Posted by: jonas on October 2, 2007 at 12:03 AM | PERMALINK

The general public entrusts elected officials with a degree of trust that they are able to manage responsibilities they are entrusted with.

It's not the public's job to work out policy details, especially on subjects that don't manifest themselves directly in peoples' own daily lives. The public is often well able to choose among alternatives, but not when one alternative is presented and another is only hinted at.

That's our situation today. The President has one position, while his Democratic critics are still looking for theirs -- they know what they want, but one of the things they want is assurances that nothing they propose will subject them to future attack on the campaign trail (his Republican critics are even less bold).

Put yourself in the shoes of voters -- the vast majority of voters -- who do not follow foreign affairs closely on a daily basis. It isn't because they are stupid; it's because they have lives, and public affairs are only a small part of those lives. Wouldn't you be confused?

Posted by: Zathras on October 2, 2007 at 12:06 AM | PERMALINK

I'd like to see a poll of people who could first pass a simple 5 question quiz on current events. Get them all right, then you can have an opinion.

That might be interesting.

Posted by: craigie on October 2, 2007 at 12:10 AM | PERMALINK

The real question is: why aren't the Democrats seizing obvious opportunities to lead? They could end the war simply by doing nothing- without funding, no defense department. Or, in the alternative, all they have to do is attach to every defense funding bill a resolution repealing the October 2002 force authorization against Iraq resolution and mandating that funds be used to get troops out within a set period- say 6 months. It is absurd to say that the Democrats need a veto proof majority to end the war. All they need is a majority in one of the two houses to end the war, because without their authorization votes, the war machine stops.

It's almost like the Va. Tech shooter kept running out of clips and the Democrats had to keep running up and handing him more ammunition while complaining that they need more votes to stop themselves from arming the killer.

Posted by: Goose99 on October 2, 2007 at 12:15 AM | PERMALINK

It isn't because they are stupid; it's because they have lives, and public affairs are only a small part of those lives.

The question then becomes, how much effect do public affairs have on people's lives. If only a little, then you are right -- they don't need to pay attention. But if public affairs can affect people's lives a lot, and they (the people) don't pay attention, then they are in fact stupid -- no?

Posted by: JS on October 2, 2007 at 12:24 AM | PERMALINK

Or they just reflexively support whatever the president proposes but just as reflexively want to spend less money. Or something.

I think it means just what it looks like: people want a more limited scope for the war, but recognize that Iraq's problems have something to do with us and as long as their are efforts to solve those problems we should in some way remain part of it. Also people don't want terrorism to come from Iraq to us, but just like the rest of us they aren't really sure of a how real a terrorism threat to the United States Iraq is and what the U.S. can do to neutralize it (militarily or otherwise).

Posted by: Swan on October 2, 2007 at 12:41 AM | PERMALINK

and as long as their are efforts

Whoops, "there are."

And I'm saying that people want us to help Iraq- despite what it may have read like I didn't mean to shift from the descriptive to the normative.

Posted by: Swan on October 2, 2007 at 12:44 AM | PERMALINK

For example, 52% think Bush's schedule for troop deployments is about right (or should be even more aggressive). However, 70% think funding for the war should be reduced.

Couldn't it be people support President Bush and General Petraeus's troop scheduling but think we can cut spending on it by spending it more efficiently and perhaps privatization? This sounds like the best interpretation of the data to me. Also the poll says President Bush's approval rating is higher than the Congress's by 33 to 29 even though the Democrats control Congress. Overall, I don't think there's much good news for Democrats in the poll, but I have to look at it more closely later.

Posted by: Al on October 2, 2007 at 12:44 AM | PERMALINK

Als, guess what: On question 8 of the poll, 49% trusted the Democrats more to handle the situation in Iraq and only 34% trusted Republicans more. Go figure.

Posted by: Swan on October 2, 2007 at 12:48 AM | PERMALINK

The Al-bot is right. We should privatize the military right away.

Oh, wait, we already have.

Posted by: craigie on October 2, 2007 at 12:49 AM | PERMALINK

11. Do you think (the United States should keep its military forces in Iraq until civil order is restored there, even if that means continued U.S. military casualties); OR, do you think (the United States should withdraw its military forces from Iraq in order to avoid further U.S. military casualties, even if that means civil order is not restored there)?

