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The Obama Effect: US more popular in Germany:

A recent poll by WorldPublicOpinion.org finds that German public opinion of the United States has improved notably in recent months. Asked if the U.S. is playing "a mainly positive or mainly negative role in the world," the positive side won 44% to 34%. Last year, "mainly positive" had only 20% support. An amazingly high 89% of Germans trusted Obama to do the right thing regarding world affairs.

The German public does disapprove, by 37% to 54%, of Obama's escalation of the war in Afghanistan, and by 52% to 42%, favors immediately ending Germany's participation in that war.

ruuffles (mail) (www):
Your link is broken, is this the pdf you had?

pdf



[DK: Thanks. I just fixed it.]
6.4.2009 11:36am
Virginia:
I knew they didn't like the Iraq war, but Afghanistan? What kind of "allies" are these people?

Maybe if we just sign an unconditional surrender to al Qaeda right away, we can get our "mainly positive" number above 50%!
6.4.2009 11:43am
Cato The Elder (mail):
I feel like the world actually becomes a much scarier place than I've imagined if the Obama effect is true rather than false.
6.4.2009 11:44am
srg2 (mail):
There are worse things in the world than a pacifist Germany.
6.4.2009 11:46am
rick.felt:
Okay, the Germans are idiots.

Item 1: "89% of Germans trusted Obama to do the right thing regarding world affairs."

Item 2: "The German public does disapprove, by 37% to 54%, of Obama's escalation of the war in Afghanistan"
6.4.2009 11:47am
ruuffles (mail) (www):

There are worse things in the world than a pacifist Germany.

I think we have a thread winner.
6.4.2009 11:47am
Roger Schlafly (www):
I wonder if there is any more objective evidence. Are Germans buying more American goods? Are German tourists visiting the USA more often?
6.4.2009 11:49am
byomtov (mail):
I wonder if there is any more objective evidence. Are Germans buying more American goods? Are German tourists visiting the USA more often?

There could possibly be a very minor tourism effect, but I don't think these things would be much evidence one way or the other. They are mostly going to be determined by economic factors - the exchange rate and the general economic situation in Germany.
6.4.2009 11:57am
Joe T. Guest:
Well, if the German people like him, he must be okay.
6.4.2009 11:59am
Redlands (mail):
If it's a choice between being loved and being secure . . ..
6.4.2009 12:00pm
MarkField (mail):

I wonder if there is any more objective evidence.


A public opinion survey IS objective evidence. The other measures you suggest would not be very good evidence precisely because they are affected by variables which obscure the issue (e.g., exchange rates).
6.4.2009 12:01pm
Joseph Slater (mail):
This can't really be surprising, given the amount of bashing "old Europe" took from the Bush admin. and its supporters when most of western Europe decided not to back the invasion of Iraq.
6.4.2009 12:01pm
srg2 (mail):
Ruuffles,

Thank you, but on my computer at least there is something wrong with your web and mail links.
6.4.2009 12:01pm
Joseph Slater (mail):
If it's a choice between being loved and being secure . . ..

Yes, it's inevitably a choice between those two obviously mutually exclusive options.
6.4.2009 12:02pm
Nunzio:
This is great news. Maybe the Germans will crack down on terror cells in their country. Maybe not
6.4.2009 12:06pm
Houston Lawyer:
If you go to Ruuffles link in the first comment, you can see the survey itself. 42 of the 89% number listed in the article express "some comfidence" that Obama will do the right thing with regard to world affairs. On every measure in the poll, every American policy is disapproved by a majority or plurality of Germans. So with this new high level of improvement, we can count on German support on exactly nothing.
6.4.2009 12:07pm
ARCraig (mail):
I don't think you'll find European public opinion (or Canadian, which has followed a similar trend) was opposed to the initial intervention in Afghanistan in response to 9/11. Public opinion has rightfully soured on the years-long nation-building/poppy-burning exercise which has accomplished little more than bringing the Islamists within a stone's throw of the world's only Muslim nuclear arsenal.
6.4.2009 12:08pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
redlands:

If it's a choice between being loved and being secure


You might want to consider the possibility that being hated does not enhance our security.
6.4.2009 12:28pm
martinned (mail) (www):

This is great news. Maybe the Germans will crack down on terror cells in their country. Maybe not

They are, don't worry. (I could give you links, but they'd probably be in German.) Point of interest, the German national security service is called Verfassungsschutz, which means Office for the protection of the Constitution.

