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Josh

Here's another polite and well-reasoned comment for you to delete because it points out flaws in your argument.

However, Bush moving to the middle has been the opposite of the majority of the country had hoped for, and is a contributing factor to his approval rating being much lower than in 2003 and 2004.

Do you have any support for this? Bush's approval rating could be low for any number of reasons, including the continuing violence in Iraq or high energy prices. Yet you imply that the primary driver is his alleged reluctance to go to war with Iran. Unless you have some evidence you haven't cited, this looks like a classic case of the pundit's fallacy.

http://www.jargondatabase.com/Jargon.aspx?id=990

GK

Josh,

Bush's drop in approval ratings is due to conservatives feeling he has not stayed on the path of conservative principles.

Leftists who hated him in 2003 still hate him now. They seem to think low approval of Bush translates into a resurgence of leftism, but nothing could be further from the truth.

Leftists also have trouble distinguishing between their position (the Iraq War is wrong from the beginning, based on lies, no WMDs, etc.) with the position of those who are still pro-America (that the Iraq War ended up being a bad decision, but we still have to stick it out and do what it takes to win).

A leftist wants America to lose, in order to make Bush look bad.

A moderate wants America to win because that is best for America.

Under a sloppily created poll, both would come under 'Was the War in Iraq the right decision?' as a 'no'.

What do you suggest Bush do in the current situation with Iran? Should he be more diplomatic (against someone openly pursuing nuclear weapons, and saying Israel should be wiped off the map), or take a tougher stance?

Josh

Bush's drop in approval ratings is due to conservatives feeling he has not stayed on the path of conservative principles.

I understand that's your belief. It just doesn't have any empirical support.

That's the subject of my comment. Your reply seems like a string of red herrings and unsupported generalizations about "Leftists."

I'll have to respectfully decline your invitation to let cartoons determine my views on foreign policy. I prefer logic and thoughtful consideration of the evidence to cartoonish emotionalism.

GK

So what are you claiming? That the country has moved to the left? There is no empirical evidence of that either.

The two opinions I outlined are the two branches of those who regret going to Iraq. That leftists think that a majority now agree with their worldview is very false. This is evidenced in many ways, like the Lieberman-Lamont issue. Lieberman still got 48% of Democrat primary voters, and will get a strong majority of votes in the general election, retaining his seat.

The left will not gain share in Congress, but rather splinter the Democratic party into two camps.

Josh

My claim is that your assertion that Bush's low approval rating is caused by insufficient bellicosity vis a vis Iran is an implausible conjecture without evidentiary support.

It is unclear why you think Iraq, Connectictut, or "leftists" are somehow relevant to this debate. They are not. The only issue here is why Bush's poll numbers are falling. You think it is because he isn't aggressive enough against Iran, but have so far presented no evidence to support that conclusion. Do you have any? If not, please consider that something else may be driving Bush's poll numbers down.

GK

That is not my claim at all. My claim is that his approval rating has dropped due to his not meeting the expectations of conservatives (which he did a much better job of in his first term). This includes not using enough force in Iraq to fight insurgents, al-Sadr, etc., which is part of his not being as aggressive in the WoT as he was before. The same goes for Iran.

You have no evidence that this is not the case. If your belief is that dissatistaction with Iraq translates into an approval of the Lamont wing's anti-war view, that is sorely mistaken.

Josh

My claim is that his approval rating has dropped due to his not meeting the expectations of conservatives (which he did a much better job of in his first term). This includes not using enough force in Iraq to fight insurgents, al-Sadr, etc., which is part of his not being as aggressive in the WoT as he was before. The same goes for Iran.

That's odd, because your post makes no mention whatsoever of fighting Iraqi insurgents or al-Sadr. The entire focus of the post, from the opening paragrahp to the cartoons, is on Iran and its proxy, Hezbollah.

You have no evidence that this is not the case.

You made the claim. It's your job to support it, which you have so far been unable to do.

The most recent data indicate widespread dissatisfaction with the way Bush has handled Iraq.

http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/08/21/iraq.poll/index.html

I'd wager that is a more likely reason for Bush's unpopularity than Bush's perceived softness towards Iran. It seems to me that you are assuming, without good reason, that the public shares your views on Iran.

If your belief is that dissatistaction with Iraq translates into an approval of the Lamont wing's anti-war view, that is sorely mistaken.

