The Ostroy Report

The Ostroy Report is a fresh, aggressive voice for Democrats and a watchdog of the Republican Party and its President-elect Donald Trump.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Is Bush's Terror Tour Working? New NY Times/CBS News Poll Shows Some Disturbing Trends

We've all seen it before. Bush's approval ratings sink to new lows and then voila, out comes a brand-new series of fear-mongering speeches across America where the president perpetrates his own reign of terror in an effort to scare voters into supporting his deranged foreign policy and to keep Republicans in power. It's worked like a charm in the past. But is it working again? A new NY Times/CBS News poll released this week indicates that voters may just be falling into the same terrorism sinkhole as before.

First let's start with the good stuff. The stuff which makes Democrats sleep a little easier at night:

-Just 25% of those polled approve of Congress's performance
-71% said they do not trust the government to make the right decisions
-77% said incumbents do not deserve re-election (the highest since 1994)
-48% said it's time for a new Congressperson for their own districts
-54% said Democrats will win more seats in November
-42% said Democrats will make better choices about Iraq
-50% favor Democrats on the economy
-44% trust Democrats to be more honest about Iraq
-59% said Bush was hiding something when he discusses Iraq
-25% said he's actually lying when discussing Iraq
-52% believe we will not have lost the war if we pull out of Iraq today
-Bush's approval rating is unchanged from August at 37%

So let's assess. Voters are increasingly unhappy with Bush, and disdain for Congress is at its lowest point since 1994 when Newt Gingrich and his Rethuglican Contractors for America blazed through DC in a House and Senate sweep. Looks good for the left, right? Well maybe not. Just like the above GOP doomsday scenario ultimately meant nothing in '04. Let's make no mistake: as in 2002 and '04, the single biggest X-factor here is terrorism. And there's some interesting data behind the data in this week's survey.

The Times/CBS poll found that since Bush completed his recent series of Iraq cheerleading speeches and terrorism fear-mongering, Americans are more scared than ever. The number of people who think terrorism is the #1 issue doubled to 14% from 7% in July. 22% said Iraq was the most important issue, unchanged from July. Additionally, 36% now approval of Bush's handling of the Iraq war, up from 30%. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to see what's happening here. The Busheviks are playing the Iraq/terror card more aggressively and more shamelessly than ever because, for the GOP, the stakes have never been higher. What's most terrifying about all this? They are very, very good at playing this game.

Is America falling for the same scare tactics all over again? Will the Busheviks successfully frighten voters in the polling booths in six weeks to vote Republican? At this stage in the election, that's anyone's guess. To be sure, the data at times appears contradicting as Americans, while extremely dissatisfied with the status quo, do show a propensity to put their faith and trust into the GOP when it comes to protecting the nation. But to complicate matters more, while 42% believe the Repubs are better at dealing with terrorism than Democrats (37%), the margin has shrunk considerably, suggesting that Democrats may be gaining ground on this critical issue. So clearly, when it comes to terrorism, voters seem bi-polar. Or at best, vulnerable to the Busheviks' fear-mongering yo-yo they're kept on.

Perhaps one of the most troubling indicators from the Times/CBS survey is that, while unhappy with the status quo, only 38% of voters polled said the Dems had a clear plan for how they'd run the country, as opposed to 45% for the Repubs. As such, will the midterms truly be a "referendum" on Bush and Iraq as the pundits believe, or will voters be sucked back into making their worst terrorism fears the primary lever when voting? Will they stick with the "devil they've got" instead of the one they don't know? Will the Dems somewhow create a message that truly resonates? Stay tuned.


  • At 1:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    No offense to anyone reading this, but many American people are just plain uneducated. They lack critical thinking skills and do not question their governement. Many current adults were educated during the free wheeling days of drugs in our schools and it shows. They act on pure emotion which is why Bush and company's scare tactics work. Rove has already said to expect an October surprise.

    I've pretty much given up on the Dems taking over the House or Senate. The result will be a Christian Theocracy nation with no health care, no good jobs, dirty air & water, corporate control, mainly rich and poor folks (tiny middle class) and continued fear and war. They do not want a viable middle class because they do not want questions.

