Tuesday, September 07, 2004
Wondering why Bush has high approval numbers with some voters? This Voice of America news item, Republican Voters Speak Out About Bush, Iraq War
, should give you an idea: (emp add)
07 Sep 2004, 14:11 UTC
No issue more sharply divides American voters this election year than the war in Iraq. The immediacy of the threat of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction was the president's biggest justification for invading the country. Democratic challenger John Kerry says the failure so far to find any of those weapons means President Bush misled the country into war. President Bush says the world is better off without Saddam Hussein in power. Correspondent Scott Stearns has spent the last week covering the president on the campaign trail and asking Republican voters what they think about Mr. Bush when it comes to Iraq.
Bush: "I appreciate you all coming out. There's nothing better than taking a bus trip on a Saturday with your family. Nothing better than ending the bus trip in Erie, Pennsylvania."
Stearns: "Some critics of the president say that because we haven't yet found any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq that that was a mistake. What do you feel about that?"
Voter1: "Well, the intelligence said that they were there. And I remember watching television news reports with Colin Powell showing these trailers and things that the intelligence said that was there. And when they get there, they are not there. So where did they go if they were there?"
Voter2: "First of all, there were weapons. They are in parts unknown. They were there, and I believe what he did, he did with conviction."
Voter3: "I believe that there are things that will be found buried in the sand. And I think they are getting closer. And I believe that Saddam Hussein was such a devious person, a man who killed his own people, that it's time to rid the world of that type of pest."
Voter4: "I think I believe like him that there were weapons but they were hidden. And I believe they were hidden maybe in Syria."
Voter5: "Oh, I believe it was a mistake. I believe it was spin. I believe it was spin away from the economy, that diverted attention away from the economy. And I think that's why his popularity is so high right now because everybody is waving the American flag, but nobody is looking at the innocent loss of life over there right now. And it's going to continue."
Voter6: "There's a lot of evidence that proves that they did have them. We even have the sheets from Saddam Hussein saying that he did have them. So it's not an issue. I think they are misinformed. And it doesn't matter to me. That's not the only reason we were there anyway."
Voter7: "We got rid of Saddam Hussein anyway. And he was nothing but a bad dictator, and I think we are doing the right thing."
Voter8: "I believe we should have gone to war. We need to put to rest all the bad people in the world trying to attack us. So I'm glad we went to war."
Voter9: "Yeah, that maybe was a mistake to go there because there was supposedly weapons of mass destruction but they really weren't there. But look at what happened in that country. They are going to be a free country. And I think that means a lot to us here, and I hope it does to the Iraqi people too."
Voter10: "We need to stabilize it over there. It was just a time bomb waiting to happen."
Voter11: "The campaign is way too much focused on 9/11, and the war, and he's really trying to use that. And they should focus on other policies because in four years, hopefully we are going to have some other issues to deal with other than the war itself, and I'd like to see what he is going to do."
Voter12: "I don't think he made the connection between Iraq and nine-eleven. I do support the president, but that's one of his policies that I don't support. And I'm interested in it because I'm a supporter of the military, but I don't think he is using them for the correct reasons."
Voter13: "The people there are obviously living much better lives than the dictatorship before, so wasn't it worth it?"
Voter14: "I think he is a good commander-in-chief and he does an excellent job in that. I know that Kerry probably could be a good commander-in-chief too. And the question is: Do we want to change horses in the middle of the stream? And I think that is a big issue, so that is why I'm for Bush. I don't think we should right now."
For what it's worth, a substantial fraction of Republicans think that there were
WMD, but that they are now hidden, spirited away to Syria, or yet-to-be-found. Doesn't matter what David Kay or the inspectors report. It's a given for these folks that Bush was telling the truth.
A letter to our local paper made the claim that
A) we know Saddam had WMDs, and
B) they were trucked north out of the country before the war
But this means -- and the letterwriter didn't mention this for some reason, that while we once knew where these weapons were, because of Bush's actions we no longer know. So Bush's actions were not just a failure, but worsened the situation.
Now that's obviously a fantasy anyway -- there were no weapons to let get away, but in fact there were radioactive materials that did get away, scattered to who knows where because the Bush administration didn't guard the nuclear plants when they could have (although they managed to guard the Ministry of Oil nicely).
Someone really used the "change horses in mid-stream" line without any "Wag the Dog" irony?
I can understand not wanting to change from one horse to another in mid stream. On the other hand, I cannot understand why someone wouldn't want to change from an ass to a horse, regardless of whether he is in mid stream.
These comments betray a problem that has to be perplexing the Democratic campaign: that the trust relationship between these voters and Bush is backwards, to our perspective. Rather than trusting Bush because they have come to believe him, they believe because they trust. They cannot imagine someone they identify with lying to them, and as the Dems springtime test of anti-Bush ad in Florida shows, they will react with strong negatives against anyone questioning that until they have come to that position themselves. No matter how accurate they are, or prove to be.
Yeah, well these are the same morons that believe fervently that Saddam personally piloted two of the hijacked planes on 9/11.
They drank the koolaid. They got the brain damage.
Trouble is that this horse was supposed to cross the stream, but instead it took off charging down the stream, which is getting more and more rocky and turbulent, and there's waterfalls ahead -- and nothing will stop this horse. Changing horses is the only thing to do -- hell, just jumping off the horse and taking your chances on foot is a better idea. Do it.
It doesn't matter that the truth is on our side if the truth is drowned out by Rovian propaganda.
The Dems need to reach voters with a higher number of impressions than the rethugs, and with better counter-memes.
It's not enough to say they're liars. You have to make a very strong case to dislodge people from their emotional-instinctive trust of the Preznit.
The Bush supporters support him because he is a True Believer In The Literal Word Of The Bible(tm). It is the largest voting block in America (see "The Jesus Factor" from PBS FRONTLINE)
The Syria claims is one of the more absurd of all time, since all "WMD moved to Syria" claims have been along the lines of "to the Bekaa Valley."
I don't care how stupid we are supposed to be, there is no freaking way Saddam Hussein al-Majid moved al-Iraq's WMD to the Israeli border (the Bekaa Valley).
It's just Israeli propaganda, as far as I can tell.