Keep forces: 43 Withdraw forces: 54 No opinion: 3

Posted by: Swan on October 2, 2007 at 12:50 AM | PERMALINK

Also check out number 16 (do they think a Dem or Repub president will handle the war better- 51/Dem, 31/Repub) and number 13: There's been a proposal to remove these additional U.S. forces from Iraq by next summer, returning to the earlier level of about 130-thousand U.S. troops. Do you think the number of U.S. forces in Iraq should be reduced more (quickly) than this, more (slowly), or is this about the right pace of troop reductions?

More quickly: 43
More slowly: 12
Right pace: 38
Should not be reduced: 2
No opinion: 5

Posted by: Swan on October 2, 2007 at 12:55 AM | PERMALINK

I think the poll ultimately shows most Americans are fucking clueless idiots about political matters. If they weren't, Bush wouldn't be pulling off this shit and people like Al wouldn't be so believable to some slice of the electorate.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on October 2, 2007 at 1:17 AM | PERMALINK

"Put yourself in the shoes of voters -- the vast majority of voters -- who do not follow foreign affairs closely on a daily basis. It isn't because they are stupid; it's because they have lives, and public affairs are only a small part of those lives. Wouldn't you be confused?"

Well, Zathras, I like to think I wouldn't be so confused that I'd simultaneously support Bush's war plan AND oppose paying for it. That ain't distraction, boy -- that's stupidity.

Posted by: Bruce Moomaw on October 2, 2007 at 1:27 AM | PERMALINK

Al mischaracterized Kevin's sentence, For example, 52% think Bush's schedule for troop deployments is about right (or should be even more aggressive), (which Kevin should have wrote more clearly).

Kevin clearly meant "more aggressive" as in, "more aggressively favoring pulling out quicker," not "more aggressively favoring keep troops there longer."

Al wrote Couldn't it be people support President Bush and General Petraeus's troop scheduling but think we can cut spending on...
after Kevin's sentence/

However the poll said:

More quickly: 43
More slowly: 12
Right pace: 38


Posted by: Swan on October 2, 2007 at 1:50 AM | PERMALINK

I wrote: "more aggressively favoring pulling out quicker," not "more aggressively favoring keep troops there longer."

Excuse me, that should have been "more aggressively in pulling out quicker," and "more aggressive in keeping troops there longer."

Posted by: Swan on October 2, 2007 at 1:53 AM | PERMALINK

Off Topic: Having not checked up on him since the dawn of the Internet, I've just been looking up the consummately witty Ned Sherrin online, and find that he died in the last day.

YouTube has a clip of him online from a 1979 "quiz" show that he did with Teresa Heinz Kerry and Jeff Greenfield.

He was the creator of "That Was the Week That Was," and without Sherrin, the world would never have had a Clive Anderson. He created the mold.

Posted by: Anon on October 2, 2007 at 2:10 AM | PERMALINK

Couldn't it be people support President Bush and General Petraeus's troop scheduling but think we can cut spending on it by spending it more efficiently and perhaps privatization?

No, I think the polls indicate that the public support impeaching President Bush, prosecuting Cheney, Rumsfeld and Erik Prince for war crimes, signing Kyoto, electing Hillary Clinton president, immediately withdrawing from Iraq, cutting the defense budget by 80% and enacting a universal single-payer health care plan, and nationalizing all of Al's assets.

Just looking at the numbers here.

Posted by: brooksfoe on October 2, 2007 at 2:36 AM | PERMALINK

Al: "Couldn't it be people support President Bush and General Petraeus's troop scheduling but think we can cut spending on it by spending it more efficiently and perhaps privatization?"

Grover Norquist goes to war!

Posted by: Kenji on October 2, 2007 at 2:46 AM | PERMALINK

Couldn't it be people support President Bush and General Petraeus's troop scheduling but think we can cut spending on it by spending it more efficiently and perhaps privatization?

Yeah! Good one Al! Because that has worked out so well thus far...

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on October 2, 2007 at 3:13 AM | PERMALINK

That would be at least 22% of people in the sample = 52% for Bush proposed troop levels or more - 30% not declaring they want to cut funding.

Posted by: Robert Waldmann on October 2, 2007 at 4:16 AM | PERMALINK

But, as usual, a fair number of people are confused. For example, 52% think Bush's schedule for troop deployments is about right (or should be even more aggressive).

—Kevin Drum

They're not confused. Bush freakin' LIED about the deployments. He said he was REDUCING them. That's what's causing the "confusion." It's the same thing he did by repeatedly conflating Saddam Hussein and 9/11.