    They will continue to use fear because that is what works to control the American people.

    I can't tell you how much I hope I'm wrong.

  • At 1:43 PM, Anonymous Larry said…

    -Just 25% of those polled approve of Congress's performance

    This is not necessarily good for Democrats. I believe this is good for third party candidates, which by the way, are the only way to really change US politics. If you REALLY want change, vote for a third party candidate. If you just want democrats in power, you'll blindly vote for whichever democrat is listed by the voting button.

    -71% said they do not trust the government to make the right decisions

    This is also not necessarily good for Democrats. I believe this is good for libertarians or other third party candidates. If someone doesn't trust the government to make right decisions, how is this good for democrats? The democrat's agenda wants government in MORE control of our lives. If you want the government out of your life, the democrats are not the solution. Vote for third party candidates.

    -77% said incumbents do not deserve re-election (the highest since 1994)

    Again, this is not necessarily good for Democrats. If people want change in America, they need to kick democrats AND republicans out of office. Incumbents from both sides of the isle do not deserve the office they currently occupy.

    -48% said it's time for a new Congressperson for their own districts

    The best way to start putting independent people who will make decisions representative of the people they are supposed to represent, is to elect third party candidates into their districts. Democrats and Republicans do not represent the people who elect them anymore, they do what's best for their party. This is bad for America.

    -54% said Democrats will win more seats in November

    54% minus a typical margin of error is a coin flip. Half the country says "heads", the other half says "tails". This statistic is meaningless.

    -42% said Democrats will make better choices about Iraq

    So MOST Americans believe republicans will make better choices about Iraq. How is it good for Democrats that 58% think Republicans will make the better choices?

    -50% favor Democrats on the economy

    Another meaningless statistical coin flip. The economy is pumping on all cylinders and making a lot of people money. Democrats will come in, raise taxes, and suppress a thriving economy. Anybody who claims the economy is doing poorly doesn't have any money to know how the economy is really doing.

    -44% trust Democrats to be more honest about Iraq

    So 56% of Americans believe Republicans are to be more honest about Iraq. You're really grasping at straws to claim that it is good for Democrats that 4 out of 10 believe democrats are more honest about Iraq.

    -59% said Bush was hiding something when he discusses Iraq

    He's definitely hiding something - classified information. Unless the New York Times or Washington Post splash a top secret operation all over their newspapers, the Commander In Chief is going to be hiding information during wartime. Truman did the same. This is one of those statistics that can be twisted and turned to make any argument. YOUR implication is that Bush is being devious by hiding something about Iraq, but you don't know what the pollee's where thinking when they answered this question. If I was asked this question, the way it is worded, I would say "YES" because of classified information, not 'yes' because of your implication.

    -25% said he's actually lying when discussing Iraq

    75% of Americans think Bush is not lying when discussing Iraq.

    -52% believe we will not have lost the war if we pull out of Iraq today

    Another coin flip statistic. Democrats will push the idea that pulling out is not a loss, only to get the surrender they so desire. Once the military is out of Iraq, they would flip immediately to the war was lost and it would be too late to counter it, because they'd be correct. Surrendering in Iraq WOULD be a loss for America AND Iraq. Democrats also believed that millions would not be slaughtered if we pulled out of Vietnam. They were wrong and millions were slaughtered.

    -Bush's approval rating is unchanged from August at 37%

    This is a flat lie. Bush's approval rating has gone up.

  • At 2:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    A third party vote is not the way to do in November. If you think so, you do not understand the way the system works.

    If the Repubs could lose control, then it would be time for a third party. Otherwise you are wasting your vote.

    The poster above, doesn't get it.

  • At 5:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    A third party vote is not the way to do in November. If you think so, you do not understand the way the system works.

    i hear this rhetoric a lot in this place, so black or white. i have more choices for toilet paper to wipe my ass with, then i do over who governs me. PATHETIC.

    read into the federal reserve, and find out about something that matters to the future of america, change something today. Dont let another meaningless election waste your time.

