Monday, June 11, 2007

MSM & Approval Ratings

Hardly a day goes by that I don’t find at least one MSM news organization mentioning “President Bush’s low approval rating.”

We’re all told that’s because MSM has to “report the news.” It has nothing to do with the fact that liberals and leftists dominate news reporting in America.

Well, OK, but what about the approval rating of Congress?

About five months back, when the Democrats took control of Congress, I remember reading about how popular Congress was.

But I haven’t seen anything lately about Congress’ approval rating. I wondered why.

I decided to take a look at the home page of RealClearPolitics.com where, when I scrolled down the page with my eye on the left hand column, I came to poll reports of Congressional approval (33.8%) and President Bush’s approval (33%).

I think now I understand why I haven’t been reading much about MSM’s congressional friends’ approval rating.

10 comments:

HumboldtBlue said...

Well John, considering that the "leftists", whoever and whatever they are, have been hammering Democratic Reps and Senators for their surrender to Bush's never-ending war in Iraq, it's no surprise the numbers are down, way down.

Dig a little deeper into why those Congressional numbers are down, and you'll find that it's the "lefties" voicing their displeasure with their political leadership.

Then again, seeing as though Bush and Cheney have done such a bang-up job, what, with secret detention camps all across Europe, an Attorney General who makes Barney Fife look like Father Neuhaus, an invasion into a nation, that after six years of trying, they still can not explain, a steady parade of disgraced Republican leaders heading off to jail or rehab, and the ineffectiveness of Democrats elected to counter the incredible damage "Commander Guy" has done to our nation, it's no wonder "lefties" are fed up. And just think, we're only six months in, it can only get better from here.

JWM said...

Dear HB,

Nice hearing from you again.

Your case is well-stated and has some basis in fact, but is quite partisan.

I think those Congressional numbers are down because many people all across the political spectrum are low-rating Congress.

There is disgust with both parties.

As for Iraq, I remember in '03 as our troops were fighting their way into Baghdad Sen. Kerry endorsed "regime change" - for Washington.

A few months after that, when things were very rough over there, but much better than many had predicted, there were many Democrats here in Durham and Chapel Hill who were worried that if things went well in Iraq "it might help Bush."

We'll never know how Iraq might have gone if liberals and leftists had taken half their Abu Ghraib outrage and directed it at the terrorists in Iraq who were not only killing our troops but killing peaceful men, woman and children as they went about their daily lives.

But if I had expected Democrats in Congress such as Sens. Kennedy, Clinton, Reid, Kerry and Edwards to do that, would you have thought me reasonable? Did you expect them to do that?

We can agree on this I hope: neither party is perfect.

Best,

John

HumboldtBlue said...

JWM,

Good to be back, and thanks for the thoughtful and insightful (as always) response.

Partisan, surely. But frustrated is the more accurate word, and as you stated, the fatigue and disgust is growing, but John, I was opposed to the invasion from day one, for a variety of reasons.

If I had told you in '03 that we would easily conquer any formal action from the Iraqi military you would have readily agreed with me.

But I bet you would have looked at me askance if I had argued that getting to Baghdad and nullifying the Iraqi army was the easy part, the occupation would be the meat grinder.

General Petraeus, whom I have had the honor to meet (and a man I respect immensely, after a lengthy interview with the General two years ago, stated unequivocally that he was the smartest man he had ever met in his contact with the service) has a book written on the subject of insurgencies.

He borrows a lot from the Brits, who have an awful lot of experience in the matter (including against members of my Irish family ... my Godmother was still donating to the IRA as late as 1965, when my Mother asked her to stop as my baptism approached), and the General stated then, that Americans must be prepared for 15 years of deadly conflict and at least another 10 years of slowly-building peace.

We can agree on this point John, we're in trouble, for a lot of reasons, but I, as partisan as I am, see no one on the Republican side who can effectively lead this nation out of what has become a grisly killing field of Iraq.

One side note John: in 1983 when I registered for the Selective Service, my mother also made sure that I registered to vote. When I returned home, she asked me how I had registered, I replied "Independent."

She was annoyed, moreso because I had just cut myself out of the primary campaigns than on any partisan grounds. When I moved to California, I was forced to register as "no preference" because you cannot register as Independent, former Governor Brown (the dad) thought it was too close to being Communist and so outlawed the choice of registering as an independent (true story).

So my partisanship comes in the color of being anti-Bush/Cheney, not anti-Republican, plus, what reasonable man or woman identifies themselves by political affiliation?

The issues are many, they are difficult, but I fear we will look back on the Bush years with a decidedly negative view.

TruthHurts001 said...

Well John, considering that the "leftists", whoever and whatever they are, have been hammering Democratic Reps and Senators for their surrender to Bush's never-ending war in Iraq, it's no surprise the numbers are down, way down.