Americans don't expect their president to LIE TO THEM. They're not confused because they're stupid; they're confused because their president IS LYING TO THEM.

And our so-called leaders should be pounding that message every day. Instead of EQUIVOCATING that we just can't know what is going to happen 6 years from now.

Posted by: Econobuzz on October 2, 2007 at 6:12 AM | PERMALINK

Our troops are trapped in a Bush/Cheney horror story, with Bush and Cheney always adding on a few more chapters, a few more chapters, a few more chapters, ad infinitum...with Iran as a sequel, and Syria, and probably World War III to follow...with our troops trapped in a nightmare fueled by Bush and Cheney's delusions.

Posted by: The Oracle on October 2, 2007 at 7:17 AM | PERMALINK

Quick quiz: historically, what's the main difference between Sunni and Shia Muslims? At the risk of oversimplifying, try to summarize it in one sentence.

These differences are at the root of why Bush and others say we can't leave Iraq (now that we've screwed things up so bad) because there will be a sectarian bloodbath. Yet Americans fundamentally don't understand Muslim religion and culture. We're occupying a country we don't understand.

The Bush Administration, like all authoritarian regimes, depends on voter confusion. Confusion is the gate the GOP drives their 18 wheelers through.

People are emotionally drawn to the troops, that's why they want them home. But as loyal Americans we think if we just spend a little more money and tighten our belts the President will work things out.

People never think Presidents, with the access they have to all that advice and intelligence, can still be as confused as the rest of us. But they can, particularly when they willfully deny facts "on the ground."

Posted by: pj in jesusland on October 2, 2007 at 8:50 AM | PERMALINK

the country turned against the war in mid-2005

...when the dishonest neocons and Bush Cultists -- but I repeat myself -- were insisting that the occupation was going just swimmingly.

That's the problem with all this bullshit about the so-called "surge" -- even if the figures showed the "surge" was working -- and they don't -- and if Iraq was making political progress -- and it isn't -- the warfloggers just don't have any credibility except among their own pro-war punditocracy. No more "light at the end of the tunnel" happy talk is going to sway the nation -- especially since so many warfloggers conspicuously refuse to make the kind of sacrifices they insit the nation must make. Hell, Bush to this day insists on paying for the war with a tax cut.

The American people have seen the dishonest use of cherry-picked statistics to claim "progress" -- forget about "victory" -- for years now. The warfloggers can sharpen up their Dolchstosslegende all they want -- and they are, which only goes to prove that deep down they know the war is lost, too -- but for the American people, that dog just won't hunt.

Bush and the neocons, through their mind-boggling incompetence, have ruined the GOP's decades-long branding effort on defense, and more and more it loosk like they've ruined the GOP as well. It's just a pity they've ruined America's national security into the bargain.

Posted by: Gregory on October 2, 2007 at 9:08 AM | PERMALINK

From quotes like this:

At the same time, there is no consensus about the pace of any U.S. troop withdrawals from Iraq. In July, nearly six in 10 said they wanted to decrease the number of troops there, but now a slim majority, 52 percent, think Bush's plan for removing some troops by next summer is either the right pace for withdrawal (38 percent) or too hasty (12 percent would like a slower reduction, and 2 percent want no force reduction). Fewer people (43 percent) want a quicker exit.

John Csanadi of Nanuet, N.Y., said he has mixed feelings about what to do next in Iraq. Asked about Bush's proposal for a modest drawdown of troops, he said: "It's a start. Not the best solution, but at least it's a start."

Sara Carter, a schoolteacher from Westland, Mich., called Bush's plan "better than it might be, not as good as it could be."


I think you'll find that the poll question explicitly mentioned Bush's "plan" to "withdraw" 30,000 soldiers in a year. If the poll question had instead said that Bush's plan was to maintain the escalated levels put into place last January through July, and then return to the pre January levels of 130,000 soldiers, you would have gotten a different response. The way to interpret this is, I think, that Americans overwhelming favor withdrawal, and take any plan that might conceivably be implemented as a step in the right direction.

Once more the combination of WH spin and Washington media's willingness to simply repeat muddies the water.

Posted by: JayAckroyd on October 2, 2007 at 9:39 AM | PERMALINK

When you're constantly reminded of how much people aren't paying attention, you can kind of understand why authoritarianism and totalitarianism are so tempting to members of the Bush administration.

Hey, ruling the world by force instead of leading by virtue is a natural human urge. It's just that good people resist it.