    We are at the mercy of the federal reserve bank A PRIVATE bank.

    there is a lot more at stake.

  • At 7:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Larry continues to be a puzzlement. He continually claims he's an independent and supports all/any third party candidate yet he continually supports Bush at every turn and on every point. Talk about muddled thinking.

  • At 9:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    anonymous 7:05,
    Instead of attacking Larry, why don't you try countering the points he makes. His first 4 points support third parties - not Bush. If his thinking is so muddled, it should be easy for you to counter the points he makes.

  • At 12:40 AM, Blogger Tania said…

    America is doomed- Anonymous said it all- Americans are STUPID NAIVE- and can't think their way out of a paper bag. Their brains are as small as their bodies are fat.
    I wont read the likes of Krugman anymore- what is the use- pick up the LA Times- the NY Times etc- and they are (sometimes) full of stories that show that in the immortal words of Dorothy Parker (i think) " Everything out of (her) their mouth is a lie, including and and but" BUT IT DOESN'T MATTER. Two elections stolen- more to come. Give me a French cynic-skeptic who votes his pocketbook even as his country is falling into economic disaster- over a naive- ignorent American who is taking themselves and us into perdition.
    The Democrats are fools when they think - if they do at all- that they can "work" or reason with the Republicans. Remember the Senators who voted for Alito and Rodgers- (sic). Please we we'ren't supposed to think they would be conservative- Oh, really- I may not have contributed very much positive, but as a friend of mine says "read it and weep"

  • At 2:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Your post tells me 2 things:

    1. You like to call people stupid.
    2. You don't know how to organize your thoughts into correct sentences.

    I bet you are European.

  • At 11:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    To 5:94 Almost everybody who reads this blog regularly has "countered" Larry to no avail. And, if you're not "Larry" posing as Anon you'd realize that if he believe the Independent Pary in power would be preferable he cannot believe his last remarks supporting Bush. To try to point out his errant thinking would be a further waste of time.

    To 2:16 -- It is clear you like to appear "erudite and above the fray". However, you did not realize that Tania was expressing herself clearly in a stream of consciousness mode which effectively expresses her feelings. Your "cute" slur at Europeans is reminiscent of yours or Larry's "cute" slur at the French sometime back.

  • At 11:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I do not trust the people doing these surveys. The people hooked up with Leiberman and formerly Scarlet R party prior to Joe, got into trouble for forging polls. Wouldn't that make Diebold's job a little easier too??? I know alot of people in America... none have changed their mind to the positive lately.... just more on the "against us" side... since we are not with him anymore>

  • At 10:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I cannot believe that most american's are so stupid! The first writer got it spot-on as far as i can tell.
    You just have to look at George W to see that the man lies through his teeth. Can't you people see it?? It's written all over his face! Come on you people - get rid of this turkey and his born to rule republican mates. The democrats may not be much better but surely they can't be as bad as this lot.

    The problem for us in Australia is that we have a conservative prime minister, in John Howard, who tells the same lies as your bloke. He's also taking us down the same path as the U.S. in regards to public health care, (or rather lack of it), privatisation of everything that has any value, and don't get me started on his new industrial relations policy. The working class people here that voted conservative are in for a rude shock in the coming years as his new policy takes hold. I feel sorry for my children and grandchildren growing up into this brave new world.

  • At 11:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Are you European?

  • At 11:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I used to be republican - now I am anti-republican - I'll vote for whoever has the best chance of removing a republican from office. I've vote for an atheist transvestite ex-prostitute ex-crackhead if that's what it took. I have realized the hard way that republicans simply exploit christians for votes and that they are universally corrupt, corporate puppets only looking out for their own greedy self-interests. All someone needs to do is look at all the republican sponsored bills/laws and not one serves the american people but corporations. It's amazing that people will vote for republicans simply because they dont agree with abortion or because they claim to be "religious". Christians need to look at the bigger picture, such as Bush endorsing torture.

