Hmmm - the whole mandate thing is a slippery concept, I think - but I think Bush would generally be judged as correct in seeing the vote as supportive of his policies - including the invasion of Iraq.
Thing is - one never actually knows, really, why people vote for someone - and whether they do it in full support of all their policies - or whether, for instance, they voted for him while thinking "I hate what he did in Iraq, but I like him better overall." But, since we can never know, it is useless, I think, to quibble about it.
I am puzzled by this sentence, though: "no reason to hold any administration officials accountable for mistakes or misjudgments in prewar planning or managing the violent aftermath."
Huh? Governments are always accountable for their mistakes - I don't think being re-elected gives him, or his officials, a free pass in the accountability stakes....I find that a very odd concept - but perhaps I am not understanding what he means.
Motorists should prepare for detours and delays even before President Bush is sworn in for a second term Jan. 20. Some streets will be closed Sunday for a dress rehearsal of the inaugural parade. Others will be closed from time to time starting Tuesday as Bush and other dignitaries head to concerts, receptions and other events.
Pennsylvania Avenue NW -- the parade route -- will be closed after 6 p.m. Jan. 19 for security, as workers remove streetlights and weld shut manhole covers, D.C. police said.
Bush is to take the oath of office in a noontime ceremony at the Capitol on Jan. 20. Throughout the day and into the night, much of downtown will be off-limits to motorists. The restrictions cover Second Street east of the Capitol to 23rd Street to the west, extending roughly between E Street south of the Capitol and K Street to the north, plus an area around the Washington Convention Center.
Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge acknowledged yesterday that security plans go well beyond those undertaken in 2001 for Bush's first inauguration. This is the widest planned shutdown of the core business district in memory, and Ridge said authorities intend to be "as prepared as possible."
"You can well imagine that the security for this occasion will be unprecedented," said Ridge, who gave an overview of plans in a briefing near the Capitol. "Our goal is that any attempt on the part of anyone or any group to disrupt the inaugural will be repelled by multiple layers of security."
For a guy who claims to have a mandate, he sure seems to be terribly afraid of his constituents
Quote:For a guy who claims to have a mandate, he sure seems to be terribly afraid of his constituents
That is really quite a conceptual leap to consider the danger as coming from Americans. Has the "loyal opposition" become so incensed about the defeat of their candidate, that you think that they would resort to violence? That is not saying much about certain factions of our society.
That is really quite a conceptual leap to consider the danger as coming from Americans.
Parade performers will have security escorts to the bathroom, and they've been ordered not to look directly at President Bush or make any sudden movements while passing the reviewing stand.
not to look directly at President Bush or make any sudden movements while passing the reviewing stand.
Quote:Parade performers will have ...been ordered not to look directly at President Bush...
oh brother. will he, then, be the 2nd president to ride, not walk, down pennsylvania avenue for the inaugeration? "he" being the first to do so, btw.
could it be that the emperor wears no clothes ?
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Americans are nearly evenly split over whether the United States erred in sending troops to Iraq, with an increasing percentage saying they believe it was a mistake, a national survey said Monday.
Fifty-two percent of respondents said they thought it was a mistake to send U.S. troops to Iraq versus 47 percent with the opposite view. One percent said they had no opinion.
The CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll's findings from January 14-16 are a reverse of a similar poll taken November 19-21 in which 47 percent called it a mistake and 52 percent said it was not.
Support among Americans for the war peaked right after the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003. A poll taken that March 24-25 found 75 percent of respondents saying it was not a mistake and 23 percent saying it was.
The new poll's results closely mirror those of June 21-23 and July 8-11, 2004, when 54 percent of respondents said they thought sending troops to Iraq was a mistake.
In this year's survey, Americans were nearly evenly divided about whether and how the United States should change troop strength in Iraq: Twenty-four percent said more troops should be sent, 26 percent said troop strength should not be changed, 21 percent said some troops should be withdrawn and 25 percent said all troops should be withdrawn.
