News+and+politics religion philosophy the cynic librarian: Feingold, Polls, and Presidential Ineptitude

Friday, March 17, 2006

Feingold, Polls, and Presidential Ineptitude

logically a poll about issue X does not necessarily tell us about the priority that that issue has in people's lives. On the other hand, it doesn't tell us that it's not important either. Recent wisdom held, for example, that the economy was the most important thing for people. A recent poll, however, shows that the Iraq War is a priority issue for folks at this time. ...

Given Bush's recent ratings on his handling of that war (around 32 percent or so), it would seem that legal scholars have some grounds for thinking that the polls on eavesdropping might just as well be high on people's priority list--especially since it's related to how Bush is handling the war. You would admit, wouldn't you, that Mr. Bush has made it a point that NSA spying is a key part of his so-called "war" on terror?

As to the larger issue about whether polls about a President's popularity mean anything since he's not running for office anyway: It seems to me that a major theme in Bush's rhetoric has been that this war benefits everyone--not just the 36 percent that back him. If 60 percent or so of the rest of the people think that he's "incompetent" at running this war, then who's he fooling in telling us that he's waging the war for us? As far as I can tell, most people would rather have him not run this war for us. Not only that, a majority now think that this "war" isn't benefitting them at all.

I've heard your type of argument before. It goes something like this: Polls are not important because Bush has insight into "what's really important for America." This builds on the relatively sane notion that the majority of the people can be quite wrong in their judgments and it takes a man of character to stand for what is really true and right.

Now, this argument cuts both ways. Unfortunately, there's no guarantee that either Bush is right or the majority are right. Given Bush's recent floundering, deception, lies, and outright ineptitude, people find themselves questioning how right he can be, however.

I think most people have given Bush the benefit of the doubt for too long. They've done so for various reasons, the most important being perhaps the idea that you don't criticize the commander-in-chief when troops are in the field. That sounds like the fallacy of tradition.

People are beginning to grow weary of this argument, as well as the others. Even with the stranglehold on information and news, people are coming to the quite reasonable and common-sense view that Bush and his administration are bad for them.

In our form of government, the only form of redress against the incompetence of the executive is the legislature--especially an executive branch that has shown itself deaf to the will of the majority. As many have argued, it's the legislature that embodies the will of the people. Since the will of the people at this time questions the veracity and competence of this administration, it's legislators like Feingold whom the people think will do the job of calling the President to task for his lawlessness.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It gets tiring reading laments of intelligent people that decry the symptom rather than the disease.
Like cursing the flies whilst standing in a pile of shit.