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.