The percentage calling for all troops to be withdrawn peaked at 29 percent May 7-9, 2004, and the percentage calling for more troops to be sent peaked at 33 percent April 16-18, 2004.
In the latest poll, 33 percent of respondents said they don't believe the elections scheduled for January 30 in Iraq will be held then -- a decline from an earlier survey. In the November 19-21 poll, 42 percent didn't think the elections would go forward in January.
Even if the elections are held then, Americans believe the United States has made a long-term commitment, the new survey found. Fifteen percent of respondents said they believe that the United States will be able to reduce the number of troops in Iraq significantly within the next few months.
Forty-three percent said they thought cuts in troop strength could come in the next few years, and 38 percent said they did not foresee U.S. troop reductions "for the foreseeable future."
The CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll of 1,007 adults has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
"Accountability? That's for small people".
I honestly don't understand how you can let President Pinhead get away with this. This is only confirming what George W Bush has known all his life, some-one else will always be there to clean up his messes. His dad did, then his dad's friends, then the GOP, the Supreme Court and now the ENTIRE nation of the USA!
Didn't this dill say something like 'I am the CEO of America. I will answer for my decisions. I will inspire and lead'. Now it is 'NYAAHH!! NYAAHH!! Didn't do it! You didn't catch me! I said it was over and it wasn't over! Watcha gonna do about it!!'.
Winning an election is not nothing. On the other hand, it is not everything. Bush can make the claim, if a limited one, that the electorate gave him a mandate to continue his policies.
The 'accountability check done and passed' notion is the interesting one. It does a particular task for Bush...it drops moral considerations. Right and wrong are reduced to or equated with holding power.
joe, i hate belabor a kind of not important point, but :wink: how do you account for the slight majority of Americans who think Iraq was a mistake if the vote for bush meant that Iraq was ratified?
revel wrote:joe, i hate belabor a kind of not important point, but :wink: how do you account for the slight majority of Americans who think Iraq was a mistake if the vote for bush meant that Iraq was ratified?
Because the majority of people are irrational.
Really, the fact that most people, if polled today, express misgivings about the war and the fact that a majority of the electorate voted to continue Bush in office are only contradictory if you posit that the people are, on the whole, rational. I do not hold that opinion.
On the eve of President Bush's second inauguration, most Americans say they do not expect the economy to improve or American troops to be withdrawn from Iraq by the time Mr. Bush leaves the White House, and many have reservations about his signature plan to overhaul Social Security, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News Poll.
Seventy percent, however, said they thought Mr. Bush would succeed in changing the Social Security system. The poll found that 43 percent of respondents expect most forms of abortion to be illegal by the time Mr. Bush leaves the White House, given Mr. Bush's expected appointments to the Supreme Court.
The Times/CBS News Poll offered the kind of conflicting portrait of the nation's view of Mr. Bush that was evident throughout last year's presidential campaign. Nearly 60 percent of respondents said they were generally optimistic on the eve of Mr. Bush's swearing-in about the next four years, but clear majorities disapproved of Mr. Bush's management of the economy and the war in Iraq.
Nearly two-thirds said a second Bush term would leave the country with a larger deficit, while 47 percent said that a second Bush term would divide Americans. A majority of those surveyed said that they did not expect any improvement in health care, education, or in reducing the cost of prescription drugs for the elderly by January 2009.
Just under 80 percent, including a majority of those who said they voted for Mr. Bush in November, said it would not be possible to overhaul Social Security, cut taxes, and finance the war in Iraq without increasing the budget deficit, despite Mr. Bush's promises to the contrary.
The findings, coming after a tensely competitive election, suggest that Mr. Bush does not have broad popular support as he embarks on what the White House has signaled would be an extraordinarily ambitious second term, which in many ways will commence with Mr. Bush's swearing-in and speech on Thursday. That could undermine his leverage in Congress, where even some Republicans have expressed concern about major aspects of Mr. Bush's Social Security plans.
Mr. Bush's job approval rating is at 49 percent as he heads into his second term - significantly lower than the ratings at the start of the second terms of the last two presidents who served eight years, Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan. And 56 percent said the country has gone off on the wrong track, about as bad a rating Mr. Bush has received on this measure since entering the White House.