I have never made this claim. Why do you keep mentioning Lamont? Why not just address the points that I am putting forward directly instead of debating some imaginary Lamont supporter?

GK

Josh,

The whole point is, people who hated Bush in 2003 and 2004 still hate him anyway. The reason his approval is lower than that is due to his departure from conservative principles that made him popular in his first term. The loss of support from conservatives (many of whom liked his previously hawkish approach) is the reason for the drop from 55% to 40%.

This does NOT mean they now side with liberals. Quite the opposite - they feel Bush has been subdued into submission by liberals despite him winning the election with their support.

There is much more to it than merely Iraq.

Josh

The reason his approval is lower than that is due to his departure from conservative principles that made him popular in his first term. The loss of support from conservatives (many of whom liked his previously hawkish approach) is the reason for the drop from 55% to 40%.

So you say. I find it more plausible that a string of policy failures, real and perceived, have caused moderates to take a dim view of his performance. Again, it seems you are extrapolating your personal experience onto the electorate as a whole with no basis for doing so.

Quite the opposite - they feel Bush has been subdued into submission by liberals despite him winning the election with their support.

No, you and other conservatives feel that way. You have not presented any evidence that this view is shared by moderates.


GK

Josh,

A string of policy failures, you say. A failure to push common-sense values and fight off the leftists. That could very well be the perceived failure (and which I would agree with).

You are extrapolating that dissatisfaction with Bush means more people agree with leftists. There is no evidence of that, and you have to support that claim, or withdraw it. If what you say is true, the Democrats would sweep to big majorities in both houses this fall, controlling more than 60% of House and Senate seats (the percentage of people supposedly dissatisfied with Bush).

On the contrary, the GOP will retain both majorities, just with slimmer margins, like they had from 2002-04.

Here is an op-ed piece that explains this. Of course, I recognize the difference between an op-ed piece and fact, something many leftists cannot do.

Josh

A failure to push common-sense values and fight off the leftists. That could very well be the perceived failure (and which I would agree with).

This sentence is too vague to make any sense. What common-sense values? What "leftists"?

That could very well be the perceived failure (and which I would agree with).

Of course you would, because you apparently think that the population is as far to the right as you are. But that is not the case.

You are extrapolating that dissatisfaction with Bush means more people agree with leftists. There is no evidence of that, and you have to support that claim, or withdraw it.

This is rich. I've asked you several times for evidence to support your thesis that Bush is unpopular because he isn't aggressive enough, which was the claim made in the post. You have yet to do so, but still have not withdrawn this claim.

I am not extrapolating that Bush's lack of popularity is because Americans agree with Leftists. I simply suggested that that is more likely than your utterly implausible hypothesis that Americans are such die-hard rightists that they are upset that Bush has been too soft on Iran.

And, even though I presented it as a tentative hypothesis, I have provided evidence. Didn't you see the CNN link? Bush's biggest policy decision of his tenure has been the Iraq war. 61% of Americans oppose it.

http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/08/21/iraq.poll/index.html

Of the two of us, I'm the only one who has provided any evidence to support my position. You appear to be firmly convinced that the American public shares your views, but have not provided a single shred of data to support that claim.

If what you say is true, the Democrats would sweep to big majorities in both houses this fall, controlling more than 60% of House and Senate seats (the percentage of people supposedly dissatisfied with Bush).

Here you make a logical error, which may be at the root of your problems in this discussion. You conflate dissatisfaction with Bush with support for Democrats. This is a false dichotomy.

GK

Josh,

Your sole source, a poll from CNN, itself is flawed, as it does not distinguish between those who disagreed with the whole principle of the war from the beginning (of which many also don't approve of the Afghanistan War) vs. those who agree with the premise, but who feel the execution has been suboptimal (myself included). There is a big difference between those who would rather cut and run imediately, vs. those who still believe we should stick it out, despite the unforseen troubles we have had. Therefore, your poll fails to support your claim that a 'string of policy failures' is the reason for Bush's low approval.

Your second assumption is that a desire to fight terrorists aggressively makes someone 'right-wing'. Would that make John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, and Joe Lieberman (all supporters of the Iraq War, Patriot Act, etc.) right-wing? Is Tony Blair or Christopher Hitchens right-wing? Since when is a desire for self-preservation exclusively a conservative concept?

