Saturday, November 21, 2015

It Feels Like 2002 Again

Greg Sargent takes a look at a new Washington Post/ABC poll in the wake of last week's Paris attacks and finds America's clock has been set back to early 2002.

— By 54-43, Americans oppose taking in refugees from the conflicts in Syria and other Mideast countries even after screening them for security.

— By 52-47, Americans are not confident that the U.S. can identify and keep out possible terrorists who may be among these refugees. (One bright spot: 78 percent of Americans don’t think religion should be considered in determining whether to accept refugees.)

— By 81-18, Americans think it is likely that there will be a terrorist attack in the U.S. in the near future that will cause large numbers of lives to be lost.

— By 55-45, Americans are not confident in the ability of the U.S. government to prevent further terror attacks against Americans here.

— By 72-25, Americans say that it is more important for the government to investigate terror threats, even if that intrudes on personal privacy, rather than refraining from intruding on personal privacy.

In fairness, this is pretty vague — “intruding on personal privacy” could mean a lot of different things in terms of actual policy — but it’s still pretty lopsided, perhaps another reminder that public fear sends concerns about civil liberties right out the window.

60 percent of Americans want to see an “increased use of U.S. ground forces” against ISIS, and 73 percent of Americans want to see increased air strikes.

— Americans say by 59-37 that the U.S. is “at war with radical Islam.”

So Democrats are on the minority side of a fair amount of these. Hillary Clinton has aligned herself with Obama in coming out against sending in ground troops (though Republicans have been vague on this point, too, and Clinton has called for stepped up air strikes). Clinton and virtually all Democrats have called for the program for admitting Syrian refugees to continue, while the GOP candidates and many Congressional Republicans have called for it to be “paused” or for an outright ban on their entry. There is little confidence in the current administration’s ability to keep us safe — at least right at this moment — and Marco Rubio and Donald Trump have ramped up the calls for a beefed up surveillance state.

Sargent is being kind, as both Trump and Rubio are calling for effectively suspending the US Constitution and tracking the country's Muslims, treating all of them outright as terror suspects that need to be marked.  Trump in particular wants to close down mosques and "do the unthinkable" because it may be "necessary".

Exit questions:

One, aren't you glad Obama is president right now as opposed to any of the Republicans over the last seven, eight years?

Two, if Obama really was a crypto-neocon warmonger, as I have repeatedly been assured he is by "real liberals", we'd be at war right now with tens of thousands of ground troops on the way to Syria, wouldn't we?

Three, do you believe Hillary would send ground troops like Trump, Carson, Rubio or Cruz would?

Democrats need to ask themselves and answer these questions.

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