Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Bush Iraq Leadership Wildly Popular*

*When comparing popularity on Bush's leadership over the course of the last few months, rather than the entire war...

The lead on MSNBC right now is a picture of President Bush with the headline: "Uptick" Clicking the link loads a page headlined: "Bush’s Iraq standing improves".

The story is based upon a poll which shows that popular support for the Presidents leadership in Iraq has exploded to 30%. It should be noted however that this level of approval on the Presidents Iraq policy is actually lower than when the Republicans were thumped in the midterm elections last year. How in the world can that be trumpeted as a success?

At the end of October of last year the public approval of Bush's policy stood at a whopping 34%! The Republicans were swept from Congress in a historic election. It was the very first time since the founding of this nation that a sitting incumbent of a major party had not lost a seat. The breadth of the electoral rout was epic in scale.

Since then the President has lost even more support for his Iraq policies... but the Republicans in Congress seem to be resolved to assist the President in continuing this disaster as if they have the upper hand in public support. The Republican position has worsened, and for some mysterious reason the Democrats can not seem to gather the intestinal fortitude to give the American people what we so obviously want.

The same poll demonstrates... AGAIN... that wide margins of the American people find "most acceptable" either immediate withdrawal, or a plan to withdraw from Iraq within a year, leaving a response force in the region. Which is actually the plan Murtha proposed before the 2006 midterm elections to the widespread jeering and derision of sundry Bush toadies. Conversely this poll shows that only 24% of respondants thought it was "most acceptable" to leave troops in Iraq until that nation becomes a stable democracy. Yet we are barraged with a constant drumbeat of punditry telling us that the American people do not want to leave Iraq without winning (whatever that means) and we need to leave with honor (they should have thought about that before moving the interrogation techniques from GITMO to Abu Graib, or they lied us into this quagmire) and so on. Puleeze!

Fine! If Republicans can't seem to learn the lesson of the the 2006 midterm rout, and Democrats won't even try to end the quagmire because the Republicans are so freaking scary whenever they run those attack ads... can you imagine the landslide we have coming down the pipe in 2008?

This may even be for the best actually. After giving due consideration to the disastrous nature of every major endeavor undertaken by this administration, I would be extremely worried in trusting this President to be commander in chief of a withdrawal from Iraq. If this administration were to oversee this maneuver and it went off the tracks, as is typical for such large projects taken on by Bush, we could really witness a tragedy of enormous proportions for our military. Another consideration working against Bush is that his heart would not be in the procedure he was charged to complete. We have seen how disastrous the President can be in setting policy on issues he is intimately concerned with... it's difficult to percieve how much of a trainwreck the President could generate by being tasked with a difficult and massive task which he does not agree should be done.

If this view is correct maybe the best we can hope for is that the forces in Iraq are withdrawn from the neighborhoods and patrols and put into a defensive posture inside those massive bases. Then, when we have a new President, let that person be the one to bring them home safely.

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