Yes, most Americans believe, as I do, that a hawkish approach to confronting terrorism (and states like Iran that support it) is warranted. I never said that most people in America are as far right as I am, but I do say that most share my support for a hawkish approach on terror.

73% of Americans see Iran as a security threat. Wow, that must mean 73% are as right-wing as I am, by your logic.

Somehow in the mind of leftists, wanting to stop terrorists makes someone a conservative. What next? If Bush likes orange juice, does that make liking orange juice conservative?

Thirdly, your claim that Bush's approval is low due to low approval on the Iraq War fails to explain why his approval has risen from 33% a few months ago to 41% today. Why? Has Iraq improved in this period? Would his stem-cell veto not have hurted him? What has hed done to have earned an improved approval rating in the last 3 months, other than defy the UN in support of Israel?

You also failed to address the op-ed piece.

By your own admission, low approval of Bush has not translated into a high approval for Democrats (and is why they will not gain a majority in either chamber). If anything, if the Senate were to vote on military action against Iran (given that they are openly pursuing WMDs by their own admission), it would probably pass by a similar 77-23 margin that the Iraq War passed by, even despite whatever perceived failures Iraq has resulted in.

Josh

I will note again that my challenge is quite basic - provide some evidence to support the claim made in your post that Bush's unpopularity is the result of conservative dissatisfaction with his perceived dovishness on Iran. You have raised a host of tangential issues, but have yet to tackle the very simple challenge I first raised. So please answer this simple question: can you provide any empirical support suggesting that Bush's poll numbers are dropping because he has been insufficiently Hawkish on Iran.

Your sole source, a poll from CNN

It is only one source, but that is one more than you've provided.

as it does not distinguish between those who disagreed with the whole principle of the war from the beginning (of which many also don't approve of the Afghanistan War) vs. those who agree with the premise, but who feel the execution has been suboptimal (myself included).

It doesn't need to. Either of those problems are attributable to Bush and would cause a decline in his popularity.

Therefore, your poll fails to support your claim that a 'string of policy failures' is the reason for Bush's low approval.

In fact, it does. Whether you think the thing was a policy failure from the beginning or whether you think it was poorly executed is immaterial to this debate. So long as the Iraq war, in either its conception or execution, is viewed as a policy failure, it is a policy failure that is attributable to Bush.

Your second assumption is that a desire to fight terrorists aggressively makes someone 'right-wing'.

Where did I say that? You seem to be conflating "fight terrorists aggressively" with "take military action against Iran."

73% of Americans see Iran as a security threat. Wow, that must mean 73% are as right-wing as I am, by your logic.

One can see Iran as a security threat while also supporting a more moderate position with regard to near-term military action. I myself think Iran is a security threat. But I don't flatter myself by assuming, without foundation, that Bush's failure to take a hard line on Iran is the cause of his unpopularity.

Thirdly, your claim that Bush's approval is low due to low approval on the Iraq War fails to explain why his approval has risen from 33% a few months ago to 41% today.

Again, a gross oversimplification and misstatement of my position. I said, in fact, that Bush's unpopularity is probably attributable to a whole host of problems. Iraq is just one of many. If you re-read my first comment you will see that.

You also fail to provide a source for your 41% figure, but I'll let that slide for now. Even if you are correct, Bush's popularity hinges on many things, including things that Bush has little or no control over.

You also failed to address the op-ed piece.

There was nothing to address. Just a collection of unsupported assertions rallied in favor of pre-determined ideological conclusions.

This debate will be more productive if you do your best to avoid the following logical errors:

Creating false dichotomies (e.g. your assumption that disapproval with Bush would necessarily result in approval of democrats)

Attacking straw men (mischaracterizing my claims to make them into something you can refute)

Special pleading (rather than provide the support for your claim that I have been calling for, you have sought to force me to defend an alternative hypothesis)

GK

Josh,

I augmented the article with links, which may help you understand the issue to a greater degree.

Those links lend credence to the theory that Bush's decline in popularity in the last 12 months has been due to a softening in his approach in the War on Terror (of which Iran is an indirect part). This answers your question.

Moving on..

Bush's biggest policy decision of his tenure has been the Iraq war.
Says who? If you make this assertion, it is your job to prove it.

