Commentary Magazine


Topic: Democracy Corps

RE: Obama’s Terror Policies Get Thumbs Down

Actually, according to the Democracy Corps–Third Way poll, Obama’s entire national-security approach gets thumbs down:

The Democracy Corps–Third Way survey released Monday finds that by a 10-point margin — 51 percent to 41 percent — Americans think the standing of the United States has dropped during the first 13 months of Mr. Obama’s presidency.

“This is surprising, given the global acclaim — and Nobel peace prize — that flowed to the new president after he took office,” the pollsters said.

The Democratic Party also plummeted on national security. A May survey by the pollsters found that the public saw the Democratic and Republican parties as equally able to handle national security (41 percent trusted Democrats more and 43 percent trusted Republicans more). On conducting the war on terrorism, the two parties were tied at 41 percent.

But the latest poll shows a massive gap, with Democrats trailing by 17 points, 33 percent to 50 percent, on which party likely voters think would do a better job on national security.

It seems that the apology jag, Iran engagement, pulling the rug out from under allies, harping on nuclear disarmament while despots pursue their own weapons, and penny-pinching on the defense budget — not to mention the not-Bush anti-terrorism policies — have not endeared Obama to the public as a stalwart commander in chief or foreign-policy wizard. The Democratic pollsters offer up the predictable excuses: “Americans remain in an unhappy mood, which is going to drive down a lot of numbers across the board for many different issues, including international affairs. … Add to that a need for the White House and national Democrats to more effectively communicate.” It’s never the policies, you see.

Foreign policy is rarely the top issue in a campaign year, unless Americans get the sense they are less safe and the policies being pursued are reckless and irresponsible. And then the voters can get very, very upset. The White House would be well advised to look at the substance of their policies and whether they are engendering respect here and abroad. If not, maybe the Obami’s problems are not just poor communication or a grouchy electorate.

Actually, according to the Democracy Corps–Third Way poll, Obama’s entire national-security approach gets thumbs down:

The Democracy Corps–Third Way survey released Monday finds that by a 10-point margin — 51 percent to 41 percent — Americans think the standing of the United States has dropped during the first 13 months of Mr. Obama’s presidency.

“This is surprising, given the global acclaim — and Nobel peace prize — that flowed to the new president after he took office,” the pollsters said.

The Democratic Party also plummeted on national security. A May survey by the pollsters found that the public saw the Democratic and Republican parties as equally able to handle national security (41 percent trusted Democrats more and 43 percent trusted Republicans more). On conducting the war on terrorism, the two parties were tied at 41 percent.

But the latest poll shows a massive gap, with Democrats trailing by 17 points, 33 percent to 50 percent, on which party likely voters think would do a better job on national security.

It seems that the apology jag, Iran engagement, pulling the rug out from under allies, harping on nuclear disarmament while despots pursue their own weapons, and penny-pinching on the defense budget — not to mention the not-Bush anti-terrorism policies — have not endeared Obama to the public as a stalwart commander in chief or foreign-policy wizard. The Democratic pollsters offer up the predictable excuses: “Americans remain in an unhappy mood, which is going to drive down a lot of numbers across the board for many different issues, including international affairs. … Add to that a need for the White House and national Democrats to more effectively communicate.” It’s never the policies, you see.

Foreign policy is rarely the top issue in a campaign year, unless Americans get the sense they are less safe and the policies being pursued are reckless and irresponsible. And then the voters can get very, very upset. The White House would be well advised to look at the substance of their policies and whether they are engendering respect here and abroad. If not, maybe the Obami’s problems are not just poor communication or a grouchy electorate.

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Obama’s Terror Policies Get Thumbs Down

Obama’s criminal-justice approach to terrorism is proving to be unpopular with the voters:

Fifty-seven percent of likely voters approve of Obama’s handling of national security—ten points higher than his general 47 percent approval rating, according to a new Democracy Corps/GQR/Third Way poll out Monday.

Where Obama loses: interrogation and prosecution of terrorism suspects, where a 51-44 percent majority disapproves. Republicans have hammered the administration for its decision to read the alleged Christmas Day bomber his Miranda rights, and the poll results show the message is sticking.

The Democratic pollsters attribute this to those mean Republicans attacking the president:

“Two months of Republican criticism have taken a toll,” the pollsters say, with a plurality of likely voters saying they feel less confident about Obama’s handling of national security because of the way he handled the Christmas Day attempt. “And when phrased as a partisan attack, a 60 percent majority of likely voters feels more confident about the Republicans on national security,” they said.

Now it’s true that Republicans have been remarkably unified and effective in framing the argument, but this — as with so much other excuse-mongering by the Obami — suggests that the policy itself would be perfectly fine if not for all the darn partisanship out there. This ignores the erosion of confidence by Democrats in Congress, who are now stepping forward to criticize the handling of the Christmas Day bombing incident as well as the decision to try KSM in civilian court. And it casts, as Democrats are prone to do, the public as dupes swayed by misinformation by the president’s critics rather than concerned voters who can’t for the life of them understand why we let Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab clam up for weeks or would provide KSM with a public trial to preach his jihadist propaganda.