Posted by: shortstop on October 2, 2007 at 10:05 AM | PERMALINK

Al is right! All we have to do is replace our entire military with private security forces, sell the Dept of Defense to a private company (preferably in UAE or the Cayman Islands for the tax advantages), start charging the Iraqis a daily Liberation Fee (some restrictions may apply, void where prohibited), and we can bring this war in under budget. Let the free market set the cost of this war!

And those sub-prime mortgages and CDOs - we can get the Iraqi stock market to start investing in those, and pretty soon we'll get the US real estate boom going again! America is truly God's country!

Posted by: Wacko on October 2, 2007 at 10:16 AM | PERMALINK

In another recent poll, the American public's job approval rating of itself dropped to 17%, the lowest number on record.

Posted by: Nemo on October 2, 2007 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

craigie wants to see the average voter asked five questions about current events - Yesterday, either CNN or MSNBC did a man on the street interview with an "average" citizen - The topic was in regards to the toughening of questions presented to those immigrants seeking citizenship. The "average, perhaps "reasonable" citizen man missed all five questions - One of them asked who was next in line for President, if anything untoward happened to the Pres and VP - Even given a clue as to Pelosi's name, he responded, "A Senator?

Posted by: thethirdPaul on October 2, 2007 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

Polls change all the time, but, in the long run, they will follow the actual results. When we appear to be losing, the public will oppose the war. If we seem to be winning, they will support it.

Happpily, the recent news from Iraq is very good:

• On Monday came news that U.S. military deaths in Iraq fell to 64 in September, the fourth straight drop since peaking at 121 in May and driving the toll to a 14-month low.

• Civilian deaths also have plunged, dropping by more than half from August to 884. Remember just six months ago all the talk of an Iraqi "civil war"? That seems to be fading.

• The just-ended holy month of Ramadan in Iraq was accompanied by a 40% drop in violence, even though al-Qaida had vowed to step up attacks.

• Speaking of al-Qaida, the terrorist group appears to be on the run, and possibly on the verge of collapse — despite making Iraq the center of its war for global hegemony and a new world order based on precepts of fundamentalist Islam.

• Military officials say U.S. troops have killed Abu Usama al-Tunisi, a Tunisian senior leader of al-Qaida in Iraq who was responsible for bringing foreign fighters into the country. Not surprisingly, the pace of foreign fighters entering Iraq has been more than halved from the average of 60 to 80 a month.

• Last month, 1,200 Iraqis waited patiently in line in Iraq's searing heat to sign up to fight al-Qaida. They will join an estimated 30,000 volunteers in the past six months — a clear sign the tide has turned in the battle for average Iraqis' hearts and minds.

• Finally, and lest you think it's all death and destruction, there's this: Five million Iraqi children returned to school last week, largely without incident, following their summer vacations.

http://ibdeditorial.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=276131413423304

Posted by: ex-liberal on October 2, 2007 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

I checked out those five questions, thethirdpaul, and I got one wrong; I didn't get the number of constitutional amendments right. How embarrassing.

Posted by: shortstop on October 2, 2007 at 11:09 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin --

The share of respondents that are confused/self-contradictory on these 2 questions is at least 18% -- the difference between 70% and 52%. But it could be as high as 52%. The fact that you believe it's only 18% shows that you are assuming that the degree of confusion out there has to be the minimum possible given the poll results, but that there's nothing in the poll itself that supports this assumption.

Posted by: DNS on October 2, 2007 at 11:10 AM | PERMALINK

Gerrrrate News FAUX - Now, that the al-Qs have been tarred and feathered and run out of the hills, the Hatfields and McCoys can get back to their regular activities.

Posted by: stupid git on October 2, 2007 at 11:12 AM | PERMALINK

[/trolling]

Posted by: rdw on October 2, 2007 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

Ah, yes, Investor's Business Daily -- for when the Wall Street Journal editorial page just isn't wingnut enough.

"ex-liberal" delights in posting in bad faith, but that one was a doozy. Only "ex-liberal" could celebrate the deaths of 64 American service members as a good thing.

Thanks for admitting, though, "ex-liberal", that's it's about making it "seem" to the American public that we're winning. But after more than four years of painted-school, just-around-the-corner bullshit, neocon jerks like you have no more credibility.

Jackass.

Posted by: Gregory on October 2, 2007 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

[/trolling]

Posted by: rdw on October 2, 2007 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

Not at all.

