In a Time of Universal Deceit, Telling the Truth is Revolutionary.
Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Bush thinks public is on his side

Confronted with strong opposition to his Iraq policies, President Bush decides to interpret public opinion his own way. Actually, he says, people agree with him.

Democrats view the November elections that gave them control of Congress as a mandate to bring U.S. troops home from Iraq. They're backed by evidence; election exit poll surveys by The Associated Press and television networks found 55 percent saying the U.S. should withdraw some or all of its troops from Iraq.

The president says Democrats have it all wrong: the public doesn't want the troops pulled out — they want to give the military more support in its mission.


Confronted with strong opposition to his Iraq policies, President Bush decides to interpret public opinion his own way. Actually, he says, people agree with him.

Democrats view the November elections that gave them control of Congress as a mandate to bring U.S. troops home from Iraq. They're backed by evidence; election exit poll surveys by The Associated Press and television networks found 55 percent saying the U.S. should withdraw some or all of its troops from Iraq.

The president says Democrats have it all wrong: the public doesn't want the troops pulled out — they want to give the military more support in its mission.

"Last November, the American people said they were frustrated and wanted a change in our strategy in Iraq," he said April 24, ahead of a veto showdown with congressional Democrats over their desire to legislation a troop withdrawal timeline. "I listened. Today, General David Petraeus is carrying out a strategy that is dramatically different from our previous course."

Increasingly isolated on a war that is going badly, Bush has presented his alternative reality in other ways, too. He expresses understanding for the public's dismay over the unrelenting sectarian violence and American losses that have passed 3,400, but then asserts that the public's solution matches his.

"A lot of Americans want to know, you know, when?" he said at a Rose Garden news conference Thursday. "When are you going to win?"

Also in that session, Bush said: "I recognize there are a handful there, or some, who just say, `Get out, you know, it's just not worth it. Let's just leave.' I strongly disagree with that attitude. Most Americans do as well."

In fact, polls show Americans do not disagree, and that leaving — not winning — is their main goal.

In one released Friday by CBS and the New York Times, 63 percent supported a troop withdrawal timetable of sometime next year. Another earlier this month from USA Today and Gallup found 59 percent backing a withdrawal deadline that the U.S. should stick to no matter what's happening in Iraq.

Bush aides say poll questions are asked so many ways, and often so imprecisely, that it is impossible to conclude that most Americans really want to get out. Failure, Bush says, is not what the public wants — they just don't fully understand that that is just what they will get if troops are pulled out before the Iraqi government is capable of keeping the country stable on its own.

Seeking to turn up the heat on this argument, Bush has relied lately on an al-Qaida mantra. Terrorists remain dangerous, and fighting them in Iraq is key to neutralizing the threat, he says. "It's hard for some Americans to see that, I fully understand it," Bush said. "I see it clearly."

Independent pollster Andrew Kohut said of the White House view: "I don't see what they're talking about."

"They want to know when American troops are going to leave," Kohut, director of the nonpartisan Pew Research Center, said of the public. "They certainly want to win. But their hopes have been dashed."

Kohut has found it notable that there's such a consensus in poll findings.

"When the public hasn't made up its mind or hasn't thought about things, there's a lot of variation in the polls," he said. "But there's a fair amount of agreement now."

The president didn't used to try to co-opt polling for his benefit. He just said he ignored it.

In Ohio in mid-April, for instance, Bush was asked how he feels about his often dismal showings. "Polls just go poof at times," he replied.

It was the same the next day in Michigan. "If you make decisions based upon the latest opinion poll, you won't be thinking long-term strategy on behalf of the American people," the president said.

After weeks of negotiations between the White House and Capitol Hill's majority Democrats, last week ended with things going Bush's way. Congress passed and he signed a war spending bill that was stripped of any requirement that the war end.

But the debate is far from over.

The measure funds the war only through Sept. 30 — around the time that military commanders are scheduled to report to Bush and Congress on whether the troop increase the president ordered in January is quelling the violence as hoped. Even Republicans have told Bush that a major reckoning is coming in September, and that they will be hard-pressed to continue to stand behind him if things don't look markedly better. Also due that month is an independent assessment of the Iraqi government's progress on measures aimed at lessening sectarian tensions that are fueling the violence.