Since Germany has a "Streitbare Demokratie", German Law does not require the German government to have particular patience with those who would use their Constitutional Liberties to undermine the Constitution the way the Nazis did in the 1930s. (No person has ever been stripped of their civil liberties under art. 18 GG, but it is fairly common for organisations or even political parties to be banned.)

After all srg2 is right, no one wants Germany to be as militaristic as the US, or even France. The horrible things that were done by Germans in WW II have caused the country to be very touchy about such things, well aware of their shared guilt. Anything that reeks of militarism, nationalism., is immediately out of bounds. Only recently, since the last World Cup, have they started flying their flag again other than on national holidays.

(No country on earth is as obsessed with the national flag as the US, but in countries like the Netherlands and Germany you hardly see it at all, due to the bad reputation such nationalism has post-WW II.)

Even the question of German involvement in peace keeping missions took years to resolve. They started arguing about this around 1990. In 1994, there was the first Constitutional Court ruling on the question, but new discussion started about the permissibility of the Kosovo war and the limits of what German troups should be allowed to do in Afghanistan, given the Constitutional rules on the matter. (cf. Wiki)
6.4.2009 12:35pm
Constantin:
Finally, some competition over there for David Hasselhoff.

Only eleven percent to go before Germans catch up to members of the American media on the "Obama will do what's right" question.
6.4.2009 1:03pm
Roger_Z (mail):
Slater/JukeBoxGrad -

I'll bite (only once, I promise):

One of the plausible mechanisms for "not being popular/liked" producing more security is that the underlying emotion is actually fear. I claim this is exactly what we would wish to instill into the minds of the Islamist totalitarians who *may* have participated in this poll.

I understand that one of the plausible mechanisms by which "being popular/liked" can translate into more security is that fewer Islamist totalitarians are produced.


I just find the first mechanism way more plausible than the second. But that's only because I believe that the driving force in this conflict is fundamental ideology and that fleeting political appearances do not have any substantial affect on the formation and propagation of ideology. Also, I think the evidence of the past 7 years shows that even a weak-hearted effort at instilling fear has worked to protect Americans, if only by redirecting the Islamists toward much softer targets.

Also, in both cases, there are certainly plausible secondary affects having to do with the non-ideological segments of the population and their willingness to participate in cooperative security-enhancing efforts. However, I have seen no reliable evidence that increased American popularity will push one way or the other on this willingness, nor any evidence that such cooperation actually results in enhanced security for American civilians (or even military personnel).
6.4.2009 1:06pm
rick.felt:
If you go to Ruuffles link in the first comment, you can see the survey itself. 42 of the 89% number listed in the article express "some comfidence" that Obama will do the right thing with regard to world affairs.

I called the Germans idiots, but this changes things a bit. I suppose that "some confidence" leaves room for disapproval on, for example, the Afghanistan escalation while still having confidence that Obama will do the right thing elsewhere. "Okay, I don't approve of what he did in Afghanistan, but I think he'll get other stuff right." Then again, what has Obama done so far that inspires confidence that his foreign policies will be meaningfully different from those of the despised Chimpy McBushitler?

Only recently, since the last World Cup, have they started flying their flag again other than on national holidays.

The strong desire Not To Be Racists does explain the German infatuation with Obama.
6.4.2009 1:07pm
BGates:
This can't really be surprising, given the amount of bashing "old Europe" took from the Bush admin. and its supporters when most of western Europe decided not to back the invasion of Iraq.

We should have thanked them for calling us bloodthirsty tyrants engaged in a pitiless war for oil. Or maybe if Bush had enough command of diplomacy to give Chirac and Schroeder their own personal iPods, things would have been different.
6.4.2009 1:08pm
BGates:
Just what was "the amount of bashing "old Europe" took from the Bush admin"? There was that one time Don Rumsfeld used the phrase "old Europe", and....
6.4.2009 1:10pm
MarkField (mail):

One of the plausible mechanisms for "not being popular/liked" producing more security is that the underlying emotion is actually fear. I claim this is exactly what we would wish to instill into the minds of the Islamist totalitarians who *may* have participated in this poll.


