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It Doesn’t Pay to Be Weak — Even with Democrats

This poll was taken before the outbreak of violence and the brutal scenes of repression in Iran:

[M]ore than two-thirds of Americans say Obama has not been tough enough on North Korea (69 percent), while some 15 percent think his actions have been “about right” and 3 percent think he has been too tough.

Sizable majorities of Democrats (65 percent), Republicans (78 percent) and independents (61 percent) agree Obama should be tougher on North Korea. Among those voters who backed Obama in the 2008 presidential election, 59 percent say he has not been tough enough.

[...]

On Iran, the findings are almost identical: 66 percent overall say Obama has not been tough enough, including 57 percent of Democrats, 80 percent of Republicans and 59 percent of independents.

And on Guantanamo the president’s numbers are worse:

Fully 77 percent of Americans think the president made a mistake, including almost all Republicans (94 percent) and independents (81 percent), as well as a majority of Democrats (61 percent).

A growing majority of Americans think the military prison at Guantanamo Bay should stay open. Some 60 percent say they think Gitmo should not be closed, up from 53 percent in April and 45 percent in January.

Republicans (82 percent) are more than twice as likely as Democrats (40 percent) to say the prison should stay open. Among independents, 62 percent think it should stay open.

The only politician with worse numbers is Nancy Pelos, who loses the “Did the CIA lie?” credibility battle with the CIA. (Pelosi 22% vs. CIA 56%).

This suggests that the president’s engagement policy is failing on two fronts. Overseas we have seen that despotic regimes are acting out like never before, apparently without fear of any adverse consequences from the U.S. And domestically, it is proving to be unpopular — in strikingly bipartisan fashion.


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