Polling Project, Sixth Release

OK, we are unfortunately getting near the end of these releases. This set focuses on questions 16-20: warrant-less domestic spying and investigations / impeachment. Unfortunately, a few other polling organizations have been beating us to the punch on these sorts of questions.

Q16. On another subject, three years ago President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency, or NSA, to gather personal information and monitor American citizens' contact with people in other countries without oversight of the U.S. courts or judges. Before I mentioned it just now, had you heard a lot, a little or basically nothing at all about President Bush's secret NSA authorization to monitor and gather intelligence on American citizens?

                   All     Under 25K     25K-49K    50K-74K    Over 75K
A lot           49.6        31.9               47.5             54.6            63.3  
A little        33.3        41.3               36.0             32.5            27.6
Nothing      15.8        23.9               15.7             12.9              9.0
Other*          0.9          2.8                 0.8               --                 --

I am showing the income crosstabs for this question to show just how large the gap is between higher and lower income brackets. It is particularly damaging for Democrats that lower income Americans do not have as much access to news sources, because lower income Americans tend to be, or at least vote for, Democrats. I can only imagine how much the next several questions would be different if the lower income groups on this question registered the same amount of knowledge on this issue.

Q17. Do you, personally, believe during a time of war that the government should have the right to bypass the courts, gather personal information and monitor contact by any American citizen, including yourself, with people in other countries? In responding, please use a scale of where 1 means the government definitely should have that right and 5 means it definitely should not have that right.

           All       Dems     Reps      Ind
1         35.4       19.1       59.1     29.9
2         11.7        6.6        14.4     14.0
3         10.3       10.9         9.3     10.5
4           9.5       12.8         5.2     10.3
5         33.1       50.7       12.0     35.3

Clearly, there isn't a lot of middle ground on this issue, as nearly 70% of all people surveyed went as far as they could on one side or the other. However, that isn't to say that the middle isn't important, because neither side actually has a majority on this one. People who answered 2, 3 and 4 hold the balance. Undecideds and persuadables remain.

Another interesting point about this question is that a not insignificant amount of Republicans are completely opposed to this spying program. Throw in the fact that Democrats are closer to independents than Republicans are, and you might have a real campaign issue on your hands here.

Q18. How much do you trust the National Security Agency to gather personal information and monitor contact only on Americans who are a potential threat to national security? In responding, please use a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 means you trust the NSA completely and 5 means you don't trust the NSA at all.

         All     Dem      Rep     Ind
1      23.3     15.2     35.8    19.9
2      17.6     11.8     26.0    15.6
3      25.1     21.5     22.2    20.6
4      10.2     13.1       8.0      9.5
5      23.7     38.4       8.0     24.3

Again, Democrats are much closer to independents. Also, why do Republicans, who supposedly don't like government to do anything, trust it so damn much?

Q19. There are significant legal questions about President Bush's secret authorization regarding the National Security Agency. There are other significant legal questions about whether he told the American people the truth concerning weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. In your view, should the U.S. Congress investigate whether President Bush broke the law in these cases or should it not investigate them?

                                           All     Dem     Rep     Ind
Should Investigate             49.4    73.6    21.6    51.3
Should Not Investigate      43.2    20.5    72.5    38.8
Not Sure / DK / Ref             5.9      5.9      9.8      7.4<>

Democrats and Republicans are mirrors of each other on this question. The margin is swung in favor of investigation by independents. I'm starting to wonder if there is any issue Republicans are closer to independents than are Democrats.

Q20. If it were determined that President Bush broke the law, do you support the U.S. Congress holding him accountable through impeachment and removal from office?

                                  All     Dem     Rep      Ind
Strongly Support       25.1    45.0       7.8     22.1
Support                      24.7    26.1     18.3     28.7
Oppose                      21.5    13.0      32.0    20.2
Strongly Oppose        17.2     7.5       32.7    13.0
Not sure / DK / ref     11.5     8.4         9.2    16.0

I'm not foregrounding this question because I'm pretty sure we botched it. I wish I had taken Mystery Pollster's excellent criticisms of this sort of question into account before sending it into the field. First, there would never be a national consensus as to whether or not Bush broke the law. We already know how much partisan self-identification colors many other views of the world, and surely the Republican Noise Machine would convince the Republican base that Bush didn't do anything wrong. Second, the question is asking a hypothetical--it doesn't tell us whether or not people think he should be impeached now before such investigations take place. In retrospect, we probably should have just gone with a much more straight up question: "Would you support impeaching George W. Bush and removing him from office?" That is a question that would have measured the actual support for impeaching Bush right now.

