Sunday, December 2, 2007

Do You See What I See?

Democrats in general - and presidential candidate John Edwards in particular - have made a great commotion over the idea that there are two Americas, one privileged and indifferent to the needs of those less fortunate and another America that barely ekes out an existence under ever-worsening economic conditions. The political meme of two societies has served Democrats in good stead for several election cycles, and there is no reason to expect that things will be any different going forward.

My sense is that the "two Americas" rhetoric maintains its shelf life because it resonates with everyone, Republicans and Democrats alike. We all suspect that there are two competing visions of such things as the creation of wealth, the distribution of scarce resources, the country's future and how we will defend that future from the existential threats we face at present.

Similarly, as it pertains to those threats, there are at least two visions of the utility of the Iraq War and the War on Terror. Democrats (even those who originally supported it) speak of their opposition to the War in Iraq, declaring that we should "finish the job in Afghanistan" (as if al Qaeda was discreetly confined to one nation in a backwater of the Middle East.)

These variances in vision play themselves out in recent findings from a Pew Research Center poll which addresses Americans' opinions about the Iraq War. The graph above was taken from the report, and describes perceptions of how the War in Iraq is progressing by party affiliation. It is clear from the Pew study that 48 percent of Americans feel the war is going very well or fairly well. This uptick in confidence coincides with the precipitous declines in violence against U.S. servicemen and Iraqi civilians since the military surge began.

Interestingly enough (if only in its timing), new
Rasmussen Reports poll data examining confidence in the War on Terror shows that 47 percent of Americans believe that the U.S. and its allies are winning against our enemies. And in what it describes as "just as significant a finding," only 24 percent of Americans think that the terrorists are winning. In addition, the sense of Americans vis-a-vis the future of the War on Terror has also improved perceptibly.

The Rasmussen Reports telephone survey also found that 35% of all American voters expect things to get better in Iraq over the next six months while 32% expect the situation to get worse. That’s the first time in years that a plurality has given a positive assessment on the situation in Iraq. The recent increase in optimism is substantial. Just four months ago, in July, 49% of American voters offered a pessimistic assessment of the situation in Iraq and only 23% expected things to get better.
For its part, much of the MSM (as ably represented by CBS' Bob Schieffer on today's "Face The Nation") refuses to and/or begrudgingly acknowledges any success in Iraq resulting from the surge. The New York Times prefers to focus on the rampant theft and bribery abounding in Baghdad (anyone in their Iraq bureau been to Newark lately?) while acknowledging with as many caveats and in as fine a print as possible that "security has improved." This is yet another example of the media hitching its wagon to progressives and their agenda, which reinforces the fact that the MSM is for all practical purposes of a liberal bent; unfortunately, such does not surprise.

What is a pleasant strain on our credulity is the fact that more Americans are ignoring the media barrage of bad news to see what is happening, both good and bad, in our efforts against terror in Iraq and elsewhere.

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