For starters, your own source of CNN proves you wrong, at least at the time of the election. It appears that only 15% say Iraq was the topmost issue at the time of the election. 22% say moral values, and 20% say the economy are the topmost issue. Maybe tax cuts, removal of the marriage penalty, and opposition to gay marriage are bigger policy decisions by this measure. You certainly have no proof that Iraq is his biggest policy decision.

In fact, it does. Whether you think the thing was a policy failure from the beginning or whether you think it was poorly executed is immaterial to this debate.
No, it is quite the crux of the debate. Your CNN source, and the opinions you draw from it, fail to distinguish between those who were opposed to the Iraq War from day 1, vs. those who are dissatisfied that we have not won it by now, through more force.

Both may disapprove of Bush, but once camp disputes the principle of the war in first place, and the other for not winning quickly enough. To assume that these two factions are united jusgt because they come under the 'dissatisfied' bucket in a poll, is a logical fallacy. The actions that each faction wants Bush to take in order to win back their approval, are quite the opposite from one another.

It seems to me that you are assuming, without good reason, that the public shares your views on Iran.
Well, the majority (52%) supports military action against Iran. To reach 52%, some moderates are obviously in this camp. Again, your opinion (which it is your job to support with evidence) is wrong.

Of course you would, because you apparently think that the population is as far to the right as you are.
Two strawmen of your creation here. One, show me that anything I have said here is to the right (noting again that a majority support military action against Iran). Two, how is that a 'right-wing' position? Does that make Clinton's bombing of Saddam in 1998 (Operation Desert Fox), and military actions in Somalia, Bosnia, and Kosovo 'left-wing' actions? Does support of the Afghanistan War make someone 'right-wing', just because Bush was President at the time?

And don't dodge by claiming that I 'mischaracterize your position'. You made a claim about my positions not being that of the majority, and that such a position makes someone 'right-wing'. It is your job to support it. I have already provided evidence to the contrary on Iran, so you have already lost on that point.

You also fail to provide a source for your 41% figure, but I'll let that slide for now.
Wait, you claim to be so sure of why Bush's ratings are what they are, and that my theory is wrong, yet you don't even know what his current approval rating is? As far as a source, a quick glance at either Gallup or Rasmussen's website will show Bush at 42%. Those websites aren't that hard to find.

Lastly, you still have to answer this question :
What do you suggest Bush do in the current situation with Iran? Should he be more diplomatic (against someone openly pursuing nuclear weapons, and saying Israel should be wiped off the map), or take a tougher stance?

Matthew Arozian

RE: Outcome of full scale war with Iran – Big difference in the terrain. All bets are off when fighting in mountainous areas (c.f. finding Bin Laden).

Josh

Those links lend credence to the theory that Bush's decline in popularity in the last 12 months has been due to a softening in his approach in the War on Terror (of which Iran is an indirect part). This answers your question.

Hardly. Those links show that Americans are concerned about Iran and would support military action if other measures fail. They do nothing to make the causual connection between Bush's alleged softness on Iran and his falling poll numbers. Your argument lacks a crucial premise.

Maybe tax cuts, removal of the marriage penalty, and opposition to gay marriage are bigger policy decisions by this measure. You certainly have no proof that Iraq is his biggest policy decision.

True. It is possible that some people are frivolous enough to think that gay marriage and tax cuts are more important than a continuing war. Sad, but possible.

But, of course, the fact that you would make this point is an implicit concession that Bush's poll numbers are driven by many factors, and thus you have undermined your simplistic assertion that Bush is unpopular because he is soft on Iran.

Well, the majority (52%) supports military action against Iran. To reach 52%, some moderates are obviously in this camp.

Please re-read the poll. It appears to be in two parts, and diplomatic solutions are offered as one alternative. 52% support military action if Iran "continues" to produce nuclear material. "Continues" after what? This poll does not indicate that a majority favor immdediate action.

One, show me that anything I have said here is to the right (noting again that a majority support military action against Iran).

You support the Cox & Forkum position, which, as far as can be gleaned from some silly cartoons, advocates immediate action against Iran. As explained above, as far as one can tell from the poll that you have cited, a majority favor military action at some indeterminate point in the future. You appear to favor it ASAP. You are to the right of the majority of the American people.

Your raising of Clinton or GWI has nothing to do with anything, so I will ignore it. Right now, the Right has the most hawkish position on Iran.