Damn it. I'm really sorry I blew that one. I guess it is still interesting that very few Republicans would support removing Bush from office even it was determined he broke the law. I wonder how many of those people supported removing Clinton from office.

I'll release the final two questions of the poll for you tomorrow, as well as some other poll related goodies. Stay tuned.

Tags: Bush, impeachment, polls, spying (all tags)



Re: Polling Project, Sixth Release


I take back what I said two days ago about how the release of the poll info was getting done.

This is first rate stuff and you will have my suport next time around.


by dipsop 2006-02-01 12:21PM | 0 recs
On Q18

...you say:

"Also, why do Republicans, who supposedly don't like government to do anything, trust it so damn much?"

I've argued that the Dems should steal a line from the GOP playbook on this issue:  Keep those insidious bureaucrats away from my e-mail!

by danielj 2006-02-01 12:45PM | 0 recs
Already politicized

Shocked by the extreme difference between Dems and GOP on "should the government intercept communications." I mean, this is such a "new" issue in so many ways, and cuts against the grain of a lot of established philosophies.

But Republicans have already gotten the message: hating domestic spying is hating the President, and they won't.

I mean, so fast. It would be interesting (and I think very revealing) to have historical data for this kind of question. Of course (grumble grumble), Bush seems so creative in finding new basic points of agreement to violate.

by sdedeo 2006-02-01 01:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Polling Project, Sixth Release

Great job Chris!

What the poll has confirmed is that the electorate is deeply divided on partisan lines. There is no common ground. As we should expect.

The small government and keep government out of my private life Republicans support their party's positions irrespective of their so called "ideology". This party strength should not be taken lightly by the Dems.

All this poll has done has reinforced my conviction that the Dems need to do a few things:

1. Play strongly to their base. This "middle of the road" no conviction waffling only demonstrates their weakness. They aint winning anyone over.

2. Attack the Repubs incompetence and culture of corruption. They have failed at fighting terrorists and failed at home.

3. Paint the Repubs as extremists.

4. Frame the Dems positions as Swopa has done under the banner of common sense and competence.

5. Focus on Iraq, terrorism, individual rights. Traditional Dem positions have to take a back seat.

I believe the Dems will get many of the Independents if they can be convinced that they actually stand for something with passion because their views are more aligned with the Dems than Repubs.

But the Dems need to realize the Repub base is solid, organized and incredibly disciplined. This poll proves that in spades. Bottom line is that the Repubs are not easy to defeat as their core is very strong, deeply partisan and will fight hard.

Unless the Dems base is equally well organized and unified under a fighting theme, the 2006 mid-terms will be a replay of 2004. So close yet so far in terms of outcome. There is not much time for the Dems leadership to get this. Max 2 months.

by ab initio 2006-02-01 01:50PM | 0 recs
Big Government

I have always had a problem with the GOP criticism of "big government" since I believe that it's important with economic equality. But then I hoped at least they are consistent, an oppose a big government in every area. Apparently not....

Let's see - the Republicans oppose big government when it comes to redistribution and helping the poor. But they love it when it's about intruding into peoples personal lives and bedrooms?

That is a strange position to hold.

by Populism2008 2006-02-01 02:07PM | 0 recs
Not so Strange

The thing is, we don't see this as "big government" because the Constitution (Article IV, Section 4) gives the federal government the power to keep us safe from invasion. I have no problem equating the 9/11 attacks as a form of invasion, so protecting us from another terrorist attack easily falls within the original powers granted to the feds. So, since there is no growth in power, there is no "big government."

As for the intruding into people's lives comment, I think the poll itself shows that's a moot point to most Republicans, because we don't feel that is happening on a widespread basis.

That being said, I personally do have a problem with the way the Republican party has grown the federal government way beyond its original scope. In fact, I don't see a whole lot of difference in this regard between Dems and Reps. "Federalism" - what's that?

by RepTroll 2006-02-02 08:54AM | 0 recs
No Such Thing As Big Government

The thing is, we don't see this as "big government" because the Constitution (Article IV, Section 4) gives the federal government the power to keep us safe from invasion.

Well, the Constitution (Preamble and Article I, Section 8) gives the federal government the power--and responsibility--to promote the general welfare, too, so by the same logic, there's really no such thing as "big government" after all.

