Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Congress More Trusted Than Bush on Iraq

For months the Bush administration and Congressional Republicans have been telling Democrats not to micromanage the Iraq war.

Rice: Congress shouldn't micromanage war
Feb. 25, 2007

The White House said it does not want Congress to micromanage U.S. commanders in Iraq. . . .
February 27, 2007

Bush said some lawmakers see a chance "to micromanage our military commanders, force a precipitous withdrawal from Iraq and spend billions on domestic projects that have nothing to do with the war on terror."
March 17, 2007

GOP Rep. Christopher Shays said Congress shouldn't try to "micromanage" the war.
March 22, 2007

Republicans said the bill is an attempt by politicians to micromanage the war. “This bill is designed to bring failure. Failure in Iraq means chaos in Iraq,” said House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio).
May 10, 2007

But a new poll shows that most Americans would rather have Congress manage the Iraq war than Bush.

Most Americans see President George W. Bush as too inflexible on the war in Iraq and prefer that the Democratic-run Congress have the final word on when to withdraw U.S. forces, a Washington Post/ABC News poll showed on Monday.

Nearly 80 percent of those polled said Bush is not willing enough to change policies over the unpopular war that has taken a huge toll on his approval ratings, the Post reported.

The poll was conducted last week, after Senate Democrats failed to advance a plan that would force Bush to withdraw U.S. combat troops from Iraq by April 2008.

More than six in 10 Americans -- 62 percent -- said Congress should have the final say on when to pull out U.S. forces, compared with 31 percent who said the decision should rest with Bush, the poll showed.

A narrow majority, 55 percent, said they supported the proposed pullout plan, which the Senate may not consider again until after its August recess.

The percentage of Americans seeing Bush as too rigid on Iraq has climbed 12 percentage points since December, the Post said.


But on the issue of Iraq, the Post/ABC poll showed that the public stands with Congress.

Fifty-five percent said they trusted congressional Democrats on the war, compared with 32 percent who said they trusted Bush, the Post said.

The poll of 1,125 adults was conducted on July 18-21 and had a three-point margin of error.

Polls taken during July show President Bush's approval ratings ranging from 26 percent (Newsweek, July 2-3) to 33 percent (AP-Ipsos, July 9-11; ABC/Washington Post, July 18-21).

However, approval ratings for Congress remain just as low, ranging from 24 percent (AP=Ipsos, July 9-11) to 37 percent (ABC/Washington Post, July 18-21).

Yet Americans say Democrats are doing a better job in Congress than Republicans. (ABC/Washington Post, July 18-21, 46 percent approve the way Democrats in Congress are doing their job; 34 percent approve the way Republicans in Congress are doing their job).

House and Senate Democrats need to take these numbers to heart and continue to push for a change in Iraq that includes a plan to pull troops out. Such efforts need to be accompanied by prompt responses to Republican smear attacks, as Corpus Juris has noted. After more than six years it should be clear to everyone that calm, civil discourse is not part of the Republican play book.