More time with Yoda you need.
6.4.2009 1:14pm
rick.felt:
I understand that one of the plausible mechanisms by which "being popular/liked" can translate into more security is that fewer Islamist totalitarians are produced.

Sure. I'm not interested in antagonizing anyone unnecessarily. But we can't possibly be loved by all. This is one of those areas where I think there's a lot of room for disagreement about the appropriate mix of love and fear. Alas, we tend to throw cliches around rather than actually analyzing whether our positions are correct: "the best defense is a good offense" versus "killing them just inspires more terrorists." Is either one provable? Dunno.
6.4.2009 1:15pm
Roger Schlafly (www):
A public opinion survey IS objective evidence.
No. The survey is contradictory. It says that Germans trust Obama to do the right thing, but they don't agree with what he has actually done. So what are they trusting him for? Is this trust just talk, or can it be measured somehow? If they really trust him in world affairs, why don't they trust him in Afghanistan? I think that the survey is worthless by itselt.
6.4.2009 1:16pm
Abandon:

No country on earth is as obsessed with the national flag as the US, but in countries like the Netherlands and Germany you hardly see it at all, due to the bad reputation such nationalism has post-WW II.


As a Canadian, I should report that Canadian chauvinism also is a force to be reckon with(it may well even be worse than its American counterpart). The Canadian flag is being raised over here at any given occasion. Such phenomenon is two-fold: 1. Convince/remind the world - and, perhaps, ourselves - we are not Americans (especially in the predominantly English speaking provinces) 2. Remind those bloody separatists from Quebec we actually form a nation, a dysfunctional one that is, but a nation nevertheless, although they still refuse to abide by 1982's Constitution.

There may be three things no human being should ever have to suffer: a) convince a Canadian he doesn't actually live in the greatest country in the world b) trying to find bits of sensuality in the German language c) having to digest American food/popular culture.

Peace on Earth.
6.4.2009 1:18pm
rick.felt:
It says that Germans trust Obama to do the right thing, but they don't agree with what he has actually done. So what are they trusting him for?

Germans have a bit of a history of blindly pledging allegiance to non-Germans who give inspiring speeches, regardless of whether the policies advanced by the foreigner will lead to ruin.
6.4.2009 1:21pm
Abandon:
If they really trust him in world affairs, why don't they trust him in Afghanistan? I think that the survey is worthless by itselt.



Is it that hard to understand Afghanistan is not the cornerstone of US World Affairs?
6.4.2009 1:21pm
Joseph Slater (mail):
Roger Z:

Even on your terms, this was a poll of Germans, not of Islamic terrorists. What makes you think the poll had a significant number of Islamic terrorist responders.

Bill Gates:

Gosh, who can remember bashing "old Europe"? It's not like there was anything completely over-the-top ridiculous like a successful motion in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives to rename French Fries and French toast (among a million other examples).
6.4.2009 1:34pm
Bart (mail):
rick.felt:

Okay, the Germans are idiots.

Item 1: "89% of Germans trusted Obama to do the right thing regarding world affairs."

Item 2: "The German public does disapprove, by 37% to 54%, of Obama's escalation of the war in Afghanistan"

Americans have a similar disconnect between connecting Obama, whom they like, with his policies, which they dislike. It has only been a hundred days. The folks will eventually make the connection, which is why the Administration and Dems want to move so fast.
6.4.2009 1:35pm
MarkField (mail):

No. The survey is contradictory.


This is a meaningless comment. Surveys take opinions from different people. While it might very well be contradictory for a single individual to take two positions, there's nothing at all contradictory when a majority of the country does.

And that's assuming that the contradictions you see are actual contradictions. They aren't.

And in any case, the survey is an objective measure of beliefs you consider contradictory.
6.4.2009 1:38pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
From the pdf on methodology:

Q1-CE6a. Now I am going to read a list of political leaders from around the world. Tell me how much
confidence you have in each leader to do the right thing regarding world affairs—a lot of confidence, some
confidence, not too much confidence, or no confidence at all

It would be nice to see how the other political leaders came out in this poll.