Between now and then, Democrats don't intend to stay quiet. They plan a series of votes on whether U.S. troops should stay in Iraq and whether the president has the authority to continue the war.

Bush isn't likely to stay quiet, either.

Wayne Fields, an expert on presidential rhetoric at Washington University in St. Louis, said the president's new language exploits the fact that there is no one alternative strategy for the public to coalesce around, which clearly spells out how to bring troops home. Bush can argue that people agree with him because no one can define the alternative, Fields said.

But, with the president's job approval ratings so low and the public well aware of what it thinks about the war, Bush is taking a big gamble.

"This is a very tricky thing in our politics. We want to think that we want our leaders to stand up to public opinion. But we also like to think of ourselves as being in a democracy where we are listened to," Fields said. "He risks either the notion of being thought out of touch … or to be thought simply duplicitous."


Associated Press writer Alan Fram contributed to this story.


Jennifer Loven has covered the White House for The Associated Press since 2002.

45 thoughts on “Bush thinks public is on his side”

  1. Gosh, don’t you guys read either?
    What Bush has been reading is in BOLDFACE below:

    “The aide said that guys like me were ‘in what we call the reality-based community,’ which he defined as people who ‘believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.’ I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ‘That’s not the way the world really works anymore,’ he continued. ‘We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality – judiciously, as you will – we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.'”

  2. What’s needed now is an immediate national referendum where the people can vote on whether they support Bush on the War (or anything else). Then Bush will either accept it or be led out in a straitjacket. Do both the Democrats and Republicans in Congress have the balls to do it?

  3. Lesser of two evils. Roger? You’ve got to be kidding. Have you been paying attention???????


  4. First, this article is nothing other than the author’s conclusion. But she presents it as fact. And what she offers to support her conclusion are only bits and pieces of out of context comments. Additionally, she offers no credentials that would lead anyone to respect her conclusion. She may be aboslutely right but all she has accomplished is to provide the Bush base with more evidence that the lefties are rabid raving Bush hating fanatics seizing upon any comments or what-nots to “cook” the evidence and spew their hatred.

    On the other hand, she could be absolutely wrong as some have pointed out and fallen in to the trap with the rest of the “unwashed masses” of believing that the fortunes of our nation and people are controlled by the president of the country. All presidents must dance to the tune of power structure that encases them. The one who didn’t got his head blown apart in Dallas. All of our presidents since the MIC took charge after WWII have been clueless front men or consipators with the corporate fascist cabal that really runs the show.

    Johnson was a conspirator that was finally exposed enough to be unelectable for a second term.

    A clueless Reagan got to play the ultimate acting role to ultimate audiance and just signed whatever was placed in front of him by his “advisors” to make it possible for the corpoerate empire to launch their rape of the nation and the world.

    Bush the First was/is a conspitator that so obvious that all it took was a very nice sincere honest father figure man to beat him.

    But cluesless Carter had no chance with the mess they handed him. He learned very quick that he was controlling nothing and the more he tried to get contol the worse it became for him – always winding up being responsible the bad guy.

    Clinton was an anomaly of both and in the end became a non-family co-conspirator associate. Always to be a useful outsider but not really trusted due to his habit of blowing it with the rabid religious base they had cultivated.

    Meanwhile, back at the ranch, they cleaned up and dried out the useless intellectually inferior but very marketable son of one of the “dons,” governor groomed him for a few years and made him the president. Now they had all the government branches under the corporate family control and we see the result of 6 years of that. Little Georgie certainly is a conspirator but, like Sonny in the Godfather movie, is a bit of a loose cannon – still the spoiled and impulsive little brat who will never have to take responsiblity or answer for his fuck ups. He really pissed them off by firing Rumsfeld.

    The family has a real delima right now with no one marketable enough to hold the White House and a complete outsider of the opposition gaining popularity day by day. And OH LORD he is black. We may have to do the same thing we did with Kennedy and install the one we really want as Vice pres to be ready to take over when some lone nut KKK knocks Obama off.