I agree. It's not a surprise that the Democrat-controlled Congress's approval ratings are down.

It's also not a surprise that the MSM avoids mentioning it.

No surprise at all.

Anonymous said...

I was a life long Kennedy liberal Democrat until surgery put me into retirement. I watched both hearing on the Roberts and Alito confirmations. What a disgrace. The Dems were only interested in making abortion speechs - who cares - this issue is settled. Teddy was a disgrace - time to retire. Obviously, both candidates are brillant, which is not true of the Committee. I am now a moderate republican. I was and still am a supported of George W. Saddam had to go.

TierFlyer said...

hum - "secret detention camps all across Europe,"

I do not think that word means what you think it means.

And if you think about the concept of that, well, it starts to look absurd. How, pray tell, would the CIA (or whomever) operate a secret detention camp in, say, Spain or Poland or Greece?

It wouldn't be "secret" to the government on whose territory it was located. Both intelligence services would certainly know.

So, what do you think - a thousand people would know about it, all told?

And all those people contain not one person waging secret insider war against GWB in the MSM?

Staggers the imagination.

-AC

HumboldtBlue said...

AC,

"On June 8, the Legal Affairs Committee of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly released a report authored by Swiss senator Dick Marty, who led the investigation, concluding that "high-value" detainees were held in secret CIA detention centers in Poland and Romania between 2002 and 2005. President Bush had previously acknowledged the existence of these secret prisons, but the U.S. had not revealed their locations. Bush had also denied that prisoners held at those facilities were tortured, but admitted they were subject to "alternative" interrogation methods which he called "safe and lawful and necessary." According to the report:

What was previously just a set of allegations is now proven: large numbers of people have been abducted from various locations across the world and transferred to countries where they have been persecuted and where it is known that torture is common practice. Others have been held in arbitrary detention, without any precise charges levelled against them and without any judicial oversight -- denied the possibility of defending themselves. Still others have simply disappeared for indefinite periods and have been held in secret prisons, including in member states of the Council of Europe, the existence and operations of which have been concealed ever since.

Some individuals were kept in secret detention centres for periods of several years, where they were subjected to degrading treatment and so-called "enhanced interrogation techniques" (essentially a euphemism for a kind of torture), in the name of gathering information, however unsound, which the United States claims has protected our common security."

Now AC, I could pull 10 or 12 other reports of what our administration has done to subvert the rule of law, the rule of law you, I, and every other American, not to mention every other human has come to expect from our nation.

The problem I have with Bush/Cheney is the obvious lack of respect they give us, all of us. Human rights, as outlined in our Constitution, are just that, human rights, not American rights, not Albanian rights, but human rights.

We've heard over and over again about how we live in the greatest nation history has ever seen, you'll get no srgument from me on that point, I agree wholeheartedly. But I enjoy the privileges of being an American as an accident of birth.

The assaulton our rights did not come from Hussein, the Constitution is not under attack by Al Qaeda, or Hamas, but by Alberto Gonzalez,John Yoo, Monica Goodling and the rest of the toadies who told "Commander Guy" that he could pretty much do as he pleased, he's the President after all.

When it comes to the freedoms we enjoy, partisanship lies with the Constitution, not with the dubious legal wranglings of political appointees, and not on the whim of two men who have taken it uponm themselves to attempt to fundamentally change the rule of law that governs our nation.

Fear is a strong motivator, and "Captain Mission Accomplished" has played on those fears like a fiddle.

The question remains, why would any American citizen stand by and watch those guarantees taken away piece by piece?

And that includes "rendition flights," Guantanamo Bay and any other facility that has been used in the last six years.

To answer your salient question (a little snarkily)-- "How, pray tell, would the CIA (or whomever) operate a secret detention camp in, say, Spain or Poland or Greece?"

Recall The Decider's speech in '05? "Don't forget Poland" as one of the coalition of the willing.

Because we

Anonymous said...

hummer -

To be honest, I didn't read your post very carefully, as it was very very long, but some things struck me.

First, my objection was to the word "secret." It's more of a secret than Paris Hilton's most recent jail status, but not much more.

My understanding of the EU report (on these "secrets") is that it is far from "What was previously just a set of allegations is now proven" but is, in fact, a set of allegations from anonymous officials, alleged ex-detainees, etc, etc. One of the authors of the report has repudiated it, in fact.

One unintentionally funny thing did strike me: "But I enjoy the privileges of being an American as an accident of birth." Infelicitous phrasing! And then you go onto the regular liberal hysterical rant about "assaults on the constitution" but, of course, don't actually specify any of them.

Do you believe that holding 385 foreigners in Gitmo violates your constitutional rights? Do "secret" detention centers in Poland do so? Did the SWIFT monitoring? Is the supreme court asleep or something while these assaults take place?

