Sunday, July 09, 2006

Comparing Bush and FDR

Meta And Meta links to a discussion about a recent comparison of President Bush Jr and the late President Roosevelt.

White House spokestool Tony Snow recently compared Bush's policy of "staying the course" with FDR's efforts during World War Two, saying:

If somebody had taken a poll in the Battle of the Bulge, I dare say people would have said, 'Wow, my goodness, what are we doing here?' But you cannot conduct a war based on polls.

Joshua Micah Marshall at Talking Points Memo took issue at that false comparison, pointing out that the Battle of the Bulge was over in less than six weeks -- an eternity for the troops on the ground, but not even in the same ball park as the three year occupation of Iraq.

In fact, as Marshall later discovered, the Roosevelt administration did take opinion polls during the course of World War Two, and during the Battle of the Bulge his approval rating was 70% -- compared to Bush's current approval rating of 33% in a recent Fox News poll. (As I write this, his approval rating seems to have hit 40%. I wonder what divisive distraction Karl Rove has come up with now?)

As Marshall put it:

But the basic picture is clear: the American people then, as they will now, will stick through a lot of adversity if they think the war they're fighting matters and that their president knows what he's doing.

Then they did. Now they don't.

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