Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Impeach or Not Impeach, That is the Question

Newsweek Poll: Losing Ground, 24 March 2006
A NEWSWEEK poll shows President Bush's approval rating dropping to new lows on domestic issues and rising public anger over Iraq and homeland security. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11894249/site/newsweek/

For most readers, this was just another story about Bush's general poll numbers remaining low. But the blogosphere found its headlines in the third and fourth paragraphs:

...The outright anger against Bush felt by many Americans was reflected in responses to questions about the effort of Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin to censure Bush in Congress for his warrantless wiretapping program. Feingold has found very little support for his move on the Hill. Four in 10 (42 percent) of the adults in the general public say they would support Congressional censure of the president, while half (50 percent) say they would not. Censure wins majority support from Democrats (60 percent) and one in five Republicans (20 percent) say they’d support it. Yet if Democrats in Congress do decide to push for such a measure, they may run into trouble with that same public. By a margin of 53 percent to 33 percent, Americans feel the censure proposal was made as a partisan ploy, not for reasons of principle.

In today’s strongly polarized political climate, roughly one in four American adults (26 percent) say they think Congress should actually impeach President Bush and consider removing him from office. There is in fact no effort to do this on the Hill, and the public mood appears to be more a reflection of the passionate sentiment against Bush in some quarters rather than considered support for actual legislative action. (Some recent national polls show about 45 percent of adults strongly disapprove of the president’s performance.) The NEWSWEEK poll shows that only 5 percent of Republicans would support impeaching Bush, while 94 percent would not. Among Democrats, almost half (49 percent) support impeachment, while 48 percent oppose it. Overall, 69 percent do not think Congress should consider removing him from office. ...

The mail on this poll was fascinating, but more about that later. -- C.D.

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