Still, as Mr. Bush enters what the White House views as a critical two-year window before his power begins to wane, the poll suggests that Mr. Bush's effort to lay the groundwork to reshape the Social Security system has had some success.
Fifty percent said Social Security is in crisis, echoing an assertion that Mr. Bush has made and that has been disputed by Democrats and independent analysts.
Answering another question, 51 percent said that while there were good things about Social Security, the system needed "fundamental changes," while 24 percent said it needed a complete overhaul.
But 50 percent said it was a "bad idea" to permit workers to divert part of their payroll taxes into the stock market, as Mr. Bush is expected to propose. That number leaps to 70 percent when the question includes the possibility that future guaranteed benefits would be reduced by as much as one-third.
Nearly 60 percent of respondents said they were not likely to put their own Social Security money into the stock market, and a majority said that in pushing for a Social Security overhaul, Mr. Bush was more interested in helping Wall Street than protecting the average American.
"I think it's a bad idea," said Tina DeSantis, 46, of Pennsylvania, who identified herself as a Republican. "People that I've encountered don't necessarily have the tools necessary to make proper decisions with them and end up losing money."
And Ilene Bernards, 46, a Republican from Clinton, Utah, said she feared that permitting people to invest in private accounts would end up destabilizing the system.
"We would be farther in the hole than we already are with Social Security, because at some point if people use their money and lose it and they're old, then somebody is still going to have to take care of them," Ms. Bernards said.
The nationwide telephone poll was taken Friday through Tuesday with 1,118 adults, and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.
The poll suggests that in some ways, many Americans are expecting Mr. Bush to succeed in making major changes in the political landscape over the next four years.
That is most notable on the question of abortion; 71 percent expect Mr. Bush to appoint Supreme Court justices who will vote to outlaw abortion.
A majority of Americans, 71 percent, support some forms of legal abortion, albeit some with more restrictions than now exist.
Tony Rhoden, 53, an independent from Queens, said of the president regarding abortion: "He is against it, so obviously whatever judges he picks are going to be ruling in his favor. He wants someone who thinks the way he does. It seems to me that with everybody he's putting into place whatever he wants, they're going to get for him."
The poll also found that concern about the war in Iraq is rising: 75 percent said Mr. Bush had no clear plan for getting out of Iraq, a sharp jump up from 58 percent last fall, and a majority said that he routinely exaggerated conditions there.
And 75 percent said they believe a significant number of American troops will still be stationed in Iraq when Mr. Bush leaves the presidency.
The poll also found that 53 percent of Americans think the war in Iraq will not have been worth the loss of American life if unconventional weapons are never found.
A majority of respondents said that Iraq, which has been plagued by violence over the last week, is not secure enough to proceed with elections in two weeks, as scheduled.
However, the respondents are divided over whether the elections should be postponed in the hope of some sense of order being restored there.
In any event, only 15 percent of respondents said that elections would produce a decline in violence in Iraq; 40 percent said it would create more violence.
Respondents do not appear to share Mr. Bush's concern about the urgency of the Social Security problem, in the context of other problems facing the nation.
Asked to name the most important problem facing the country, just 3 percent named Social Security, while 11 percent named Iraq and Osama bin Laden, and 10 percent identified "war" and the economy.
Still, 54 percent of respondents said they do not expect the Social Security system to have enough money to pay them pensions when they retire, a figure that has not varied much since the Times/CBS News Poll started asking the question in 1981.
And younger people were much more likely to support the change Mr. Bush is seeking than older Americans.
On taxes, another area where the Bush administration is expected to make a major effort over the next four years, 54 percent said investment and interest income should be taxed at the same rate as wages.
Republicans have been moving to reduce the tax on investments and interest as a way of overhauling the tax system and encouraging business investment.
At the same time, by a margin of 47 to 40 percent, Americans think that temporary tax cuts that were passed in 2001, and are due to expire this year, should be made permanent.
Fred Backus contributed reporting for this article.