Great. Just great.
President Bush last week said the rest of the world should join the United States in declaring that it “will not tolerate” nuclear weapons in Iran — a vow that most Americans appear willing to back with force. By 56 percent to 38 percent, the public endorsed the use of the military to block Iran from developing nuclear arms.
If you’ll pardon me for a moment, that wall over there is calling for a little head-banging…
OK, that’s better. There’s actually a fair bit of encouraging news for us objectively pro-Saddam hippie peacenik types in there, not that the article delves into it:
As the war ended and weeks passed without the discovery of such weapons, some Democrats questioned whether Bush or members of his inner circle deliberately exaggerated the threat to justify going to war — an argument that the latest Post-ABC poll suggests has had negligible effect on the president’s public standing.
Concerns over mounting U.S. military casualties have soared largely among Democrats and independents, the survey found. In April, 56 percent of all Democrats believed U.S. troop losses had been acceptable; now 35 percent share that view. The proportion of those who viewed current casualty levels as acceptable dropped by 23 percentage points among political independents, to 43 percent. There was no change among Republicans.
Concern among women also has increased, with the proportion calling the casualties unacceptable increasing from 33 percent to 50 percent in the past seven weeks.
If “public standing” means “overall approval level”, then I suppose that’s an accurate statement. I’ll note that Bush’s approval rating is headed back to where it was before we headed off to kick a little Baathist ass. In addition, given that Bush won’t win in 2004 with Republican support alone, the fact that independents and women are starting to question casualty levels sounds like a leading indicator to me.
So then. Am I a cynic or a realist if I believe that the odds of an invasion of Iran are tightly correlated to Bush’s overall approval numbers?