Who'da thunk it?  After all those years of screaming bloofy murder. Who the hell woulda thunk it?

by Paul Rosenberg 2006-02-02 10:14AM | 0 recs
Re: No Such Thing As Big Government

Well, I guess our interpretations of promoting the general welfare are vastly different, that's all.

by RepTroll 2006-02-02 07:32PM | 0 recs
Basic health care and a wage you can live on

is not considered general welfare?

Fiscal conservativism is an ideology of the wealthy. It is not based on reason, but on selfishness. There are many rich liberals supporting health care for all - an unselfish, decent and rational position to hold.

by Populism2008 2006-02-03 04:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Basic health care and a wage you can live on

Well, you guys are obviously interpreting the "promoting the general welfare" phrase in a wide-open manner. I am not. Article 1, Section 8 (as Mr. Rosenberg sited above) goes on to explicitly list the powers of the Federal Government concerning promoting the general welfare, and I can't find any mention in there of health care or wages (or education, or social security, etc). And if it ain't specifically listed, then that power belongs to the States, as per the 10th Amendment. That's how I interpret it.

It's not like I think health care, a livable wage, or whatever entitlement you can think of, are bad ideas (so I reject your claim of selfishness); I just don't think the Federal Government has the power to regulate these things. It should be left to the State Governments.

"The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite."
-James Madison, Federalist No. 45

So personally, I can't reconcile the words of Mr. Madison, or the text of the 10th Amendment with a liberal interpretation of the Federal Government's powers. Of course, I don't really expect you (or probably pretty much anybody on MyDD) to think the same way, and that's just fine. It's not like I believe I am going to sway anyone over to my way of thinking!

by RepTroll 2006-02-03 09:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Not so Strange

You're not making sense.  The "big government" criticism was never primarily about whether the government is taking on new powers not granted to it in the Constitution.  There's nothing unconstitutional about creating large new bureaucracies under the executive branch, or using tax revenue to fund entitlements, or most of the other things that people who rail against "big government" talk most about.

Furthermore, the Constitution actually explicitly talks about limiting the government's power to intrude on our private affairs and freedoms.  There's nothing in the Constitution about keeping the Government out of the business of hiring more people and providing more services.

by cos 2006-02-02 05:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Not so Strange

Well, that's your interpretation; I would completely disagree with that assessment, but that probably wouldn't surprise you.

by RepTroll 2006-02-02 07:37PM | 0 recs
The give prove why you are right

Mere disagreement does not count.

by Populism2008 2006-02-03 04:57AM | 0 recs
Re: The give prove why you are right

"Then prove why you are right" it should have said...

by Populism2008 2006-02-03 04:57AM | 0 recs
You Want Proof?

Well, I was willing to just chalk it up to differences in opinion and leave it at that, but, since you asked...

I would love to give you "proof." But if I could do that, then certainly someone who is much more of a Constitutional authority than myself would have done so long ago and we would all interpret the Constitution in the exact same manner. Truth is, I can't "prove" it to you, any more than you can prove that your own interpretation is correct. The only thing I can do is provide evidence to support my claim, but I doubt that's going to prove it to you. And that's fine; politics would be pretty boring, if we all thought the same thing, right?

I have a lot of quotes from our Founders I could draw upon, but to be brief, here's just two:

"I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground that [quote of the 10th Amendment left out for brevity]. To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn around the powers of Congress, is to take possession of a boundless field of power, not longer susceptible of any definition."
-Thomas Jefferson, 1791
The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, vol. 19

"...the powers of the general government will be, and indeed must be, principally employed upon external objects, such as war, peace, negotiations with foreign powers, and foreign commerce. [...] The powers of the states, on the other hand, extend to all objects, which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, and liberties, and property of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the state."
-Joseph Story, 1833
Commentaries on the Constitution

I would also reference the writings of James Madison in the Federalist Papers #41-46, as well as the quotes I specified in my response to your previous post above. Oh, and a bunch of other quotes by Madison, Jefferson, and Hamilton. But, I don't have the space here to do so.

So, did I prove it to you? Yeah, I didn't think so. Oh well, you did ask.

by RepTroll 2006-02-03 10:10AM | 0 recs
Re: You Want Proof?

I don't see how any of what you quoted has anything at all to do with what I said; nor do I see how it bolsters your claim that somehow the big difference between government intrusion on personal privacy vs "big government" in economic terms, is that the first one is in pursuit of constitutional ends while the second is outside the bounds of the constitution.  That's utter, unadulterated claptrap.  That supposed distinction between the two is complete nonsense.

