This is weird. Normally, America Online polls (which, of course are unscientific, self-selected, and consist only of AOL subscribers) lean heavily to the right. I've noticed a trend away from that lately...kind of an odd barometer that tells me that the Republicans are slipping. But I wasn't ready for the reaction to Bush's speech:
With over 200,000 votes in, the speech was rated:
By the way, I rated the speech "good." The thing is, I'm not sure how many people rated it according to how much they agreed with it, or if folks were generally trying to be objective about how well he got it done, but in either case, if Bush can't pull the AOL crowd, I'm not all that certain who he's got left.
With over 104,000 votes in, 77 percent are dissatisfied with the progress in Iraq (that's a ridiculously loaded question of course, one which assumes a stable and consistent definition of "progress" and also assumes everyone measures the goodness or badness of the war in such a way), 65 percent say the U.S. will NOT ultimately defeat the insurgents (that really surprises me...it must be the fault of the liberal media), and 74 percent say the war isn't worth the human cost (I wish I could find comfort in that one, but even disregarding criticism of the war, it may reflect an apathy for the well-being of dark-skinned folk).
Are AOL subscribers drifting towards conservative isolationism? Has there been a huge influx of leftist subscribers to AOL? And most importantly, will Karl Rove make a speech calling AOL subscribers liberal traitors?
Normally I don't think much of Andrew Sullivan or his blog, but that doesn't mean I won't shamelessly steal this gem of a quote, especially appropriate after Bush knocked down the straw-argument of a "time table" for withdrawal from Iraq:
"I think it's also important for the president to lay out a timetable as to how long they will be involved and when they will be withdrawn." - Governor George W. Bush, June 5, 1999, on the troops deployed to Kosovo under president Clinton.
Final thought for the evening: The most disguisting thing I saw during the various post-speech interviews was on MSNBC: Chris Matthews devoting a majority of his panel discussion to listening to (and lapping at the trousers of) the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins. You know, asking Tony how we're gonna win the war on terror and all that. If I were a puker I'd have puked. Here's all we need to know about this guy:
Four years ago, Perkins addressed the Louisiana chapter of the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), America's premier white supremacist organization, the successor to the White Citizens Councils, which battled integration in the South. In 1996 Perkins paid former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke $82,500 for his mailing list. At the time, Perkins was the campaign manager for a right-wing Republican candidate for the US Senate in Louisiana. The Federal Election Commission fined the campaign Perkins ran $3,000 for attempting to hide the money paid to Duke.
Well, as I discussed earlier, Mark Fuhrman is doing pretty well these days too. It's enough to make me want to be just a minor-league hater, just so I can buy my family a nice house or something...