Liberal values has a response to TownHall’s Dean Barnett. If you missed it, it’s about the Fox News poll that says nearly 2/3 of the people think this is the last chance to win in Iraq. (Well, the last chance for Bush to win. And it makes sense. He’s gone in 2 years. If this doesn’t work, he’s not going to have any time to try something new.)
Dean Barnett, however, points to a section where 51% of Democrats want the Bush plan to succeed, compared with 79% of Republicans and 63% of independents. For those who want the Bush plan to fail, Dems are 34% in favor of failure, with Republicans at 11% and Independents at 19%. The rest don’t know/don’t care.
Now, Ron Chusid at Liberal Values thinks that’s just silly to really peg 1/3 of Democrats as wishing for defeat in Iraq. He claims the “authoritarian right” is behind this smear.
Here’s his response:
Beyond the obvious problem of making any conclusion against Democrats based upon information from Fox News, a pseudo-news service established to distort the news to advance the GOP agenda, these results are open to other interpretations. Sure, we could take this literally and assume that a shocking number of Americans from all political parties hope for defeat. A more reasonable explanation is that a large number of Americans do not pay close attention to these polling questions. The results correlate fairly well by party with general opinions on the war. The most likely explanation is that people went down the list answering “yes” or “no” based upon their views of Bush and the war without paying close attention to the details of the question. It is doubtful that 49% of Democrats desire defeat considering what is at stake, just as it is doubtful that even 21% of Republicans do not support success.
1) It’s Fox News! They never say anything good about Democrats! (Even though the poll shows an approval number of 35% for the President.)
2) A large number of Americans do not pay close enough attention to polling questions.
That’s my favorite. “Hey, our party is way more stupid than yours. We can’t figure out polling questions!” Seriously, Ron. You really believe that? I can think that there’s 10% of Repbulicans and Independents who flub the question’s meaning. By that point in the poll they may have “poll fatigue”. Or their kid is sticking a fork in the wall socket. Or they’re trying to solve the puzzle on Wheel of Fortune. But seriously, Democrats are three times more distracted than the other demographics? Come on. I’ll buy that twice as many are stoned, but not thricely distracted.
Face up to the facts, Ron. There are 20-30% of your party who actively don’t want Bush to succeed in Iraq for whatever reason.
3) The most likely explanation is that people went down the list answering “yes” or “no” based upon their views of Bush and the war without paying close attention to the details of the question.
And Ron shows his complete either laziness or disdain for polling information, which would make us wonder why he’s commenting on polls in the first place. Follow the link to the poll posted above (which was posted on the Townhall piece). You’ll find the distribution as follows:
Questions 1 & 2 — approve, disapprove
3-10 favorable, unfavorable
11 positive, negative
12 More, less, same
13 Most important issue
21 — succeed/fail
23-27 Great deal/somewhat/not much/not at all
29 Last chance/try again
30 Leave/Encourage/no change
31 Too impatient/willing to tolerate
33-37 More,less, no change
38 All, liberal, conservative
So there’s only 3 yes/no questions to get “fatigued” on. And one of them comes after the questions of success or failure.
4) It is doubtful that 49% of Democrats desire defeat considering what is at stake, just as it is doubtful that even 21% of Republicans do not support success.
Here Ron throws in the “don’t know” folks in with those who want Bush to fail. It’s a little misleading, but Dean did something similar, although Dean did qualify the remark by representing it as failing or not knowing which.
I know where most Democrats stand– with a US victory. A US defeat is just too costly. And they begrudgingly want it, even though that means giving Bush credit for a win somewhere. But about 1/3 of the Democrats want a US failure. I think that’s a fair estimate. These are the same 1/3 who wanted an immediate US withdrawal— and that’s a failure any which way you spin it, Ron.