As someone who has designed and analyzed polls, I have to say that I don't like the question
... how much confidence you have in each leader to do the right thing regarding world affairs ...
The phrase "do the right thing" is pretty ambiguous. The right thing for who? Germany? America? EU? The World? This question seems have been crafted to elicit an emotional instead of an intellectual response. There is no follow up question to test for consistency, where you ask the same thing in a different form to see how dependent the response are to the form of the question.

I give this poll a D- as a grade.
6.4.2009 1:42pm
Angus:
Sure. I'm not interested in antagonizing anyone unnecessarily. But we can't possibly be loved by all

True, but the situation is an improvement.

Under Bush, we were hated by both our enemies and our allies. Now, our enemies still hate us but at least our allies don't.
6.4.2009 1:44pm
Crunchy Frog:

There may be three things no human being should ever have to suffer: snip c) having to digest American food/popular culture.

Typed by someone who obviously has never experienced the joys of In-N-Out Burger. How sad.
6.4.2009 1:50pm
MRSquared (mail):
Of course they like him in Germany; he campaigned there.
6.4.2009 1:50pm
Bob from Ohio (mail):
We should get the Germans out of Afghanistan. They are about as effective as an American Boy Scout troop.

Though, all in all, I agree with srg2.
6.4.2009 1:53pm
Brian G (mail) (www):
Thank God we are again on the good side of people who invented chemical warfare and nearly perfected systematic genocide. It really upset me when I knew they hated us because of Bush and Cheney. I couldn't function.
6.4.2009 2:06pm
Abandon:
Crunchy Frog

Typed by someone who obviously has never experienced the joys of In-N-Out Burger. How sad.


Fillin' America's arteries since 1948. Unfortunately, there seem to be no poutine on the menu for optimal effect...
6.4.2009 2:16pm
rosetta's stones:

Even the question of German involvement in peace keeping missions took years to resolve.


They got through it though, and now at least do a couple things. I remember the German air force was actually flying some missions in Yugoslavia a few years ago, and the tv news showed a clip of some of their warplanes lifting off, with the fabled cross on the wings. My brother and I were watching, and he broke out in his best German-accented English: "Vunce aghayn... ze Ghermahn peeepuhl ROOOL ZE SKIES!"
.
.

I'd be happy if German industry just avoided helping offender nations with chemical weapons and nuke technology. It calls to mind post-war Brit actions, in sharing aviation technology with the Sovs.
6.4.2009 2:35pm
NowMDJD (mail):

(No country on earth is as obsessed with the national flag as the US, but in countries like the Netherlands and Germany you hardly see it at all, due to the bad reputation such nationalism has post-WW II.)

I visited Stockholm twice, and saw more display of the national flag than I ever did in the US.
6.4.2009 2:48pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
roger:

I think the evidence of the past 7 years shows that even a weak-hearted effort at instilling fear has worked to protect Americans


The WTC was first hit about a month after Clinton took office. We then went through the rest of Clinton's term (almost 8 years) without suffering another domestic attack (unless you want to claim that Timothy McVeigh is part of the vast Islamofascist conspiracy). And he managed to do it without bankrupting us by spending money we didn't have on a war we didn't need.

You might want to put some thought into "Lisa Simpson's Tiger-Repellant Rock." Either that, or you might be forced to conclude that Clinton kept us safe by playing saxophone and eating hamburgers. And Bush harmed us by failing to do those things.

================
rick:

Alas, we tend to throw cliches around rather than actually analyzing whether our positions are correct: "the best defense is a good offense" versus "killing them just inspires more terrorists." Is either one provable? Dunno.


When we behave like thugs, this indeed "inspires more terrorists," and more Americans die. People in a position to know have said so.

And here's more proof, from the Senate Armed Services Committee:

AI Qaeda and Taliban terrorists are taught to expect Americans to abuse them. They are recruited based on false propaganda that says the United States is out to destroy Islam. Treating detainees harshly only reinforces that distorted view, increases resistance to cooperation, and creates new enemies. In fact, the April 2006 National Intelligence Estimate "Trends in Global Terrorism: Implications for the United States" cited "pervasive anti U.S. sentiment among most Muslims" as an underlying factor fueling the spread ofthe global jihadist movement. Former Navy General Counsel Alberto Mora testified to the Senate Armed Services Committee in June 2008 that "there are serving U.S. flag-rank officers who maintain that the first and second identifiable causes of U. S. combat deaths in Iraq - as judged by their effectiveness in recruiting insurgent fighters into combat - are, respectively the symbols of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo."


