A new Gallup Poll, conducted in late January, reveals that just 39% of Americans approve of the way President Bush is handling Iraq, with 58% disapproving.
Over half (53%) now say the administration "deliberately misled the American public about whether Iraq has weapons of mass destruction," with 46% disagreeing. Gallup notes that this finding is "essentially reversed" from one year ago.
Further, some 51% say the U.S. "made a mistake in sending troops to Iraq." Yet, despite this, only 17% expect a significant reduction of U.S. troops in Iraq in the next year.
The partisan divide on all these questions is enormous, but with Independents now aligning much more with Democrats. For example, 84% of Republicans feel the president did not mislead the country on WMD, the exact percentage of Democrats who feel the opposite.
Here's a dumb question: if 84% of Democrats feel the President lied us into war in Iraq, and if Americans deeply, passionately care about our troops being in harm's way like we do, won't any Democrat who expresses those sentiments beat any Vichy who supported the war in a contested primary? And if over half of all Americans believe the war was a mistake, won't every antiwar Democrat stand a better chance in the general election than a pro-war Republican?
Even the crassest triangulator in our party should be on the side of the angels on this issue. Why some aren't is beyond me, but it sure removes any qualms I might have about working to take them down.