It's Only Civil War But I Like It


Republican stalwarts, after a few days of tearfully watching Bush's numbers fade in the Rasmussen poll, are high-fiving their hands raw over the new Gallup poll. Bush is at 44 percent! The GOP ballot test is up to 48 percent! Andie, he came here alone!

Indeed, a boost in the president's ratings after a week of 9/11 memorial coverage and beaucoups free media is a stunning development that no one could have predicted. But look at the other questions in the poll. Seventy-two percent of voters think "Iraq is in a state of civil war." That's a Democratic talking point bellowed daily by John Murtha and debunked less-than-daily by George Bush. And people believe Murtha over Bush. At the same time, the number of Americans who want to leave Iraq is at a multi-month low. Forty-eight percent want to leave now or get out within 12 months. That's down from last month's record 55 percent. And fifty-one percent want to stay "as long as needed" or send more troops. That's up 10 points from last month.

Millions of voters who think American troops are playing referee in a civil war are nonetheless willing to keep them there? Figure that out. [And check out Byron York for a breakdown of how the Bush 9/11 push moved numbers on the wiretapping issue.]

NEXT: What the Drug Czar Believes (What Is He, High? Edition)

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  1. The polls are all over the place:

    USA Today/Sept19 Approve44%, Disapprove51% Rasmussen/Sept18 Approve41%, Disapprove58%
    Rasmussen/Sept/17 Approve41%, Disapprove57% Harris/Sept15 Approve24%, Disapprove73%
    Harris/Sept15 Approve38%, Disapprove61%
    Fox News/Sept14 Approve40%, Disapprove49%
    Rasmussen/Sept14 Approve47%, Disapprove
    WSJ/NBC/Sept14 Approve 42%, Disapprove 53%
    Rasmussen/Sept13 Approve 45%, Disapprove 52%
    Gallup Sept 12 Approve 39%, Disapprove 56%

  2. Where’s the gas price graph? That is what is steering this movement. I bought gas the other day for $1.99 (Va. Beach). If it is anywhere around that come November, the Republican’s keep the majority.

  3. Millions of voters who think American troops are playing referee in a civil war are nonetheless willing to keep them there? Figure that out.

    Americans are extremely loath to be seen as “quitters” (see: War on Drugs). Our culture pounds into us the notion that “If at first you fail your deed, try again ’till you succeed!!” so anything that could be viewed as giving up is going to be heavily resisted, even if pressing on makes no sense (again, see War on Drugs).

  4. And to be honest, I don’t think the war in Iraq is at the top of most voters minds. They may say that in polls because they think it is what the questioner wants to hear, but I honestly doubt if more than 10% of the country gives a shit either way. Cab is right. The only thing that has been driving the polls is the price of gas.

  5. This recent polling data tells me that voters have a clear perspective on the war in Iraq…perhaps more cogent than either Party. They feel it is being handled poorly, they know what a civil war looks like, they believe Congress has failed to do its part in guiding and overseeing the executive branch, and they realize that the notion of exporting democracy to the Middle East is a Bush Doctrine that fails to recognize the realities in the region. Finally, they believe that Middle East stability is important and that a withdrawal that leaves Iraq in chaos may well be detrimental to the United States.

    That, my friends, is one spot on analysis and suggests that voters have discerned fact from fiction with an impressive demonstration of acuity. Perhaps both parties will someday learn that the truth is, in the final analysis, the most powerful campaign strategy available. Don’t hold your breath.

    Read more here:

  6. Once again, we’d all be better off if we followed this sage advice : “You tried your best, and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try.”

  7. peachy:

    But then we’d be Mexicans!

  8. These poll results are from three to four days ago.

    If you look as faster polls, the Rasmussen tracking poll being just one of them, most of them show a slight uptick starting the day Bush gave his speech about the captured terrrorists and the military tribunals, which peaked just after 9/11, and then started to recede.

  9. does the term “good fences make good neighbors” orginate from libertarian thinking or from somewhere else?

  10. It’s a muddle. Democrats say the war was a “mistake”, but “we can’t fail” – if we can succeed, how can it be a mistake?

    Democrats say Rumsfield didn’t send enough troops, AND we should stay, AND we should begin “drawing down” troop levels…how does THAT make sense?

  11. I haven’t heard any anti-war Democrats saying we should send more troops, Andrew. Many have said that we should have sent more troops way back when if we were going to do this thing, but that’s a very different point.

    I also haven’t heard any anti-war Democrats say we should stay. Disagreements about the exact timing and duration of the withdrawal are not declarations that we should stay.

  12. Prohibition is an awful flop.
    We like it.
    It can’t stop what it’s meant to stop.
    We like it.
    It’s left a trail of graft and slime,
    It don’t prohibit worth a dime,
    It’s filled our land with vice and crime.
    Nevertheless, we’re for it.

  13. I haven’t heard any anti-war Democrats…period.

    “Disagreements about the exact timing and duration of the withdrawal are not declarations that we should stay.”

    Yeah, they are.

  14. Oh, joe…

    The best part about watching you talk about how much better things would be if the Democrats were in charge – or ever manage to get back in charge – is watching you squirm when people point out the glaringly obvious reality: there is no appreciable difference between the Republicans you hate and the Democrats you love.

    The naivete is kind of charming. It gives one the sense that “he really is smart enough to reject the nonsense on the right, but still manages to swallow the ‘we’re different’ malarkey from the left in one swift gulp.”

    I guess what I’m saying is that joe’s selective suppression of his gag reflex is a sight to behold.

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