That finding was signed by 11 GOP Senators (i.e., 100% of the GOP Senators on the Armed Services Committee).

The Golden Rule is not just a good idea for reasons of morality. It's also a good idea for reasons of national security.

================
rosetta:

I'd be happy if German industry just avoided helping offender nations with chemical weapons and nuke technology. It calls to mind post-war Brit actions, in sharing aviation technology with the Sovs.


It also calls to mind the way Reagan and Rummy assisted Saddam with lots of useful goodies, like cluster bombs, anthrax, bubonic plague and deadly pesticides (deadly against humans, that is).
6.4.2009 3:01pm
rick.felt:
Americans have a similar disconnect between connecting Obama, whom they like, with his policies, which they dislike.

Do they really dislike his policies? I wouldn't be surprised to see that his policies, when isolated, don't poll well, but I would think that if Americans really didn't like his policies, his approval rating would show a little more volatility (i.e., when he does something unpopular, his approval rating takes a hit). But his approval rating has been remarkably stationary for three months. As a purely statistical matter, any movement has been within the polls' margins of error. I don't have high-resolution data for the beginning of Bush's presidency, but it does appear that Bush's approval rating was more volatile.

I think the best interpretation of this is that people don't know how they feel about Obama's policies thus far. He hasn't advanced the biggest portions of his agenda yet, and to the extent that he has done things, the public is still in a wait-and-see posture. Is the stimulus working? That's not something that the public can tell, and I think the public is sophisticated enough to know that, whatever happens, it will take some time for the effects of the stimulus to show up.

At some point Obama is going to start to own the economy, for better or for worse. But for now, very little of what he has done, either in domestic or foreign policy, has immediate impact.
6.4.2009 3:11pm
rick.felt:
Golly, JBG, you love to fight even when there's nothing to fight about, don't you? You must be a joy to be around.

When we behave like thugs, this indeed "inspires more terrorists," and more Americans die.

I didn't say that we should ever "behave like thugs." Keep swinging at that strawman, though. You're really doing a number on him!

Anyway, I found that Senate Armed Services report to be most interesting. It doesn't surprise me that Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay are effective recruiting tools. After all, as the report also noted, the truth about how Americans treat prisoners and how the U.S. approaches Islam doesn't much matter to Al Qaeda. Both the nature and extent of criminal/immoral acts at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay have been exaggerated, in no small part by the western left, including Senator Obama.

The truth about what happened/happens at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay surely serves to inflame Muslim sentiment. But the left's exaggerations, lies, and false-light presentation of what occurred there contributes to the rage.
6.4.2009 3:27pm
martinned (mail) (www):

The truth about what happened/happens at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay surely serves to inflame Muslim sentiment. But the left's exaggerations, lies, and false-light presentation of what occurred there contributes to the rage.


So the patriotic and/or sensible thing to do is to just stay quiet about such crimes?
6.4.2009 3:29pm
rick.felt:
you might be forced to conclude that Clinton kept us safe by playing saxophone and eating hamburgers.

The saxaphone-playing and hamburger eating didn't do much to protect our embassies, our Saudi Arabian barracks, or the Cole.

But I'm sure that's somehow George W. Bush's fault. Isn't everything?
6.4.2009 3:30pm
rick.felt:
So the patriotic and/or sensible thing to do is to just stay quiet about such crimes?

Please direct me to where I said that anyone should "just stay quiet." You need to read my final paragraph again, and try to focus this time.
6.4.2009 3:31pm
martinned (mail) (www):
@rick.felt: My mistake, I'm sure. I took the liberty of assuming that pretty much anything coming out of the mouth of a registered Democrat counts as "exaggerations, lies, and false-light presentation". I highly doubt that anything ever reported by the "MSM", for example, does not qualify as such in your book. But then again, you know what they say about assuming.
6.4.2009 3:42pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
rick:

Do they really dislike his policies?


No. Bart is repeating a bogus Rush Limbaugh talking point. Some of Obama's policies are less popular than Obama himself, but he still has strong support for his policies:

Sixty-three percent of people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Wednesday say they think the policies being proposed by the President would push the nation in the right direction


Other surveys show similar results.

