Decider No More
It looks like the Democrats have some political capital to use in their attempts to force a withdrawal timeline into the 2008 defense budget, and to take control of this war from Bush. The latest ABC News/Washington Post poll out one hour ago shows that by a 2-1 margin the public wants Congress to have the final say on when our forces are withdrawn from Iraq.
Most Americans see President Bush as intransigent on Iraq and prefer that the Democratic-controlled Congress make decisions over a possible withdrawal of U.S. forces, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
But of course Joe Lieberman and John McCain will question the patriotism of those 62%.
As the president and Congress move toward a possible constitutional confrontation over the war, both receive negative marks from the public for their handling of the situation in Iraq. But by a large margin, Americans trust the Democrats rather than the president to find a solution to a conflict that remains enormously unpopular. And more than six in 10 in the new poll said Congress should have the final say on when to bring the troops home.
The president has steadfastly asserted his power as commander-in-chief to make decisions about the war, but his posture is now viewed by majorities of Democrats, independents and even Republicans as too inflexible. Asked whether Bush is willing enough to change policies in Iraq, nearly eight in 10 Americans said no.
Since December, the percentage seeing Bush as too rigid is up 12 percentage points, with the most significant change coming among Republicans.Really? Hello Mitch McConnell.
(B)y 2-1, Americans said Congress rather than the president should have the final decision about deciding when to withdraw U.S. forces from Iraq. Even nearly three in 10 Republicans side with Congress over the president on this question.
The poll also shows that by more than a 2-1 margin, the public supports requirements for troop training and rest time that would limit the number of troops available for duty in Iraq.
Seventy-four percent support changing the mission from combating insurgents to supporting the Iraqi Army.
Fifty-five percent support legislation that sets a withdrawal deadline by next spring.
Fifty-nine percent want our forces withdrawn regardless of what happens in Iraq.
The recent debate in Congress and spinning against congressional Democrats by the right wing media has not hurt the party. Last December, Democrats were favored over Bush to take control of the war by a 56%-32% margin. Today, that figure is 55%-32%. And get this: 49% still think the Democrats haven’t done enough to get Bush to change his Iraq policy, but 31% think they have done the right amount. Only 17% think the Democrats have done too much.