Posts from April 7, 2005

Fun with Polls III: Did they have to ask?

Fun with Polls III: Did they have to ask?

: MSNBC just reported a poll on attitudes toward Michael Jackson: 5% are positive, 72% are negative.

Fun with Polls II: Oops

Fun with Polls II: Oops

: The WSJ/NBC poll below asked Americans whether they gained or lost respect for various institutions in the Schaivo story. In every case, more lost respect than gained:

Media — 51% lost respect

Congress — 50%

Courts — 46%

Bush — 35%

Religious leaders — 26%

Fun with polls I: GOP’s crockpot meltdown

Fun with polls I

: Today’s Wall Street Journal poll (free link) reveals splits among Republicans. Yes, I know, we’ll hear from the GOP how this demonstrates their big tent. But I think it shows that the party’s leadership is out of touch with its membership and though support for Bush remains strong, the theo-moralistic-meddling fringe has jumped the shark:

The Schiavo case has opened another rift. Though Mr. Bush and Republican congressional leaders acted to maximize the opportunity for reinserting Ms. Schiavo’s feeding tube, 39% of Republicans said removing the tube was “the right thing to do,” while 48% said it was wrong. …

“It’s a story that splits our party,” says Republican pollster Bill McInturff, who conducts the Journal/NBC survey with his Democratic counterpart Peter Hart. A similar split on Social Security, he adds, will make it “hard, but not impossible” for Mr. Bush to accomplish the centerpiece of his second-term agenda….

Nearly two-thirds of Republicans say Congress shouldn’t pass legislation affecting families in cases such as Ms. Schiavo’s, though some Republicans on Capitol Hill aim to do just that. By 50%-37%, Republicans say the federal government should be “less active” on social and moral issues; on gay marriage Republicans split evenly, with 48% saying Congress should pass legislation and 47% saying it shouldn’t.

Let’s put that in bold and italics: “By 50%-37%, Republicans say the federal government should be less active’ on social and moral issues.” Among all voters, that’s 54-35%.

So butt out, bozos. Build roads. Fight wars. Print money. But stay out of our lives. Got the message?

Blogging freedom

Blogging freedom

: Michael J. Totten and Jim Hake are in Beirut, blogging the citizens’ movement there and raising money to help support their vigil.

A sign taped to the elevator doors in my hotel lobby: “Due to the security situation we no longer allow food deliveries from outside the hotel. Thank you for understanding.” And thanks for making me feel so much better.

But being here is not as scary as you might think….

On the contrary, the post-Hariri car bombs are more like those Europeans have come to expect from the Irish Republican Army and the Basque ETA. They seem deliberately planted so they won’t kill anyone. What’s happening here is an old school terrorist campaign, markedly unlike Al Qaeda’s new mass-murdering terrorist onslaughts. The attacks seem cleverly calibrated to frighten people into submission without provoking yet another, stronger, anti-Syrian backlash.

“If the Syrians kill people with car bombs,” one Lebanese told me, “they will be lynched in the streets.”

The siege is, most likely, Syrian psychological warfare.