All that said, there is a reason why Rahm Emanuel is racing through the old and new media shouting, “Not my fault!” Obama’s policies have proved to be unworkable and the president has managed to re-establish his party as “weak on national defense.” That goes hand-in-hand with his domestic accomplishment — which at this point consists of reaffixing the “tax-and-spend liberal” tag to his fellow Democrats. That, it seems, threatens to be the Obama political legacy — unless of course saner heads prevail in the White House, or congressional Democrats step forward and exercise the power of the purse and their jurisdiction over the federal courts to set a new direction for their party and the country.

Obama’s criminal-justice approach to terrorism is proving to be unpopular with the voters:

Fifty-seven percent of likely voters approve of Obama’s handling of national security—ten points higher than his general 47 percent approval rating, according to a new Democracy Corps/GQR/Third Way poll out Monday.

Where Obama loses: interrogation and prosecution of terrorism suspects, where a 51-44 percent majority disapproves. Republicans have hammered the administration for its decision to read the alleged Christmas Day bomber his Miranda rights, and the poll results show the message is sticking.

The Democratic pollsters attribute this to those mean Republicans attacking the president:

“Two months of Republican criticism have taken a toll,” the pollsters say, with a plurality of likely voters saying they feel less confident about Obama’s handling of national security because of the way he handled the Christmas Day attempt. “And when phrased as a partisan attack, a 60 percent majority of likely voters feels more confident about the Republicans on national security,” they said.

Now it’s true that Republicans have been remarkably unified and effective in framing the argument, but this — as with so much other excuse-mongering by the Obami — suggests that the policy itself would be perfectly fine if not for all the darn partisanship out there. This ignores the erosion of confidence by Democrats in Congress, who are now stepping forward to criticize the handling of the Christmas Day bombing incident as well as the decision to try KSM in civilian court. And it casts, as Democrats are prone to do, the public as dupes swayed by misinformation by the president’s critics rather than concerned voters who can’t for the life of them understand why we let Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab clam up for weeks or would provide KSM with a public trial to preach his jihadist propaganda.

All that said, there is a reason why Rahm Emanuel is racing through the old and new media shouting, “Not my fault!” Obama’s policies have proved to be unworkable and the president has managed to re-establish his party as “weak on national defense.” That goes hand-in-hand with his domestic accomplishment — which at this point consists of reaffixing the “tax-and-spend liberal” tag to his fellow Democrats. That, it seems, threatens to be the Obama political legacy — unless of course saner heads prevail in the White House, or congressional Democrats step forward and exercise the power of the purse and their jurisdiction over the federal courts to set a new direction for their party and the country.

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Flotsam and Jetsam

What a difference less than a year of one-party liberal rule makes: “Republicans can take a bit of satisfaction from a new survey by Democracy Corps. … The survey found that voters now say, by a three-point margin (45% to 42%), that Republicans would do a better job on the economy than Democrats. That’s a change from the 16-point lead Democrats had in May on the question of managing the economy, and marks the first time since 2002 that Republicans have had a lead on the issue in Democracy Corps polling.”

The Afghans, I think, have reason to worry: “Afghan officials hope President Barack Obama’s address on Afghanistan won’t be weighted too heavily on an exit strategy — even though that’s the message many Americans and Democrats in Congress want to hear. If he talks extensively in his speech Tuesday night about winding down the war, Afghans fear the Taliban will simply bide their time until the Americans abandon the country much as Washington did after the Soviets left 20 years ago.”

The latest on radical jihadism at a taxpayer-supported college: “Siraj Wahhaj, a radical Muslim cleric who authorities in 1995 identified as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, was last week invited to Queens College to speak on the subject ‘How Islam Perfected Thanksgiving.’ Wahhaj testified in 1996 for convicted terror plotter Omar Abdel Rahman, who was charged with attempting to bomb New York’s Lincoln Tunnel and the United Nations.” He was invited by the Muslim Student Association, a member of which was reported to have declared after the showing of a radical Muslim film: ‘If I had enough money I would be part of the jihad army, I would kill all the Jews.’ … Another spoke of getting a ‘bomb.'” Read the whole outrageous account.

The CBO’s latest: “Individual insurance premiums would increase by an average of 10 percent or more, according to an analysis of the Senate healthcare bill. The long-awaited report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) also concluded that subsidies provided by the legislation would make coverage cheaper for those who qualify.” And more expensive for everyone else.

The epidemic of BRIs (Bagel Related Injuries): “In 2008, according to an analysis of fingers cut by knives as reported in the government’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, 1,979 people appeared in ERs with a BRI. Chicken-related injuries (3,463) led the category, but recorded bagel injuries were otherwise exceeded only by potato, apple and onion injuries. Bagels, in fact, were implicated in more finger cuts than pumpkins (1,195) or cheese (1,236). … (Of course, many BRI victims skip ERs and go to urgent-care offices. Or they stay home and eat breakfast anyway.)”

