Monday, January 02, 2006

Liberal Military Bias 

The Military Times (the umbrella title for the four service publications, the Army Times, Air Force Times, Navy Times and Marine Times) has released the results of its year-end poll, and guess what? Mr. Bush's numbers are tanking even among service members on active duty:
Approval of the president's Iraq policy fell 9% from 2004; a bare majority, 54%, now says they view his performance on Iraq favorably. Support for his overall performance fell 11 points, to 60%, among readers of the Military Times newspapers (85% of those polled are on active duty).

"Though support both for President Bush and for the war in Iraq remains significantly higher than in the public as a whole, the drop is likely to add further fuel to the heated debate over Iraq policy," the report continued. "In 2003 and 2004, supporters of the war in Iraq pointed to high approval ratings in the Military Times Poll as a signal that military members were behind President Bush's the president's policy."

Of the poll respondents, all active duty, about half had served in Iraq or Afghanistan. Only 13% called themselves Democrats.
And what about the civilian population? Our erudite colleague Glenn Greenwald of Unclaimed Territory notes that even hardcore conservatives are finding it difficult to endorse Mr. Bush's recent assertion of dictatorial powers -- a development that has opened hitherto unimaginable ruptures in his personality cult:
Americans of every ideological stripe have an instinctive aversion to political leaders who claim the right to break the law. That is not a naive aspiration. These are deeply ingrained political principles, drummed into us from the time we first attend school. Those are the values which pervade every discussion of "America," the founding fathers, the Constitution. Even Americans who agree on nothing else know, even if only on the most submerged and basest levels, that what distinguishes America from other countries and what keeps us safe and secure in our liberty is that nobody, including the President, is above the law. People know that the claim that someone should be above the law is the mark of a tyrant claiming a power that is as arrogant and dangerous as it is un-American.
UPDATE: We inexplicably omitted to mention Mr. Greenwald's earlier discussion of Executive Order 12958, a still-binding Presidential directive from 1995 that governs the classification process:
(a) In no case shall information be classified in order to:

(1) conceal violations of law, inefficiency, or administrative error;

(2) prevent embarrassment to a person, organization, or agency;
Keep that in mind while following coverage of the DoJ's upcoming leak investigation.

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