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Divided We Stand

Divided We Stand
New book about the 2020 election.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Obama's Standing and the CIA

Pollster John Zogby says:
"Another not so good week for the president. Augusts are generally a cruel month for presidents because no news only makes the press dig harder to find bad news. Going on vacation is a good idea because the president gets to reduce the heat. Still, there have been a number of left-right lightening rods during this administration but maybe none hotter than Attorney General Eric Holder's new appointment of a prosecutor to investigate CIA treatment of prisoners. If sores were already open, this act threatens to pour salt and vinegar on the wounds. Obama's initial message of healing rifts has been lost. But remember, and I've said this before, Obama was toast last August and won."

Zogby's reputation took a hit last year when he mistakenly predicted that Obama would win the California primary. In this case, however, other evidence supports the notion that the CIA issue may not work to the administration's benefit:

From May 11-14, 2009, Resurgent Republic conducted an extensive survey of registered voters regarding the debate over harsh interrogations of high-value al-Qaeda detainees. The survey specifically asked about criminal investigation of those involved in conducting enhanced interrogation techniques:

Congressman A says there should be a criminal investigation into the Justice Department lawyers who wrote legal memos authorizing harsh interrogation techniques. We need to hold people accountable for their advice justifying what was really torture.

Congressman B says there should not be a criminal investigation into harsh interrogation techniques. That investigation would divide the country, turn policy disagreements into criminal charges, and have a chilling effect on future efforts to keep America safe. We should thank the people who kept us safe, not prosecute them.

Sixty-two percent agreed with Congressman B, including a vast majority of Independents (66-29) and an overwhelming majority of Republicans (79-18). Democrats were evenly split (47% favored Congressman A and 45% favored Congressman B).