Maybe not most Americans, but rdw, for sure. [eyeroll]

Posted by: Gregory on October 2, 2007 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

[/trolling]

Posted by: rdw on October 2, 2007 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

Calm down.

I'm perfectly calm; I'm just pointing out your lunacy, dimwit.

Posted by: Gregory on October 2, 2007 at 11:39 AM | PERMALINK

...but thanks, rdw, for confirming my contention that the neocon faulires of the Bush Administration are reduced to creating phony public perceptions of victory, having failed to produce the genuine article in the mess they've made of Iraq.

You belive them, and "ex-liberal" professes to -- probably falsely, as his preparations for the Dolchstosslegende reveal a perception that the war is lost after all -- but the American people just don't believe this Amdinistration's happy talk.

That said, if you think Baghdad is so safe, I do by all means encourage you to go live there.

Posted by: Gregory on October 2, 2007 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

You seem reasonably intelligent

Thanks, rdw. That makes one of us.

Posted by: Gregory on October 2, 2007 at 11:45 AM | PERMALINK

[/trolling]

Posted by: rdw on October 2, 2007 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

Gregory,

Can't wait for the three car garage report from Iraq - Easily available for the masses - ARMs have helped the locals to purchase them.

Don't you just love these "fair weather" trolls coming out from their rat holes?

Posted by: thethirdPaul on October 2, 2007 at 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

al-Qaida...despite making Iraq the center of its war for global hegemony and a new world order based on precepts of fundamentalist Islam.

I understand they're out to steal Austin Powers' mojo as well...[shiver].

Posted by: ckelly on October 2, 2007 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

Jesus, your man-crush is disturbing. Are you sporting wood at the mention of Daves name? Is there an 8x10 glossy on your bedside table?

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on October 2, 2007 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

rdw wrote: No one is celebrating 64 the deaths of 64 American heroes.

au contraire, dimwit. "ex-liberal:"

Happpily, the recent news from Iraq is very good:

• On Monday came news that U.S. military deaths in Iraq fell to 64 in September

"ex-liberal" called 64 American deaths "very good" news. QED.

Posted by: Gregory on October 2, 2007 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

They understand we are winning in Iraq and it will be a huge, historic defeat for al Qaeda. It will be interestng when they run the same polls next month and support for General Patraeus grows substantially.

It will be interesting, yes.

I was talking to another Political Animal commenter the other day and the subject turned to the amazing ability of the backwashers to run every piece of news or information through the filter of their chosen narrative and comfort level. Naturally, rdw's name came up as an example of someone so divorced from reality that he doesn't even realize he's living in an alternate universe. He's not a liar in the conventional sense--he has actually convinced himself of the things he's saying. He believes them fervently.

So the question we then batted around was: How does somebody this far gone deal with the demands of daily life? Does this vast capacity for self delusion extend into every corner of rdw's existence? Does he hold an overdraft notice and believe he has a million bucks in the bank? Does he drive his SUV into a wall and become annoyed at the bricks for running into him? When he gazes into a mirror, does he believe his combover looks excellent?

Stuff to wonder about.

Posted by: shortstop on October 2, 2007 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

[/trolling]

Posted by: rdw on October 2, 2007 at 11:57 AM | PERMALINK

Don't you just love these "fair weather" trolls coming out from their rat holes?

Well, as I mentioned, "the "No, we're really winning this time, I swear!!!" propaganda is working, as usual, on the Bush Cultist dead-enders, who, as rdw indicated before the moderators wiped up his drool, badly, badly want to believe they're winners despite the four-plus years of failure this Administration has delivered.

It's just that despite all the "managed expectations" to make it "seem like" we're winning, the american people, after four-plus years of disconnect between Administration bullshit and facts on the ground, don't see the civil war and ethnic cleansing in Iraq as "progress" -- all the neocons have to sell -- let alone "victory."

Posted by: Gregory on October 2, 2007 at 11:58 AM | PERMALINK

Irony alert: rdw wrote

You are entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

...while ignoring the facts that no, the American people don't beleive the kind of paper-thin propaganda that deluded idiots like him swallow.

By the by, I can't help but be curious why the moderators are "sifficiently annoyed" by rdw's deluded, but I believe perfectly sincere, lunatic rants, while they tolerate "ex-liberal"'s chortling bad faith. De gustibus non disputandum, I guess.

