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    11 January 2006

    "We don’t govern based on polls"

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    As late as last December '05, the administration line was that the White House doesn't govern by looking at polls. Highlighted here a few days back (edited for time context):
    Bush was against governing based on poll numbers, before he was for it. Flip-flop???
    13 December 2005:
    QUESTION: So what does that say about the hill that you have to climb?

    MCCLELLAN: A couple things. Let me first correct you in terms of saying that we don’t ever look at polls. We don’t govern based on polls. The president does not govern based on polls. The president governs based on a clear set of principles and a clear set of beliefs. [WH Press Briefing, 12/13/05]

    Responding to why Bush is justified in continuing to conduct an illegal wiretapping program:
    MCCLELLAN: I think that clearly the American people strongly support the efforts that we are undertaking to save their lives. I think there actually was a poll last week that said 60 percent — more than 60 percent of the American people support the actions the president is taking to prevent attacks from happening in the first place. That is what this president is committed to doing. This is about saving lives.

    And the right still doesn't get it. Most people have no problem with legal wiretapping, it's the illegal, above the law wiretapping that is a problem. Reword the question correctly and I'll bet a lunch at the local restaurant of your choice that the results would be a lot different.

    The sentence in bold has happened. According to an AP-Ipsos poll
    A majority of Americans want the Bush administration to get court approval before eavesdropping on people inside the United States, even if those calls might involve suspected terrorists
    ...
    56 percent of respondents in an AP-Ipsos poll said the government should be required to first get a court warrant to eavesdrop on the overseas calls and e-mails of U.S. citizens when those communications are believed to be tied to terrorism.

    42% see it the other way, and a safe conclusion is that most of these people have been scared into submission by this President or are fierce partisans that sense that the President and his team are in real trouble over this. Thus they feel it is appropriate to ignore America rights and the Constitution in order to soften the blow to this Imperial President.

    I can't wait to hear Scotty's spin when the press calls him out on his statements highlighted above. I bet he'll answer by, well, doing what he is trained to do; talk without saying anything.

    Posted by Geoff

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