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Reality V. Beltway Fantasy

Reality v. Beltway Fantasy Could reporters and timid Democrats who think that it’s still 2002 and the country is awash in blind reverence for G

Reality v. Beltway Fantasy

Could reporters and timid Democrats who think that it’s still 2002 and the country is awash in blind reverence for George Bush please take note of the following facts, and -- on every significant issue, from the Alito filibuster to Iraq withdraw to the NSA scandal -- adjust your thinking and tactics accordingly: From Thursday's CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll:

A majority of Americans are more likely to vote for a candidate in November's congressional elections who opposes President Bush, and 58 percent consider his second term a failure so far, according to a poll released Thursday. . . .

Fewer people consider Bush to be honest and trustworthy now than did a year ago, and 53 percent said they believe his administration deliberately misled the public about Iraq's purported weapons program before the U.S. invasion in 2003, the CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll found . . . ..

Fifty-eight percent of those polled said Bush's second term has been a failure so far, while 38 percent said they consider it a success. A smaller number -- 52 percent -- consider his entire presidency a failure to date, with 46 percent calling it successful. . . . But 51 percent of those polled said they were more likely to vote for a candidate in congressional elections who opposes Bush, while 40 percent said they were likely to vote for a candidate who backs the president.

And from the same poll, we have this:

Americans' overall assessment of the country today is fairly negative. Only 35% are satisfied with the way things are going in the United States; 65% are dissatisfied. This is consistent with Americans' generally dour mood on this measure for the past year.

And then there is this, from the new CBS/New York Times poll:

President Bush's approval rating is stuck at a dismal 42 percent as he heads into next week's State of the Union address, according to the latest CBS News/New York Times poll. Fifty-one percent of Americans give him a negative job approval rating. It's the first time in his presidency he'll give a State of the Union speech with a majority of the residents of the country saying they disapprove of the job he's doing. . . ..

At the same time, a clear majority, 64 percent, is concerned that the Bush administration’s anti-terrorism measures could threaten their civil liberties...

Reality v. Beltway Fantasy

Could reporters and timid Democrats who think that it’s still 2002 and the country is awash in blind reverence for George Bush please take note of the following facts, and -- on every significant issue, from the Alito filibuster to Iraq withdraw to the NSA scandal -- adjust your thinking and tactics accordingly: From Thursday's CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll:

A majority of Americans are more likely to vote for a candidate in November's congressional elections who opposes President Bush, and 58 percent consider his second term a failure so far, according to a poll released Thursday. . . .

Fewer people consider Bush to be honest and trustworthy now than did a year ago, and 53 percent said they believe his administration deliberately misled the public about Iraq's purported weapons program before the U.S. invasion in 2003, the CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll found . . . ..

Fifty-eight percent of those polled said Bush's second term has been a failure so far, while 38 percent said they consider it a success. A smaller number -- 52 percent -- consider his entire presidency a failure to date, with 46 percent calling it successful. . . . But 51 percent of those polled said they were more likely to vote for a candidate in congressional elections who opposes Bush, while 40 percent said they were likely to vote for a candidate who backs the president.

And from the same poll, we have this:

Americans' overall assessment of the country today is fairly negative. Only 35% are satisfied with the way things are going in the United States; 65% are dissatisfied. This is consistent with Americans' generally dour mood on this measure for the past year.

And then there is this, from the new CBS/New York Times poll:

President Bush's approval rating is stuck at a dismal 42 percent as he heads into next week's State of the Union address, according to the latest CBS News/New York Times poll. Fifty-one percent of Americans give him a negative job approval rating. It's the first time in his presidency he'll give a State of the Union speech with a majority of the residents of the country saying they disapprove of the job he's doing. . . ..

At the same time, a clear majority, 64 percent, is concerned that the Bush administration’s anti-terrorism measures could threaten their civil liberties.

And finally, there is this highly revealing comparative fact:

Fifty-eight percent described [Bush's] second term as a failure. At the same point in former President Bill Clinton's presidency, 70 percent of those surveyed by Gallup said they considered it a success and 20 percent a failure.

Journalists and beltway Democrats are still so traumatized by the beatings that they took for the several years after 9/11 that they have not really come to accept and internalize the indisputable fact that George Bush is an unpopular President who is widely perceived to be a failure. There is no reason to fear standing up to George Bush in every area and on every issue -- including Iraq and terrorism -- because Americans have long ago realized that his Presidency is dysfunctional..

Nor is Bush well-liked or trusted as a person. After all, 53 percent said they believe his administration "deliberately misled" the public about Iraq's purported weapons program before the U.S. invasion in 2003. “Deliberately misled” means “lied.” Contrary to the image which the establishment media continues to inexplicably and falsely propagate, that is not a sign of a popular or trusted President. And all of this data illustrates the complete folly of listening to blind and clearly misguided Beltway blowhards like Chris Matthews, who continue to make false statements like this:

"Everybody sort of likes the president, except for the real whack-jobs."

The function of journalists is to ensure that we have an informed citizenry and to prevent manipulation of public opinion by Government propaganda. But under the Bush Administration, that process has reversed itself. Beltway journalists such as Matthews, Tim Russert, etc., who are awash in fear and desperate to be patted on the head by those in power, have been pitifully clinging to the manipulative cartoon image of George Bush as some sort of regular, upstanding, tough-guy cowboy. In the meantime, American citizens -- whom these drooling, reverent journalists are supposed to be informing -- long ago realized how false that image is, and, as the polls have long demonstrated, now see George Bush for what he really is..

It's well past time for Democrats in Washington to stop trying cater themselves to the warped judgments and fantasies of the Chris Matthews, Joe Kleins and David Broders of the world, and start realizing that they do not represent -- or even recognize -- the views of most Americans. To the contrary, Americans are clearly ready to believe that the President broke the law, that he cannot be trusted to eavesdrop on Americans, that he has a completely inept foreign policy in the Middle East, and that his Administration is brimming over with corruption..

Amazingly, most Americans have been way out in front of both journalists and even Beltway Democrats in seeing Bush for what he really is. It's time for journalists and Democrats to catch up and start realizing that they are dealing with a weak and vulnerable President who deserves (and is susceptible to) a lot more weakness and vulnerability.

---posted by Glenn Greenwald

posted by Glenn Greenwald

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