Posted by: Gregory on October 2, 2007 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

[/trolling]

Posted by: rdw on October 2, 2007 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

It isn't because they are stupid; it's because they have lives, and public affairs are only a small part of those lives.

The question then becomes, how much effect do public affairs have on people's lives. If only a little, then you are right -- they don't need to pay attention. But if public affairs can affect people's lives a lot, and they (the people) don't pay attention, then they are in fact stupid -- no?Posted by: JS

Yup. Being a citizen is hard work. And if you aren't willing to work at it, then you really shouldn't be too pissed off when things like the attacks of 9/11 occur. After four years of occupying Iraq, I would guess the majority of Americans still can't work to connect the dots backwards, if you will.

Iraq is the reason we had the attacks of 9/11. No, unlike the approximately 30% "dead-enders" I don't believe that Iraq and Saddam were connected to the attacks. But I know that our invading Iraq can be directly linked to the next attack on U.S. soil or, at the very least, an attack on U.S. interests abroad. If we were to attack Iran tomorrow, I'd bet my life's savings and the mortgage to my house that we will be attacked within 48-hours by Iranian agents or Islamist sympathizers of some ilk. And again, Americans will be shocked, just shocked I say, that we were attacked.

As many clear-headed and better "connected" people than myself said, the amazing thing is not that the attacks of 9/11 occurred. What is amazing is that they didn't happen until 2001, after some 50 years of meddling in the ME with Carter's Camp David Accords being the only positive and honest effort since WWII to make the best of the bad situation that is Western and, particularly, U.S. relations with the ME in and greater Muslim world.

We are still, for the most part, the land of the dumb, fat (and getting fatter) and happy. I agree that it would be grand if we had such stellar leaders that we didn't need to worry our pretty (and mostly empty heads) about the complexities of international relations or even domestic policy. But politicians are people and people are fallible and/or dishonest. So we have to pay attention. Otherwise, we have nothing to complain about.

Posted by: JeffII on October 2, 2007 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

it is good news were losing fewer of our great heroes

Then it's also good news we're losing some of them. QED.

As for hack politician General Petraeus "leading our best and bravest into horrific battle," that's got to be the most deluded thing rdw wrote on this thread -- andthat's a bold statement! -- therefore I preserve it for posterity.

Posted by: Gregory on October 2, 2007 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

[/trolling]

Posted by: rdw on October 2, 2007 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

Don't take my word for it.

No danger of me taking your word for anything. If you stated the sky was blue, I would go outside and look up.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on October 2, 2007 at 12:16 PM | PERMALINK

[/trolling]

Posted by: rdw on October 2, 2007 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

Hell, No one here has figured out that all the money Bush keeps requesting is for the 180,000 Blackwater force,Not for our troops.

Posted by: john john on October 2, 2007 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

[/trolling]

Posted by: rdw on October 2, 2007 at 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

[/trolling]

Posted by: rdw on October 2, 2007 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

It means 18% of the population couldn't find their own asses with both hands, a road map, and a flashlight. They're among the GOP's core support.

Posted by: nemo on October 2, 2007 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

[/trolling]

Posted by: rdw on October 2, 2007 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

[/trolling]

Posted by: rdw on October 2, 2007 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

[/trolling]


Posted by: rdw on October 2, 2007 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK


above: Zathras, I like to think I wouldn't be so confused that I'd simultaneously support Bush's war plan AND oppose paying for it.


or zathras..

how about gwb's plan...

the surge is so successful...

he's asked for record-breaking amounts of funding...


Posted by: mr. irony on October 2, 2007 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

you might also try michaelyon.com or michaeltotten.com or go to hughhewlitt and try any of the dozen milibolgs.

Yes, yes, rdw, we're familiar with your so-called "sources" -- Hewitt, for Ford's sake! -- and given them the credibility they deserve.

And again, so do the American people -- you lap up the Administration's propaganda with a spoon, because you desperately want to believe you're on the winning team. Meanwhile, the rest of America has long since concluded that the Administration and its lackeys have no credibility. You really don't have to keep proving why.

Posted by: Gregory on October 2, 2007 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

ex: driving the toll to a 14-month low.

yet...

with 804 usa dead in iraq so far in 2007..with 3-months to go...

2007 will set a new high for usa casualties..

..4.5-years after the war began...