    If people don’t accept the above as the reality and continue to focus on the puppets of the real goverment you never see or hear about until they are class action sued by a few hundred thousand of their victims of bad drugs, or who lost all they had in planned busines failures, manipulaed stock markets, or some other thing, their efforts such as the above, true or not, will only serve the corporate criminal empire that is the real government of the United States.

    People should read the Constitution. It was designed to protect the citizens from the goverment because the designers knew that regardless of anything, in any nation on earth, whoever is handed the power of any form of “government” would abuse it. They knew that government is never to be trusted and would always be the enemy of democracy. So they gave the citizenry the power to prevent government abuse. However, our cizenry is too lazy and self absorbed with the toys the corporate empire distracts them with to use their power. That must change or America will become just another failed empire for the same reason all other great empires failed. The citizenry allowed it.

  5. Yarply…I can only hope that you are right about the Secret Service along with Treasury agents as being there to protect the shadowy oligarchs’ monetary interests. I hope they are monitoring “me” closely because I’m going to warn them for the last time that if they let the Bushistas pull-off some phony crisis in order to declare martial law, for petty societal control reasons, they will destroy the worlds’ capital markets that they love so dearly; i.e., their bucks as represented by “ink on paper” are going to go “poof” in a NY “second”…! The un-regulated derivatives markets will rollover and die like a slug in the noonday sun. 44 trillion bucks vaporized…!

    So I hope there are secretive factions and forces that are juxtaposed against each other. They best not let their “Little Boots”, dubya get too enthusiastic in his “sand box”…!

    Carl Nemo **==

  6. I have always heard people say,, I vote for the lesser of two evils. This is a very telling and disturbing saying. It basicly says that if you had to choose between Hitler or Stalin or even Mao you would choose the lesser evil instead of standing up and fighting against the evil as a whole. Some would reason, well Hitler is a racist murderer, but he is pro choice so I will vote for him or some would say, Stalin may have killed 20 million of his own people but he was pro gun so I will vote for him. And others would say Mao is Chinese and I hate gooks so I will not vote for him so it is either Hitler or Stalin.

    If you vote for the lesser of two evils you are STILL voting for evil.

    It is better to not vote than to vote for the lesser of two evils.

  7. Come on give the guy a break,,, He is just doing and saying what he is told. Does anyone really believe this moronic sociopath writes his own script?
    Hasn’t anyone realized that all of our presidents since the early 30s are puppets and though they enjoy lots of the pomp and trappings of power which they are allowed
    to abuse,, that they will not be allowed to use that power in anyway that would remove the chains (only add more to) from the slaves of this country.
    Kennedy tried and died. Reagan thought about it and got shot for it (a little warning)(from a little gun).

    (Does anyone else know that the hinkleys had ties to VP bush and reportedly was or had dinner with a bush the night before Reagan was shot?. Does anyone else know that bush sr was head of the CIA.)

    But I digress,, Doesn’t anyone realize that the secret service is not in place so much to protect the president,, but to be an ever present presence for the people who hold the real power. (They are part of the treasury department you know….)
    Isn’t that a joke,, a double edged sword so to speak,,
    The one’s who have fooled most into believing they are there to protect the president are also and mostly there to remind him of who controls him.
    Like all things in this country, they, we, all, have been subverted, perverted and enslaved….. Just like the president.
    So,,,, give him a break…

    But I guess it would be easier to if he did not enjoy his role and part so much.
    But that’s just my opinion.

  8. He’s a fucking nut case!!! How more apparent can he make it!!! Insanity is repeatedly taking the same actions while expecting different results! That’s what Bush is doing!! He’s been doing it for the last eight years!!!

    Sweet Jesus! Somebody get a dead girl and a live boy to the White House!

    Hey! I’ve got a better idea! Somebody get hold of Monica Lewinsky! Maybe she’s got some time to spare! Yea, I know it’s not as good a gig as she got with Bill Clinton, but maybe we can play on her patriotism!

    Stoney Browning

  9. …will someone tell Kkkarl he has none either?