Jeffrey Goldberg acknowledges that in objecting to building in Gilo, within Jerusalem, Obama “doesn’t seem to understand that all settlements are not created equal. Palestinian negotiators have fairly consistently recognized that Gilo, a Jerusalem suburb built over the 1967 Green Line, but south, not east, of the city, would remain inside Israel in a final-status peace deal.” What’s worse is Obama’ justifying, or at the very least predicting, Palestinian violence. (“Obama’s statement reads almost as a kind of preemptive rationalization for violent Palestinian protest.”) Is there anyone who thinks the Obami haven’t made the Middle East “peace process” worse?

Not so fast: “Senators may have agreed to have the debate; but the parameters of the debate have not been set. The leaders have to agree on which amendments to consider when. The first two amendments were formally introduced Monday afternoon, but when votes will occur remains unclear.” One of those is an amendment by Sen. John McCain to strip out the Democrats’ draconian Medicare cuts: “Stripping the Medicare cost savings (cuts) would essentially kill the bill and send it back to committee.” Because the bill, you see, depends on hundreds of billions being slashed from Medicare. So don’t expect a vote too soon.

Well, he did say he was leaning against running: “The conservative blogosphere unleashed a torrent of criticism against Mike Huckabee Monday after a man whose sentence he commuted as Arkansas governor was suspected of gunning down four police officers in Washington state over the weekend.”

What a difference less than a year of one-party liberal rule makes: “Republicans can take a bit of satisfaction from a new survey by Democracy Corps. … The survey found that voters now say, by a three-point margin (45% to 42%), that Republicans would do a better job on the economy than Democrats. That’s a change from the 16-point lead Democrats had in May on the question of managing the economy, and marks the first time since 2002 that Republicans have had a lead on the issue in Democracy Corps polling.”

The Afghans, I think, have reason to worry: “Afghan officials hope President Barack Obama’s address on Afghanistan won’t be weighted too heavily on an exit strategy — even though that’s the message many Americans and Democrats in Congress want to hear. If he talks extensively in his speech Tuesday night about winding down the war, Afghans fear the Taliban will simply bide their time until the Americans abandon the country much as Washington did after the Soviets left 20 years ago.”

The latest on radical jihadism at a taxpayer-supported college: “Siraj Wahhaj, a radical Muslim cleric who authorities in 1995 identified as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, was last week invited to Queens College to speak on the subject ‘How Islam Perfected Thanksgiving.’ Wahhaj testified in 1996 for convicted terror plotter Omar Abdel Rahman, who was charged with attempting to bomb New York’s Lincoln Tunnel and the United Nations.” He was invited by the Muslim Student Association, a member of which was reported to have declared after the showing of a radical Muslim film: ‘If I had enough money I would be part of the jihad army, I would kill all the Jews.’ … Another spoke of getting a ‘bomb.'” Read the whole outrageous account.

The CBO’s latest: “Individual insurance premiums would increase by an average of 10 percent or more, according to an analysis of the Senate healthcare bill. The long-awaited report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) also concluded that subsidies provided by the legislation would make coverage cheaper for those who qualify.” And more expensive for everyone else.

The epidemic of BRIs (Bagel Related Injuries): “In 2008, according to an analysis of fingers cut by knives as reported in the government’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, 1,979 people appeared in ERs with a BRI. Chicken-related injuries (3,463) led the category, but recorded bagel injuries were otherwise exceeded only by potato, apple and onion injuries. Bagels, in fact, were implicated in more finger cuts than pumpkins (1,195) or cheese (1,236). … (Of course, many BRI victims skip ERs and go to urgent-care offices. Or they stay home and eat breakfast anyway.)”

Jeffrey Goldberg acknowledges that in objecting to building in Gilo, within Jerusalem, Obama “doesn’t seem to understand that all settlements are not created equal. Palestinian negotiators have fairly consistently recognized that Gilo, a Jerusalem suburb built over the 1967 Green Line, but south, not east, of the city, would remain inside Israel in a final-status peace deal.” What’s worse is Obama’ justifying, or at the very least predicting, Palestinian violence. (“Obama’s statement reads almost as a kind of preemptive rationalization for violent Palestinian protest.”) Is there anyone who thinks the Obami haven’t made the Middle East “peace process” worse?

Not so fast: “Senators may have agreed to have the debate; but the parameters of the debate have not been set. The leaders have to agree on which amendments to consider when. The first two amendments were formally introduced Monday afternoon, but when votes will occur remains unclear.” One of those is an amendment by Sen. John McCain to strip out the Democrats’ draconian Medicare cuts: “Stripping the Medicare cost savings (cuts) would essentially kill the bill and send it back to committee.” Because the bill, you see, depends on hundreds of billions being slashed from Medicare. So don’t expect a vote too soon.

Well, he did say he was leaning against running: “The conservative blogosphere unleashed a torrent of criticism against Mike Huckabee Monday after a man whose sentence he commuted as Arkansas governor was suspected of gunning down four police officers in Washington state over the weekend.”

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