Posted by: mr. irony on October 2, 2007 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

"...52% think Bush's schedule for troop deployments is about right (or should be even more aggressive). However, 70% think funding for the war should be reduced. In other words, about 18% of the population supports Bush's war plan but doesn't support funding it...."
-----
Kevin, I think the polls reflect *sentiment* far more than reason. The sentiment I sense is:
1) We're re-deploying? About damned time, let's speed it up some more, because
2) This war is too damned expensive-we've been at this shitty casino way too long.

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on October 2, 2007 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK
… pass a simple 5 question quiz on current events…craigie at 12:10 AM
Try this 12 question test for political junkies. I'm sure we're all in the upper 6% except rightist dim wit and ex-lax, who don't know jackshit. Posted by: Mike on October 2, 2007 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

nemo: They're among the GOP's core support.


i guess its no coincidence that...

gwb's approval rating...Wash. Post/ABC 10/1/07

maliki's approval rating...ABC/BBC/NHK 9/10/07

and..

the number of people who think saddam was involved with 9-11...CBS/NYT 9/12/07

each stand at....

33%

Posted by: mr. irony on October 2, 2007 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

Try this 12 question test for political junkies. I'm sure we're all in the upper 6% except rightist dim wit and ex-lax, who don't know jackshit. Posted by: Mike on October 2, 2007 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

11 of 12. Missed the YouTube/debate question.

What's so interesting is how little difference there is between the results for HS educated (5.3 correct - ouch!) and some college (6.3 correct) and college degree (8.2), and how poorly the 18-29 year old age group fared as a whole (5.3 correct). "Old" people performed best.

The most interesting factoid though is hhow few people know that Bill Richardson is Hispanic - the stealth ethnic candidate! Then again, probably only 19% of participants even knew he was running for president.

Posted by: JeffII on October 2, 2007 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks, JeffII,

And I thought he was a small forward out of DePaul, who played for the Warriors.

Posted by: stupid git on October 2, 2007 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks, JeffII, And I thought he was a small forward out of DePaul, who played for the Warriors. Posted by: stupid git

Yes. He's often confused with him and Clint Richardson, who played at Seattle U. and then for Philly and Indiana back in the '80s.

Posted by: JeffII on October 2, 2007 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

JeffII, the only reason I knew about the DePaul player, is he chose DePaul at the very last minute after suggesting he would come to KU under Williams. Played either one or two years and jumped to the pros.

But, this does show the problem many politicos have in name recognition by the public, whether it be for a small local position or nationally.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on October 2, 2007 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

JeffII, the only reason I knew about the DePaul player, is he chose DePaul at the very last minute after suggesting he would come to KU under Williams. Played either one or two years and jumped to the pros. Posted by: thethirdPaul

Ah ha! You've exposed yourself as a double poster. I bet you meant to answer me at my e-mail, didn't you, you stupid git you.

I'll never trust you again. First you leave Seattle for the Rose City, and now this. You can just forget baby sitting for us ever again!

Posted by: JeffII on October 2, 2007 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

"...how poorly the 18-29 year old age group fared as a whole (5.3 correct)"
---------
I bet their scores might improve quite a bit if there was a draft. That would probably sharpen up the attention span a tad.

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on October 2, 2007 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

"...how poorly the 18-29 year old age group fared as a whole (5.3 correct)"
---------
I bet their scores might improve quite a bit if there was a draft. That would probably sharpen up the attention span a tad. Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station

Undoubtedly.

People seem to forget (or don't know) that there was very little anti-war sentiments on college campuses during the early days of the Vietnam War until student deferments were removed. Somehow, Cheney still managed to get four of them, and then lucked out when Lynn finally consented to consummate their marriage.

Posted by: JeffII on October 2, 2007 at 4:38 PM | PERMALINK

Somehow, Cheney still managed to get four of them, and then lucked out when Lynn finally consented to consummate their marriage.

I know nothing says "refreshing and restorative work break" more than picturing the Cheneys knocking boots, so it breaks my heart to tell you that Lynne was actually impregnated with a turkey baster which had been used that afternoon on a gobbler personally shot by a Cheney family friend, minutes before a soused Dick peppered the friend with birdshot. What a Thanksgiving that was!

Posted by: shortstop on October 2, 2007 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

Unfortunately someone has to be fair to "ex-Liberal"; it is clear from the context that the "good" part of the death of 64 US military is that it was a decline.
Everyone's comments about the rest of the post, however, were definately on target.

Posted by: Doug on October 2, 2007 at 6:35 PM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: Muriel on March 17, 2010 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK
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