I didn't say that we should ever "behave like thugs."


You implied that it might be a good idea, because possibly "the best defense is a good offense." You said you "dunno" if "killing them just inspires more terrorists." But if you "dunno," that means you're not paying attention.

Both the nature and extent of criminal/immoral acts at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay have been exaggerated


Wrong. The nature of what happened there has been minimized. For years, we were told that events such as Abu Ghraib were caused by a "a few bad apples." Now we know "the abuses of detainees at Abu Ghraib in late 2003 was not simply the result of a few soldiers acting on their own." 11 GOP Senators put their names on that finding, which makes it harder to ignore. We now see the connection between the Bush torture policy and the abuses that took place at many different locations.

the left's exaggerations, lies, and false-light presentation of what occurred there contributes to the rage.


Please show proof of such "exaggerations, lies, and false-light presentation." I've just demonstrated that the "false-light presentation" is yours.

The saxaphone-playing and hamburger eating didn't do much to protect our embassies, our Saudi Arabian barracks, or the Cole.


The people like roger who make a fuss about how Bush allegedly kept us safe are always talking about the absence of domestic attacks. They don't really want to talk about attacks overseas, because Bush loses in that comparison. Bush put a whole lot more of us in places where we were easy to shoot at. And the casualties reflect that decision.
6.4.2009 3:47pm
davod (mail):
"It also calls to mind the way Reagan and Rummy assisted Saddam with lots of useful goodies, like cluster bombs, anthrax, bubonic plague and deadly pesticides (deadly against humans, that is)."

I see your source's name includes the appropriate word - Dreams.
6.4.2009 4:54pm
rick.felt:
You said you "dunno" if "killing them just inspires more terrorists."

You cannot read for comprehension. Until you acquire that skill, it's not worth it for me to respond to you in any detail.

Advocacy of an aggressive anti-terror policy does not imply advocacy of torture, indiscriminate killing, or any other crimes. I'm pretty sure that war crimes will inspire more terrorism. I don't know that merely killing terrorists will. And neither do you.

But if you believe that killing a terrorist always inspires another one to take his place, you're out of your mind. I don't know at what point an aggressive approach to counterterrorism becomes counterproductive, but to suggest that killing terrorists is always counterproductive is crazy.

As for exaggerations, why don't you start with Amnesty calling Gitmo "the gulag of our time"? Seems like as good a place as any to start.
6.4.2009 5:01pm
rick.felt:
I highly doubt that anything ever reported by the "MSM", for example, does not qualify as such in your book.

You're AWESOME at calumny, dude! Keep up the good work!
6.4.2009 5:03pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
davod:

I see your source's name includes the appropriate word - Dreams.


This isn't the first time you've demonstrated that simple things are beyond your grasp.

I cited this article. That article is hosted at a site called "commondreams.org." Does that mean they wrote the article? No. The article is from WP. Why didn't I cite WP directly? Because WP wants you to pay for it (because it's more than a few years old). Does it make any difference? No. Why? Because it's the exact same article. Is this something even a child should be able to comprehend? Yes. Can I comprehend why you can't comprehend this? No, I can't.

If I cited the exact same article directly via WP, would you have made a brilliant comment about how the "source's name" includes the word "Washington?"

And if you actually bother to read the article, and comprehend it, you'll realize that the claims in the article are supported by various official documents, including a sworn affidavit from a member of Reagan's National Security Council.

But by all means, please continue to be distracted by a completely irrelevant fact (the name of the site that's hosting the article).

==================
rick:

Advocacy of an aggressive anti-terror policy does not imply advocacy of torture


It doesn't have to mean that, but in this instance it did mean that.

I'm pretty sure that war crimes will inspire more terrorism.


Our war crimes already did inspire more terrorism, and that's documented in the Senate report.

to suggest that killing terrorists is always counterproductive is crazy


Here's something else that's "crazy:" thinking that anyone is going to take you seriously when you resort to a brazen straw man argument. Who said "killing terrorists is always counterproductive?"

