Skip to comments.Polls Show Growing Support for Bush (Oklahoman Editorial with Anti/Daschle/Kerry comments)
Posted on 03/19/2003 9:07:47 AM PST by PhiKapMom
Polls Show Growing Support for Bush
THE Bush administration couldn't rally United Nations Security Council support for military action to disarm Saddam Hussein. But it achieved something that probably is more important on the eve of war: solid backing from the American people.
Polls taken after President Bush's speech Monday night show 65 to 71 percent of Americans support going to war against Saddam's regime, even without the U.N.'s blessing.
Surveys taken by the Washington Post/ABC News, MSNBC and the Wall Street Journal reflect growing support for Bush in excess of the usual patriotic bump a president gets before the outbreak of hostilities.
For example, the Post/ABC News poll showed 71 percent support a war with Iraq, compared to 59 percent two weeks ago. Nearly 66 percent said they approve of the way Bush is handling the confrontation with Iraq, compared to 55 percent a week ago.
The surge in support is coming mostly from Democrats who've come over to the president's position. The Post/ABC News poll found 60 percent of Democrats now agree with Bush, compared to 40 percent in early March. A majority of women (66 percent) also think Bush is doing the right thing.
What seems clear is despite missteps -- Bush's diplomatic team lacks the deft touch displayed by the first President Bush in organizing the 1991 war coalition -- the American public believes this president is right to threaten Saddam with imminent war.
Bush deserves credit for identifying the war's mission and the stakes for America. Americans believe he gave the U.N. a proper chance to disarm Iraq peacefully but now is justified in jettisoning ineffective diplomatic processes to get the job done.
The poll results should give pause to Bush's political opponents, including Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota and 2004 presidential hopeful John Kerry, D- Mass. Both reacted to Bush's speech with strong criticism of the administration's U.N. efforts.
Daschle, who voted last fall for a congressional resolution ultimately authorizing war against Iraq, said Bush's diplomatic efforts have "failed so miserably." Daschle said it's bad to "give up one life because this president couldn't create the kind of diplomatic effort that is so critical for this country." Kerry, who also voted for the war resolution, said Bush has "clumsily and arrogantly squandered the post-9/11 support of the entire civilized world."
Of course, both have partisan political reasons to blame Bush instead of France or Saddam for the U.N.'s failure to reach consensus. Neither gains much credibility on the issue by merely contending more or better diplomacy should've been exercised.
France's recent announcement that it would veto any Security Council resolution holding Iraq accountable suggests diplomacy ultimately was doomed to failure.
Those who oppose war should now make a decision to support not only U.S. troops, but also their commander in chief. There will be opportunity for constructive criticism of the war's management, if there is war. But partisanship isn't needed or constructive and will only aid Saddam. Daschle's comments may not give comfort to Iraq, said House Speaker Dennis Hastert, "but they come mighty close."
If for no other reason than smart politics, Daschle, Kerry and others would be wise to moderate their comments -- since polling clearly shows that right now they're speaking for only 30 to 35 percent of Americans.
Well, you've got to give him credit.
John Fitzgerald Kerry-Heinz threw someone else's medals over the White House wall in protest and pronounced them his very own.
Was that sophisticated, or was that sophisticated? Or was it merely duplicitous?
He's becoming a joke - Lurch Fitzgerald Kerry-Heinz in the flesh!