Just over the last few days, much of the media establishment has decided that Democrats are running against public opinion by pursuing the prosecutor purge scandal. Americans, pundits tell us, just don’t agree Dems on this one. Unfortunately, the media’s assumptions about the public’s perspective appear wildly misplaced.
Americans overwhelmingly support a congressional investigation into White House involvement in the firing of eight U.S. attorneys, and they say President Bush and his aides should answer questions about it without invoking executive privilege.
In a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll taken Friday-Sunday, respondents said by nearly 3-to-1 that Congress should issue subpoenas to force White House officials to testify.
In fact, the results weren’t even close. Asked whether Congress should investigate the White House’s involvement in the controversy, 72% said lawmakers should pursue the matter. Asked if White House officials should invoke executive privilege or answer all questions, 68% prefer the latter. Asked if Congress should issue subpoenas to force testimony, 68% said yes. And by a 2-to-1 margin, poll respondents said the U.S. Attorneys were fired for political reasons, not job performance.
Glenn Greenwald concluded: "I would never dream of coming to this blog and just start making assertions that 'Americans believe X' or 'Americans oppose Y' unless I had actual evidence to support those claims. That’s because I would not expect readers of this blog to view what I write as being credible if I just spewed assertions with no empirical basis like that. No credible blogger would do that. Why don’t pundits on MSNBC — including the Managing Editor of Time Magazine — recognize those same basic constraints?"