If you want to argue about which powers are supposed to be left for the states vs. the federal government, fine - do it in another thread.  It has nothing to do with what the proper role of "government" as a whole is.  If all the "anti-big government" conservatives wanted to say is "the states need to provide all these services because the Constitution says the Federal government isn't allowed to", we'd be having some very different debates.  That's not what it's a bout.

Note that I'm not even addressing whether you're right or wrong, or what my opinion is, on the specific matters at hand.  Whether government should or shouldn't provide the kinds of services that conservatives call "big government".  Whether government should or shouldn't intrude on our privacy, or how much, or whether or not that counts as "protecting us from invasion".  I'm addressing one thing and one thing only: The supposed distinction between that two that you proposed, on constitutional grounds.  It's intellectually vapid.

by cos 2006-02-03 09:39PM | 0 recs
Re: You Want Proof?

Hmmm, well, I wasn't trying to prove or disprove anything about economic terms vs. personal privacy; I personally left that whole topic behind about 10 replies ago. In fact, I never was trying to argue that point. In my original reply to Populism2008, I was just trying to point out that - in my opinion - that authorizing terrorist surveillance falls within the president's Constitutional powers, and therefore, the "big government" tag shouldn't apply.

My next reply was in response to your comments about the constitutionality of creating new bureaucracies, entitlements, services, etc.

As for taking it to a new thread, I was fine with letting this die a long time ago, but Pop08 pushed for the whole proof thing, so I obliged. And because I think the power to create all these new entitlements should be a power of the states and not the feds, I argued it the way I did.

So, sorry for the confusion and the thread creep. And now, I am just fine with letting this whole thing end here.

by RepTroll 2006-02-03 11:15PM | 0 recs
Re: You Want Proof?

You're missing the very basic logic here.  You said you don't consider intrusions on privacy to be "big government" because they're constitutionally permissible.  Obviously we disagree on what privacy intrusions are contitutionally permissible or not, but that's not the point: the point is, the debate about big vs. small government is not and has never been about whether or not the constitution permits things.  It's a debate about how much the government should do or not do, including a whole range of choices among things that are permissible.

Remember, the point you initially responded to was about the hypocrisy of opposing "big government" social services, but not opposing it when it comes to intrusion of privacy.  You answered that it's not hypocrisy, because the constitution permits intrusion of privacy.  Even if that were entirely true... the constitution permits social services too!  The constitution restrict how much money government can spend or how many people it can hire or how many agencies it can create, it just creates a structure wherein those kinds of decisions can be made.

You presented a bunch of quotes that don't apply.  First of all, they're not from the constitution, and you made no attempt to show how anything in the constitution relates to what you're claiming.  Secondly, you concentrate a lot about where the separation between the role of federal and state governments should lie.  There's a whole other debate to be had there, but it's a different debate!  If you believe that "big government" should be entirely handled by state governments, say so, fine.  We can disagree about that.  But conservatives who oppose "big government" aren't saying "it's fine for the states to do as much of that stuff as they want, we just don't think the Federal government is allowed to do it".  Maybe that's your opinion, personally, but it's not what public debate about big government is about at all.  Conservatives who criticize "big government" social spending criticize it on philosophical grounds, and they do so at the state level just as on the federal level.

As a tangent, I should point out that the balance of federal vs. state power shifted fundamentally from 1860 - 1940, after a massive civil war proved the old deal was not successful, and a series of constitutional amendments were passed.  So making claims about what the balance was before this big shift, or what people who founded the country intended for it to be, does not automatically give you moral superiority about claims for what that balance ought to be today.  But, as I said, this is a tangent.  It's an entirely separate debate from the one about conservative hypocrisy that this thread started out with.

1. It's not about what's constitutionally permitted, it's about what government should and should not do, even if it's allowed to.

2. It's not about the separation of roles between state and federal government, it's about the role of "government" in general, at all levels.

3. If there are any constitutional prohibitions that are relevant here, they're the ones that address civil liberties.  The Constitution doesn't even hint at prohibiting social services, or defining the size of government.

by cos 2006-02-23 10:13AM | 0 recs
Excellent work

The naked partisanship of the Republicans when asked about removing the President if he broke the law is somewhat eye-opening.