    …NOW that is a scary thought !

    …my eyes and my stomach may NEVER recover –


  10. No doubt, GW’s handlers whisper sweet nothings into his ear and assure him that what he’s doing is right, that the people agree with his actions and that it’s just “fringe elements” who are against him.

    As isolated as George is, what else can he do but trust in those who have been responsible for his rise to power? That isolation may or may not be self imposed, there’s no way we can know. The only thing we can know is that for which we have evidence, the damage to this world that’s resulted from this isolation.

    Can we expect Karl Rove to tell George that he has no clothes? I think not.


  11. The “lesser of two evils” is a dangerous trap to allow yourself to fall into. It indicates that you’re limited to two (2)choices.

    By starting your research into the candidates early in the primiary season (for the major parties) and thence again into the election season (to include the third party candidates into your research) your options are far more open.

    The trick is to try, somehow (I’ve yet to figure it out, if anyone else does so before me, please advise) to get good, solid candidates running from all parties, so that whomever gets into office will be working for the nations good.

    Perhaps they won’t have your personal best interest at heart, but if they are true, good, honest Americans, with the interest of the nation foremost in their mind and heart, then there’s little damage to be done.

  12. Bush thinks public is on his side ???
    For starters, this mans brain is so warped he is incapable of thinking…if he hasn’t been told what to say, he just opens his mouth and what is falls out is the result of that warped nonfunctioning brain. Bush has never told the truth because so far, he hasn’t had to and look where its gotten him..or better, look what he’s managed to do with his brainless, seemingly unlimited power. The power that his promoters hoped to use to their advantage…has it worked??? You tell me. As a result if his lies & power we have an unwarrented war, 1000’s of deaths, even more injured troops and endless spending.. not to mention his abuse of our constitution , ou taxes, our votes and his of a President power. When & how will it all end is anybody’s guess….I believe like Gene posted earlier…something bad, something really bad lies ahead.

    Congratulation & many thanks to all for the wonderful posts today..too bad one of you aren’t President things would not seem so bleak.

  13. …she hadn’t taken those aspirin GHWB offered her on that night in the FALL of ’45 –

    …oh how different history would be –


    P.S. guess that kind of was the OMEN – the FALL of this great land –

  14. While I concur with a vast majority of the statements made above…without the usual profanity that seems to accompany most, I would like to point out a couple of things:

    You cannot trust exit polls any more than surveys. Most Republicans never reply to exit poll questions so they are skewed, as can be seen by the 2000 election called for Gore….several times. Nor can one really trust surveys beyond the hour after they are taken….new information can become available which can certainly result in a different set of answers by the same person who had previously taken it;

    To say any party at this point has a mandate from the American people is hogwash…..most of the comments I read are that people are fed up with BOTH parties and the political gamesmanship that is batted back and forth like a badminton birdie;

    Government has not failed us, it is just a mechanism, the people in it have failed us…and that means all those politicos whether Democrat or Republican. One solution might be to start looking SERIOUSLY at alternatives to the mainstream so that maybe they’ll wakeup in time to see their political lives flash before their eyes…on their way OUT of Washington.

    Lastly, it does not matter who is in office, each administration is a product of the administration before it, policies, ideas, protocol, the lot is a continuing stream…..if you’ve ever look at actual policy analysis models they are very much dependent on keeping in the eyes of the public….no matter who is actually in charge. David Kingdon calls it policy streaming, Lindblom, incrementalism and so on and so forth. The point being that much of what we blame one administration for is actually something instituted (or instigated if you will) or planned by the previous administration. Certainly not all things, incredible occurences such as 9/11 seem to require extraordinary action, which Bush took (wrongly or rightly). But the Iraq “problem” has been a festering boil for a couple of decades, Iran is the same, North Korea, Pakistan/India and there other examples to numerous to go into here.

    And sad but true, we put the current administration into office….twice, so who can we really blame but ourselves. And folks, I do include the Democrat Congess as part of this administration now….they are no better than the Executive

    Kerry Stewart

  15. More Americans had participated in the 2000 and 2004 election cycles we would not be in the sad state we’re in today.
    Take some responsibility, people. Bush may have been given the first term through irresponsible court action but he was handed the second on a silver platter by the apathetic masses who stayed home.

