The drama that will play out over the rest of the year is the meeting of the irresistible force of public opinion and the immovable objects Bush and Cheney, as of this moment still surrounded by a circle of steadfast Republicans, all of them in collective denial about things in Iraq.
But the public is not. According to the CBS poll,
HOW IS THE WAR GOING?
Fewer than one in five thinks that the troop increase is helping to improve the situation in Iraq, while about half think the war is actually creating more terrorists.
The poll has bad news for President Bush, too. His job approval rating slipped to 27 percent, his lowest number ever in a CBS News poll — 3 points less than last month and 1 point below his previous low of 28 percent in January. His disapproval rating is also at an all-time high of 65 percent.
And there is other evidence as well. From Think Progress:
According to an analysis of public opinion polls by American Progress fellow Ruy Teixeira, 54 percent of Americans believe that the situation in Iraq has gotten worse and only 29 percent believe that the United States is winning the war on terrorism.
And what does the public think we should do about this situation?
U.S. TROOP LEVELS IN IRAQ SHOULD
Keep the same number
Remove all troops
From the CBS Poll. that is 66% who think we should decrease troop levels or withdraw all the troops. Sure Senator Lugar has backtracked on his earlier statements that things aren't going too well, indicating that he won't do anything to challenge Bush/Cheney. But he's not up for reelection. Senator John Sununu, in New Hampshire, is, and he can't he heartened by a poll that has him losing to Jean Shaheen, former governor and as yet undeclared candidate by 57% to 29%. And with even a Fox Poll showing that Americans trust the Democrats by more than 3 percentage points over the GOP in handling an "all-out war with Muslim radicals," it can't be a happy Fourth for the Bush/Cheney regime and the GOP.
When Congress returns, the Dems will renew their own offensive against Bush/Cheney in light of the surge in public opinion away from Bush. What will happen? Watch it unfold this summer.