I don't know at what point an aggressive approach to counterterrorism becomes counterproductive


When "senior officials sought out information on, were aware of training in, and authorized the use of abusive interrogation techniques," then that's a pretty big clue that you've crossed the line into "counterproductive." Here's another big clue: making torture an official policy.

why don't you start with Amnesty


Why don't you pay attention to the source I actually cited, and not the source you wish I cited. I didn't cite Amnesty. I've cited a bipartisan report issued unanimously by a committee which includes 11 GOP Senators. Put that in your straw man and smoke it.
6.4.2009 6:18pm
Bart (mail):
jukeboxgrad (mail):

rick: Do they really dislike his policies?

No. Bart is repeating a bogus Rush Limbaugh talking point. Some of Obama's policies are less popular than Obama himself, but he still has strong support for his policies:

Sixty-three percent of people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Wednesday say they think the policies being proposed by the President would push the nation in the right direction

This is the equivalent of asking whether respondents like Obama. With only about 4 months into the new regime, you would be lucky if 40% of those polled could even name two Obama polices except hope and change with any degree of specificity.

However, when the policies are described in polling, most bomb: Deficits, Porkulus, bailouts, government running the banks, government running the auto industry, shutting off domestic oil drilling, cap and tax, stopping CIA interrogation, shutting down Gitmo, immigrating Gitmo terrorists into the US, amnesty for illegals - they all crash and burn in the polling.

The stars aligned for Obama in 2008:

The GOP lost the Reagan Dems because they were perceived as corrupt and blamed for the economy tanking. The conservative Reagan Dems have determined every election since 1968.

Obama brought back the Reagan Dems by campaigning as a tax cutter who would give you everything and pay for it by cutting other people's programs. I did not see this coming. It was quite a coup. First time since Carter.

The GOP candidate was disliked by the GOP base, who stayed home in droves.

The Dem news media gave Obama the best press in the modern history of presidential campaigns - bar none. There was not even a pretext of objectivity.

Obama brought in the frequently cited, but rarely observed, youth vote. Also quite a coup.
6.4.2009 9:09pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
However, when the policies are described in polling, most bomb


Prove it. Pew: "Obama at 100 Days: Strong Job Approval, Even Higher Personal Ratings." The poll shows positive ratings (approval at least 50%) in every category: Foreign Policy, Economy, Terrorism, Health Care, Tax Policy and Budget Deficit.

Why do you think anyone takes your unsubstantiated claims seriously?
6.4.2009 9:47pm
EPluribusMoney (mail):
I find that skipping JBG and just reading the smackdowns of him is much more fun than reading him and getting annoyed.
6.5.2009 12:02am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
Do you feel "annoyed" when your doctrinaire beliefs are threatened? You poor thing. I hope you continue to maintain whatever position helps you feel good.

By the way, I haven't seen those "smackdowns." Can you show me where they're hidden? You must be getting a special unredacted version of VC.
6.5.2009 12:39pm
Rich Rostrom (mail):
JBG: "...I haven't seen those "smackdowns." Can you show me where they're hidden?"

No one could. Without being able to apply the instrumentum of a cutting-edge psychology lab, it would not be possible to break the conditioning that blocks such perceptions.

For instance, the Pew poll you cited as evidence of approval for Obama's specific policies is nothing of the kind. It shows only approval of "Obama's policies" without specifying what those policies are, and does not test approval of the policies independent of Obama's stamp. The breakdown by policy sector is irrelevant, because there is still no specific action or policy mentioned.

That was the point of DK's post: Germans applaud the package labelled "Obama", but when asked about items that are in the package, without the label, they disapprove strongly.

This is of course no surprise, given the hagiographic coverage Obama was provided by the European press for the last year and a half.
6.8.2009 11:11am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
rostrom:

The breakdown by policy sector is irrelevant, because there is still no specific action or policy mentioned.


If you claim that the poll I cited isn't specific enough, then why don't you show us one that's specific enough? Bart said this: "Americans have a similar disconnect between connecting Obama, whom they like, with his policies, which they dislike … when the policies are described in polling, most bomb." Where is the proof to support that claim? You and Bart have presented this much: none.

Germans applaud the package labelled "Obama", but when asked about items that are in the package, without the label, they disapprove strongly.


The actual poll question is this:

As you may know, the Obama administration decided to increase the number of American troops in Afghanistan. Do you approve or disapprove of this decision?


So your claim is incoherent, because the question did indeed include the label "Obama."
6.8.2009 12:28pm

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