    I fear that Republicans, since they have deep ties to corporations, will be able and will commit voter fraud on a larger scale to maintain control.

    My family and I are all anti-republicans and more involved with politics and voting than ever before. Our corrupt republican government needs to be replaced.

  • At 12:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The first poster fairly trashed the education system. But aren't you given the opportunity to learn and expand your thinking at any time in this life? To blame a system, such as education, is incredibly lame. If you blame your lack of smarts on your 8th grade gym teacher it just indicates how irresponsible you are for your own life .

    If you want to blame irresponsible people, try the religious right. They have given their ability to think and make adult decisions over to pulpit puppets and mythical notions. Now, there's an example of stupid people! Most of them are Republicans and we can see how stupid they have been by the stupid choices they've made.

    Blame is lame! Grow-up and be an adult! Get out and Vote! Oh and THINK about it BEFORE you get to the polls.

  • At 9:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    12:25 In the few cases in history when infants were nutured and "raised" by wolves, they had not learned even how to talk when they were discovered in the woods. It therefore seems obvious that humans need specific training in order to develop and fulfill their potential. The wolves trained them to survive as wolves. So that would mean, of course, that human training would include a good education that encouraged the desire to learn and expand. Good training at home and a good educational system are crucial.

  • At 10:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yeah, yeah, yeah. A Democrat finally showed some backbone and spoke up in defense of the truth. Yeah Bill Clinton. I would all the other Democrats quit groveling and stand up and fight. But, even the Democrat brought in to speak on CLinton's behalf on MSNBC this morning was weak and ineffective; and, was so stupid he brought up Reagan whom he said would have succeeded in stopping the terrorists. Maybe the Democrats are not weak but are just stupid.

  • At 2:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "All someone needs to do is look at all the republican sponsored bills/laws and not one serves the american people but corporations."

    some examples of Republican sponsored bills/laws that Democrats would erase if given chance:

    * Tax deduction for families of slain soldiers.
    * Elimination of the marriage penalty.
    * Child tax credit expansion.
    * Income tax reductions on every taxpayer.
    * Expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit.
    * AMT relief.

  • At 2:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The "income tax reductions on every taxpaper." (which of course is for the wealthiest one percent of the population) is enough to ruin this country which as a result will soon be owned by China. Just out of curiosity - what's your favorite flavor of Kool-Aide?

  • At 9:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Ostroy - Could we have your thoughts on the Clinton interview and Rice's response?

  • At 1:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    9:58 AM - The wolves story is only a rare, to say the least, snapshot of human "training" and therefore a poor comparison to education. By the way, if you know the rest of the story, the humans did learn language because the inate ability was still there in their brains to do so. Many people overcome their lack of a proper education by using their wits and careful observation of the world around them. While you're final point of a proper homelife and education is an important factor, it is largely unmeasurable because of the incredible amount of variables that exist between families, homelives, educational opportunities, local customs, religious influences and even diets and medical care. The point was in the 12:25 post was this - you've still got a brain, wits, and the ability to make choices. To blame a lack of intelligence choices on a poor education only furthers the victim mentality that irresponsible people love to claim as the reason for their failures. Incidentally, while the South usually spawns the highest number of red states they also have some of the lowest student expenditures on education. Utah is 51st in student expenditure, behind Puerto Rico, and is the most Republican state in the union. Could there be a correlation there? Use your wits and judgement to draw your own conclusion!

  • At 4:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Anonymous 2:53,

    "income tax reductions on every taxpaper." is NOT only for the wealthiest one percent of the population. It is for EVERY TAXPAYER.

    Taxpayers are the wealthiest 50% of America, the other half of Americans + illegal aliens get government services for free.

    The top 50%, who pay ALL the taxes, deserve a break. The bottom 50%, who are only feeders, deserve to shut the F_ck up about how much the top 50% pay.

    If you are in the top 50% AND WANT to pay more taxes, you can give your tax return to your favorite charity. Otherwise, keep your opinions out of my wallet and I'll keep my opinions off your fetus.