Are we going to have a single-source report at the end of these releases?  Something to pass around in a single URL/PDF?

by Phoenix Rising 2006-02-01 02:27PM | 0 recs
Good word

Though it does seems the Republicans have the upper hand on the the two questions regarding surveillance.  On question 17, excluding the middle ground (people who selected "3"), by a score of 47.1% to 42.6%, more people believe Bush should have the right to monitor while bypassing the courts.

Same holds for question 18, where after excluding the middle group, 40.9% versus 33.9% trust the NSA in gathering information.  

We may have better support among independents, but we are losing way too many Democrats on this issue.  If our leaders actually had a coherent message on this, we could easily win back our own defectors.  

by Eric11 2006-02-01 04:21PM | 0 recs
Middling quality

You need to do a little better than what you've been doing. this is almost simulated work. There's no real drift in the stats yet.

The american public has clear and well defined ideas.  I am questioning the signal to noise ratio of the poll.

The best technique to employ, chris, is to ask the question three or four different times, innocuously in three or four different places.

Then, instead of trying to get such a big bang for your buck as to have the poll cover so many topics - you just end up answering one, or two questions with the entire poll and you get a very accurate result.

That is, you get them off balance and ask the question four times, then average and weight the results based on their question value and relevance score to the parent question.

So yes, you're effing it up.

But at least, since you're an english major, you can write convincingly about how you're effing it up. Get a  math guy there. AN INDEPENDENT.  Someone who doesn't give a damn how the poll comes out. thats important.

Or else you'll be delivering a well sharpened axe to grind, fitted just the right size to cut down nothing and cost everything.

by turnerbroadcasting 2006-02-01 06:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Middling quality

PS  - Chauvenet's criterion only applies in polls to known value medians. it works best in physical contexts. Still, you might want to look into it, its a generally good way to find out exactly how badly you effed things up.

Oh, and of course - please understand. I'm not saying I don't eff things up. We all do. But right now, I haven't seen anything out of this polling project that looks like anything else other than a fox news version. Those guys are complete idiots. You really have tofind the real beat of the American heart, to be a good pollster. And it is a strong one. Good luck!

by turnerbroadcasting 2006-02-01 06:48PM | 0 recs
Simple: The GOP Doesn't Believe In The Rule Of Law

This is actually very good data to have, since it confirms something that there's a lot of anecdotal and indirect evidence for: the "law and order" GOP is full of people who don't believe in the rule of law. They believe in the rule of people like them, to lay down the law for the rest of us.

by Paul Rosenberg 2006-02-01 09:31PM | 0 recs

OK, I think I can explain this one. I think that most Republicans think so strongly that Bush did nothing wrong in authorizing the NSA efforts, or the war in Iraq that they aren't about to answer such a question in a manner that may be used against them or their Pres.

In other words, they might very well be thinking that if I answer that yes Bush - or any president for that matter - should be impeached for committing crimes, the results of this poll may be used to say "hey look, even Republicans think Bush should be impeached." They are letting their fierce loyalty get in the way of an honest answer. To tell the truth, in the heat of the moment of taking this poll, I would have probably answered in the same way. But, if asked in casual conversation if a president should be impeached for breaking the law, I would have to say, "well, duh! Yeah."

That make any sense?

by RepTroll 2006-02-02 09:06AM | 0 recs
Q 20 Not A Bad Question

It's not a bad question at all.  It shows how many Republicans support Bush engading in criminal activity.  It's a shocking, and very important result.  It totally blows all their pretensions to being a the party of "law and order."

Of course, it would have been better to ask Mystery Pollster's question first, and then ask this one.  Two different slants on the same underlying issue.  Always better than one.

by Paul Rosenberg 2006-02-01 09:34PM | 0 recs
Huge Partisan Differences On Q17, 19, 20

Because of the way that politics is discussed, people routinely get the idea that liberals (or Democrats) all believe one thing, while conservatives (or Republicans) all believe another.  In fact, on virtually all issues, there is much more agreement than disagreement than disagreement.  This doesn't always mean consensus, however, since poeople can agree on both sides of a question, or, at the various points on a Lickert Scale (such as the 1-5 scales used on the questions discussed here).

For example, using 1996-2004 data for the General Social Survey question:

"206. Please tell me whether or not you think it should be possible for a pregnant woman to obtain a legal abortion if...READ EACH STATEMENT, AND CIRCLE ONE CODE FOR EACH.
G. The woman wants it for any reason?
we find the following:
       Strong  Strong    Difference
         Dem      Rep    
  1. YES   45.0    26.4        18.6
  2. NO    50.9    73.6        22.7
Total:                       20.65

The total difference is calculated by summing all the differences and dividing by 2, since differences are double-counted--a shift from "yes" to "no" is one less "yes" AND one more "no."