Of course not.

Aside from your obvious and intense personal dislike of the president (BDS?) a reasonable person's read of history would show that relative to other industrial wartime presidents (Lincoln, FDR, Kennedy/Johnson/Nixon - can't call it for Wilson or Truman) the one we have now is incredibly careful with civil/legal rights and is forced to conduct lot of policy in the wide open media (print, TV, internet, book) of the day.

-AC

HumboldtBlue said...

"Do you believe that holding 385 foreigners in Gitmo violates your constitutional rights?"

Of course it does. Show me in the canon of American law where anyone, much less "Commander Codpiece," is given the right to detain anyone, foreign or domestic, without due process, and of course, Habeus Corpus.

Not only that, there are two American citizens being held in Guantanamo Bay, and at the risk of hyperbole, who's next?

As to your "hysterical rant" line, the suspension of Habeus Corpus, the illegal wiretapping (here praise goes to Ashcroft and Comey for thwarting the despicable attempt by Gonzalez to coerce a sick man to sign off on a program he had threatened to resign over -- while in his hospital bed), the passage of the odious "Patriot Act,", granted, feckless Democrats, out of fear for their reelection bids bought into part and parcel, to name a few.

Then again, my post was too long.

You may stand with a President (along with the rest of the 28-percent, also known as dead-enders), I do not. Does that make me deranged? No, it makes me an actively engaged citizen.

Now I know that anyone who dares criticize a draft-dodging cabal of pseudo-patriots while they perpetuate a failed military strategy that was deeply flawed from the git-go makes me un-American to the Kool Aid drinkers, but then you have to go and make the ol' "President Lincoln" argument.

Let's compare the two for a moment -- Lincoln was faced with the greatest threat this nation has ever faced, a revolt by the greatest traitors this nation has ever known (and yes, there is my Northern bias, I'm a Yankee through and through).

Bush decided that Saddam Hussein, a man his father helped keep in power, a man this nation armed (remember the gassing of the Kurds? that was our mustard gas, our VX, we gave it to him and shockingly enough, he used it), a man who served his purpose as a foil to Iran, while Ollie North, Poindexter and Reagan secretly made deals with the Khomeini regime.

Lincoln preserved the Republic, Bush stood on an aircraft carrier, and with all the bravado of one who will never have to deal with the results of his decisions, told the enemies of this country to "bring it on," and guess what? They brought it on.

To compare Bush to any of our wartime Commander's (in chief) is absurd.

A reasonable person's reading of history will show that Bush wanted unitarian control, with no oversight from Congress, to conduct this nation's business. Now you may be willing to turn over power to a man who displays the intellectual depth of a tide pool, I am not.

This is Bush's war. He wanted it, he got it, and now he's failed miserably to the tune of more than 3,500 American dead, tens of thousands wounded, and an unknown number of Iraqi citizens.

Iraq never invaded us, Iraq was no material, military or even economic threat to this nation, no matter how many FOX News viewers believe so.

Can you give me one solid reason why we invaded Iraq? Just one. The "mushroom cloud" has been debunked. The "harboring terrorists" has been debunked. The "we have to fight them over there" me-me has been debunked.

And yet, I must be the deranged one.

I understand from your posts that you support the President, but you're going to have to do a lot better than Malkin-like high school slurs to move me from my position.

Don't suppose that because I am wholly opposed to what this administration has done, that must necessarily make me a "lefty" or any other pejorative you wish to toss around.

I just ask for some skepticism, some oversight and some honesty.

Anonymous said...

hummy - "Commander Codpiece," well, nothing like alliterative ad hominem arguments to prove your case!

"Malkin-like high school slurs to move me from my position." Uh, dude, you gonna ask me to produce some ping pong balls or something next? I believe I characterized your rant (position if you prefer) as "hysterical" and not you as a hysteric.

Lincoln certainly did preserve the Republic, but he did so through the suspension of Habeus Corpus, jailed almost 20K US citizens on "suspicion," had newspaper editions destroyed to prevent criticism, etc, etc.

FDR, one can argue, achieved much the same goal, but with even more draconian methods. I would be shocked if any president before or since has had so many programs overturned by the supreme court (which he famously tried to pack). He also imprisoned 120K American citizens, etc, etc.

Both Lincoln and FDR engaged, widely, what we today would recognize as war crimes. From burning a swath to Atlanta to intentionally bombing civilian populations in Europe and Japan their war prosecution was, well, vigorous.

"A reasonable person's reading of history will show that Bush wanted unitarian control, with no oversight from Congress, to conduct this nation's business."

Actually, I'm sure that has been true of every president post-Washington. The history of our government has been the shifting power of Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches. I tend to think this a strength - a feature rather than a bug, if you will.

-AC