I have already provided evidence to the contrary on Iran, so you have already lost on that point.

See above. Your polling data does not support your assertion that the Cox & Forkum firebreathing you endorse is not the Right-wing view.

Lastly, you still have to answer this question

I don't have to answer any questions. You made the following assertion: Bush is unpopular because he is insufficiently hawkish vis a vis Iran. You have not supported it with evidence (to the extent you have provided evidence, it does not support your position). Unable to meet this simple challenge and support your conclusions, you have engaged in all types of misdirection, special pleading, hand-waving, of which this is the most recent example.

GK

Josh,

Despite what you claim, the poll says that 52% of Americans support war against Iran. Of course that is if 'other measures fail'. Afghanistan and Iraq were also done because War seemed to be the only option left at that point.

My article says "Why might this be? Is it because Bush..."
From this you make the mischaracterized leap that I say that this, and only this, is why his poll numbers have dropped. Again, try to comprehend what you read.

You support the Cox & Forkum position, which, as far as can be gleaned from some silly cartoons, advocates immediate action against Iran.

By my article says :

This does not mean I am advocating a full-scale war with Iran, but it is..

Again, you are caught red-handed in an attempt to clumsily mischaracterize my position into something you can criticize, despite my stating the opposite in the same article. Quite childish of you, really.

From earlier :
You also fail to provide a source for your 41% figure, but I'll let that slide for now.
I did provide support, which proved you wrong. Will you admit that you were wrong? I doubt it.

I don't have to answer any questions.

Typical. You claim that Bush's Iraq policies have been a string of failures, but you have no solutions on Iran. Your type never has ideas, only the capacity for armchair criticism (for which you have to resort to distortions and mischaracterizations). No wonder Democrats have only gotten 50% or more of the popular vote once in the last 10 Presidential elections.

So answer the question :
What do you suggest Bush do in the current situation with Iran? Should he be more diplomatic (against someone openly pursuing nuclear weapons, and saying Israel should be wiped off the map), or take a tougher stance?

Josh

From this you make the mischaracterized leap that I say that this, and only this, is why his poll numbers have dropped.

Iran is the only example of Bush's alleged softness that you provide. It is reasonable to infer from this that you think this is the chief (not sole which I never claimed) reason his approval ratings have dropped. You brought up Al Sadr and Iraq only after you started backtracking from this rather absurd claim in subsequent comments.

This does not mean I am advocating a full-scale war with Iran, but it is..

I never said you were advocating a full-scale war. I said you advocated military action sooner than a majority of Americans do. Perhaps the problem is that, rather than clearly state your position, you rely on cartoons to do it for you.

You also fail to provide a source for your 41% figure, but I'll let that slide for now.
I did provide support, which proved you wrong. Will you admit that you were wrong? I doubt it.

You provided a cite to support the proposition that Bush's approval rating has risen to 41%? Where? After making that claim, the only cite you've provided is to polling data from just after the 2004 election. Will you admit that you are wrong? I doubt it.

Typical. You claim that Bush's Iraq policies have been a string of failures, but you have no solutions on Iran.

Unable to prove the point at issue, you again seek to score rhetorical points by misdirection and burden-shifting.

It's very simple: can you or can you not provide empirical support for your claim that Bush's drop in popularity is primarily attributable to perceived softness on Iran? If you cannot, admit defeat and stop trying to cloud the issue.

I'll also note that you have not provided any clear suggestions on Iran. You cite cartoons that appear to advocate military action right now, but then backtrack and hem and haw about how you're not advocating full-scale war. No wonder the American people have begun to see the failures of rightist policies.

GK

Josh,

Again, you fail to comprehend simple text.

I said you advocated military action sooner than a majority of Americans do.

What proof do you have that I am advocating it sooner than other Americans do? It appears that this is the leap in logic that you falsely accuse others of doing.

Plus, you said :
Of course you would, because you apparently think that the population is as far to the right as you are.

You still cannot answer the question I pose, which is how you assume wishing to take a tough line on Iran is somehow right-wing. You made the assumption (unsubstantiated by evidence). It is your job to support it.

I clearly state on August 31 :

As far as a source, a quick glance at either Gallup or Rasmussen's website will show Bush at 42%. Those websites aren't that hard to find.