This produces the surprising result that there is almost 4 times as much agreement as disagreement over abortion (by this measure) between strong Dems and strong Reps.  For self-identified liberals vs. conservatives, the difference is higher--29.1%.  Still, more than twice as much agreement as disagreement. This is no abberation. The strongest abortion or gay marriage hot buttons rarely register above 33% disagreement, and almost never over 40% between liberals and conservatives. Party differences are usually smaller.

On many, many questions--particularly about spending money--differences are significantly smaller.  On the question:

"are we spending too much, too little, or about the right  amount on (ITEM)?
D. Solving the problems of the big cities

the liberal/conservative difference is a paltry 12.6%.

By contrast, Chris's post-election analysis showed that the difference in Bush/Kerry presidential candidate vote in 2004 was about 70% between liberals and conservatives.  Thus, candidate votes are much more polarized than issue votes.

With this as background, the total differences for the questions above are:

Q17 (Government right to bypass courts): 47.85
Q18 (Trust the NSA to only monitor threats): 35.5
Q19 (Congress should investigate if Bush broke the law): 53.95
Q20 (Impeach/Remove Bush is he broke law): 45

Of these four questions, only Q18 falls within the range of normal hot-button issues.  Q17, Q19, and Q20 have differences that are off the charts.  All have to do with presidential power, and whether we should even consider questioning it.  Indeed, Q19 not only asks if the President is above the law, but if he's above even being investigated.

If we define a "polarizing issue" as one in which there is more agreement than disagreement, then Q19 is one of the exceedingly rare questions in American politics that reveals an actual polarizing issue.  Aside from who you will vote for, such issues are almost impossible to find.

Naturally, no one expects these numbers would be the same if a Democrat were President.  They are a clear indication of a massive partisan divide, and they clearly reflect how much this presidency exists in a realm that is divorced from the realm of common issue differences.  This is what a cult of personality looks like through the lens of polling data.

by Paul Rosenberg 2006-02-02 06:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Polling Project, Sixth Release

I am a bit disappointed in how the wording turned out in some of these questions. For instance, by throwing in the "including yourself" phrase in question 17, you have planted the seed that the person taking the poll could very well have been spied upon (which is extremely unlikely, if you believe Bush), thus potentially coloring the results to questions 18 and 19.

Also, by adding the "There are significant legal questions about..." phrases to question 19, it becomes very biased; certainly enough to tip a lot of fence sitters into an anti-Bush response. You should have left those out and just straight out asked if there should be investigations on the two topics and let the people decide for themselves if there is significant enough reasons for doing so.

Having said that, I a still impressed with the entire polling project, if for no other reason than it proves that something like this can succeed with nothing but grassroots support. A job well done!

by RepTroll 2006-02-02 08:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Polling Project, Sixth Release

Because there's no oversight of any kind, the NSA could be spying on anyone. The concern here is that there's no way of knowing what they're doing. If they have nothing to hide, why fight against oversight?

Nothing to hide? Hmmm, I would say they certainly have something to hide; in fact, I would go so far as to say they have everything to hide! If the NSA can't work in secrecy, what good are they? Already there is evidence that the terrorists are changing their tactics because of what was revealed about the NSA's activities. Plus, there was oversight - that's why Bush informed members of Congress from both parties; it's just that this oversight can't be made public or all the efforts of the NSA are toast, which is what has happened.

Also, there ARE significant legal questions about what Bush has done. Saying so doesn't unfairly present the situation.  Many people are questioning the legality of it, and so a question regarding whether this should be pursued (especially given how many people have little-to-no knowledge of the issue), ought to frame it in the context of people questioning it.  If nobody thought it was illegal, why would there be the question of investigation?

I understand where you are coming from, but they still seem like push questions to me, especially if the person being polled has little-to-no knowledge of the issue. And if some small schuck like me thinks so, just imagine what the Right-wing Noise Machine (as you guys love to call 'em) would do with that question. I'm not saying I'm right and you're wrong; I just think this is a potential area where the poll could be attacked for being biased, whether it's fair or not.

But, I said it before, and I will say it again, that overall, the entire MyDD polling effort has greatly impressed me, and it's something you should all be proud of.

by RepTroll 2006-02-02 09:36AM | 0 recs


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