Americans Agree with Harry Reid that Victory is Not Possible in Iraq
by Jonathan Singer, Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 03:37:21 PM EDT
As I noted a little earlier, the Bush administration and it's Republican allies have been in full time hack mode trying to attack Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for saying that he does not believe that the Iraq War can be won militariliy at this point. To an extent, this effort has been successful in that it has gotten the media repeating administration talking points. But just how successful has it been in swaying votes or even just bolstering the President's (or Republicans') position among Americans? Take a look at the data from the most recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal (.pdf) survey:
Do you think the U.S. goal of achieving victory in Iraq is still possible, or not?
Yes, victory in Iraq is still possible 36 No, victory in Iraq is not still possible 55 Not sure 9
These numbers, along with others from the poll that for instance show the public backing the Democrats over President Bush on the issue of Iraq by a similar 56 percent to 37 percent margin, quite clearly indicate that regardless of the bluster by the Bush administration and its allies inside the Beltway (both within Congress and in the conservative media) Americans just aren't buying the spin out of the White House any longer.
In some ways this points to an even greater problem for the Bush administration than just the battle over Sen. Reid's rhetoric. While the President and his proxies feel the necessity to engage the Democrats over the issue of Iraq, both because they believe it to be important on both policy and political levels but also because they believe they must do so for the President to remain relevant, every moment the White House spends talking about Iraq is a moment in which it is playing into the Democrats' hands. Certainly there are not a wealth of issues that the President can speak to that will improve his fortunes and those of his party, but one would think that he would be able to find at least one better for him and the GOP than Iraq. Then again, perhaps 36 or 37 percent is the best George W. Bush and the Republican Party are aspiring for these days...