  16. you cannot put the insane to death and you really shouldn’t do that to the stupid, either. It may also be less than wise to suggest that action be taken against the President of the United States – especially in this era of governmental paranoia and random detention.

    I’d much rather see George, Karl, Dick, Dick and Condi (and perhaps Alberto) placed somewhere in the scattered islands of detention this administration is responsible for creating, without charge, without access to an attorney, for an undisclosed period of time.

    Let them experience for themselves what total isolation and hopelessness really is.

    Unless, of course, they’d rather enter the infantry and go help to fight the war(s) they’ve started.

  17. While I enjoyed the article I must admit I have a problem with the title. My problem is with the phrase “Bush thinks” – obviously this cannot be accurate.



  18. I understand the latest fashion statement for good Bushies will consist of a grey tunic, grey riding breeches and a nifty pair of “red state jackboots” (none of which will, naturally, be made in the USA) – SprawlMart is, I understand, offering to sell the outfits at a discount – with the deepest price cuts in Ohio and Florida in appreciation for their assistance in the past two presidential election cycles.

    Accessories include an all-weather pointed hood, integrated face mask (the only thing that’ll be integrated if they have their say) and full coverage white sheet/poncho (think about it).

    Now if they could just alter the jackets so the sleeves would buckle together – in the back!

  19. Perhaps he’s completed reading “Being and Nothingness” (Jean-Paul Sartre) and has decided to define his own personal reality.

    Wait – I read that book – there are some rather large words which define a very complex logical argument – maybe mommy read it to him.


  20. Alternate realities are not that odd for egomaniacs being forced to face their own failings –

    Hitler had the same basic issues in 1944-1945 as armies advanced towards Berlin from the East and West. Certain that victory was near he armed old men and children as he surrounded himself with “the faithful” who would say nothing to burst his fanatasy of ultimate victory.

    When the reality did, at long last, come home, Adoph killed himself and the “faithful” placed his corpse in a ditch, covered it with petrol and set it to fire.

    Could there be a more fitting end to a tyrant? Perhaps, but by comparison impeachment seems rather tame.



  21. Excellent post from Carl Nemo. Nothing to add to that. However, it begs the question, how will the Bush Base react? Will they march into hell in lockstep with their messiah, as is their usual reaction, or will they have a road to Damascus moment and finally see him without his mask? Maybe when they get back from their vacation to the Creation Museum we will find out.

  22. … I think we’ll need Barney’s help on this one –

    …Laura has gotta be as bonkers as he is at this point –


  23. If the title of this story is accurate/true, we have a delusional POTUS. How does Congress remove a mentally ill President of the United States?

  24. Bush Must Hang

    There is no sensible, no moral alternative.
    The monster must be punished, and an example must be posted for every politician in the world who might otherwise dare to tread the same path.
    Later, we can, and must, go after and string up Blair, Berlusconi, Howard and all of the other sycophantic poodle war criminals.
    But, right now, today, we must charge, try, convict and hang the greatest war criminal in human history.
    George W Bush must hang. Now.

    Cashel Boylo

  25. how do we get Bush comitted? If any of us were this crazy, we would have been committed long before now. Maybe we could appeal to his wife for help. She should be able to get it done.


  26. Bush is the Manchurian candidate. He was put in by his handlers so they could run, ruin?, the country.
    See Wall St. Boom Stirs Hamptons Home Sales
    By FRANK ELTMAN, Associated Press Writer

    He says the best barometer of how people in the Hamptons are doing is the price of the lobster salad at the local gourmet shop in nearby Sagaponack. Right now, it’s selling for $100 a pound.

    “When you’re spending $100 a pound for lobster salad, what’s $15 million for a home?” says [Steven] Gaines, a local author and aficionado of all things Hamptons.

    And I hope that the Democrats now know not to give POTUS an inch. Bush is in such an altered Universe that fiction is truth to him.

    Too bad we can’t put the lot of them on a chain gang rebuilding Iraq.

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