  • At 6:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    9:58 You yourself need further education. Of course the "wolf" children had their innate intelligence. But they learned to speak only after being discovered by humans who TAUGHT them. And, you prove my point that effective self-determination is impossible without education by pointing out that the South has poor schools and therefore an uneducated population because the schools aren't well-financed and cannot effectively educate children. No one blamed ignorance on a lack of INTELLIGENCE, but a lack of EDUCATION. Intelligence and education and ignornace are not synonymous. However, a brain cannot function to full potential if it is not trained - thus the wolf example which is extreme but proves the point. You will see that 2:53 has had a very poor education and thus makes very poor observations and draws erroneous conclusions. He probably has normal intelligence. Yet, he's screamed the same point made above so many times and so many here have answered him that I'll let it go. He doesn't get the facts and think with an open and logical mind. He seems afraid that he'll have to help someone else,which of course could be psychological and not a matter of education.

  • At 11:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Application of knowledge, NO MATTER how it is obtained is what drives success. Whining about poor education is moot. Bush has a lst class education (probably bought by daddy) on paper and still he destroys everything he touches. How many failed businesses? How many prisoners executed in TX? Now a country struggles to get out from under some criminal mismanagement by a bunch of idiots. Rice will even lie, despite her PHD, - her comments today were refuted by the 9/11 Commission Report - Bloom's Taxonomy does not apply to these yo-yos. But, the GOP does rely on the lack of education, Rove has even mentioned it in an interview for New Yorker Mag. a few years ago. Now, for the psychological side of this - Are you in denial if you still believe that Bush is a good man? Synthesis and application of information is what it is about and we still have 37% to 40% depending on which poll you believe that still are unable to figure it out. That's the scary part.

  • At 9:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    11:33 You seem to suggest that education, in the formal sense, covers all human behavior. Of course it does not. The examples you mention in defense of your argument have nothing to do with education but with morals, values, ethics and character. Education is not an end all and be all but it is the way we learn to speak, think, discern effectively. Of course, we are informally educated and must consider that Bush was educated by his father, mother, church, friends to be deceitful and mean. We LEARN and are influenced from everybody and everything. Then, too, genetics have to be considered in that all are not born with the same level of potential intellectually, physically; and, all are not born into favorable environments for acceptable progress. You don't take that into consideration when you whine that everybody doesn't pull himself up by his own bootstraps.

  • At 9:58 AM, Anonymous Neal Boortz said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • At 10:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Shove your FairTax.

  • At 2:23 PM, Anonymous Larry said…

    "Anonymous said...
    Shove your FairTax."

    That's what I call an intellectual response from a Democrat.

  • At 6:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Of course you do, Larry. That's what you understand. For once, you have not written one of your repetitive rebuttals. By the way I think a Republican wrote that phrase because he doesn't want to even read the word FAIR near Taxes. You remember -- Republicans like to rob the poor and give to the rich with their tax plans.

  • At 1:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    9:38AM Do you know what Bloom's Taxonomy illustrates?

  • At 9:42 AM, Anonymous Larry said…

    "Republicans like to rob the poor and give to the rich with their tax plans"

    How do republicans rob the poor and 'give' to the rich with their tax plans?? The 'poor' don't pay any taxes at all. The 'poor' get all their government services for free - paid for by the top 50% of American taxpayers. The 'poor' are 'poor' because they continously make bad decisions. By the way, MOST of the 'poor' rise up and above the poverty line. Only a very small percentage of the 'poor' actually stay below the poverty line.

    YOU are either in the 'poor' classification OR you are a tax payer. If you are a tax payer, you got a tax break from Bush's tax cuts. Did you keep YOUR taxbreak or did you give it all to the 'poor' ?

  • At 10:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Larry, your diatribe proves my point. I rest my case.

  • At 12:50 PM, Anonymous Larry said…

    Your refusal to address the content of my post proves you have no point.

    I'm willing to bet that you are a taxpayer. I'm also willing to bet that you kept your tax break for yourself.

    I also wonder why you hold such animosity for those who are more successful than you. Are you jealous of them? Do you feel entitled to their success?


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