And you either fail to read simple text or deliberately choose to be selective in which facts you notice by saying :

You provided a cite to support the proposition that Bush's approval rating has risen to 41%? Where? After making that claim, the only cite you've provided is to polling data from just after the 2004 election.

You have been caught red-handed again in a blatant avoidance of evidence that proves you wrong. I'll spoonfeed you further and provide :

Gallup 42% - lower right hand corner.

Rasmussen 41% - left hand column.

I hope you are able to find it now. Now exhibit integrity and admit that you were wrong AND that you failed to read the simple instructions provided.

You said :
I don't have to answer any questions.

Yes, you do, particularly given the credibility you have sacrificed by avoiding evidence about the poll, and trying to distort by position on Bush vis-a-vis Iran so many times.

No wonder the American people have begun to see the failures of rightist policies.

What proof do you have that they are sufficiently fed up with the GOP to vote Democrat in November? If you make such an unsubstantiated claim, you have to provide evidence to support it.
Even you admitted on 8/28 that :

I am not extrapolating that Bush's lack of popularity is because Americans agree with Leftists.

And I still ask, how is taking a tough line on Iran a 'rightist' policy? If the next President is a Democrat, and decides to be tough on Iran, is the same policy still 'rightist'? Do operations in Bosnia, Somalia, and Iran in 1998 become 'leftist' policy simply because Clinton did them? If Pat Buchanan opposes action against Iran, and previously Iraq, is he 'leftist' now?

You continue to make this absurd connection between national security and 'rightist' policy, which is illogical. You made the assertion, it is your job to support it.

Josh

I hope you are able to find it now. Now exhibit integrity and admit that you were wrong AND that you failed to read the simple instructions provided.

Sure. I looked for links, not instructions. Thank you for providing them. Why you think a slight rise in Bush's popularity support your thesis that his popularity is dropping because he is "soft" on Iran remains a mystery.

Yes, you do, particularly given the credibility you have sacrificed by avoiding evidence about the poll, and trying to distort by position on Bush vis-a-vis Iran so many times.

You seem to misunderstand what's being debated. The crux of the issue is whether you can support your assertion that Bush's popularity has dropped because of softness on Iran. Whether I have a solution to deal with Iran is completely irrelvant. Do you understand that these are two entirely separate issues?


What proof do you have that they are sufficiently fed up with the GOP to vote Democrat in November?

Did I say that they were? Again, your partisan focus leads you to create a false dichotomy. Has it never occurred to you that a voter can disapprove of both the Democrats and the Republicans?

And I still ask, how is taking a tough line on Iran a 'rightist' policy? If the next President is a Democrat, and decides to be tough on Iran, is the same policy still 'rightist'?

Define your terms and avoid vague generalities. If you've been to college, you should have learned that in an introductory composition course. What does "a tough line on Iran" mean?

If the next President is a Democrat, and decides to be tough on Iran, is the same policy still 'rightist'? Do operations in Bosnia, Somalia, and Iran in 1998 become 'leftist' policy simply because Clinton did them?

Again you seek to muddy the issue with irrelevancy, and you make a silly conflation of people and policies. Whether a policy is leftist or rightist depends upon where it lies on the spectrum of political opinion at the time, not on who holds it. It is possible for someone who is generally a leftist to be rightist on a particular issue, and vice versa. Currently, the most aggressive stance on Iran is generally regarded as a right-wing view, and the least aggressive stance (what rightists like to call appeasement) is generally regarded as a leftist one. Do you deny this?

Before you address any of these tangential points, give an honest answer to the point that began this entire exchange. Please, for the sake of your own intellectual integrity, finally acknowledge that you are unable to find evidence indicating that Bush's slide in popularity is due to his softness on Iran as opposed to some other reason.

GK

Josh,

Whether I have a solution to deal with Iran is completely irrelvant.

Of course. You won't answer simple questions, because you have no ideas. That is very relevant to this debate, and is also why you lost it long ago.

Sure. I looked for links, not instructions. Thank you for providing them.

Rather, this fact was just too inconvenient for you, and you tried your darnedest to avoid getting pinned down by it.

On September 7, you say :
No wonder the American people have begun to see the failures of rightist policies.

This suggests that you prefer the 'leftist' policies. However, when pressed further, you hide by saying :

Has it never occurred to you that a voter can disapprove of both the Democrats and the Republicans?

That is always a fashionable thing to say, but since you have no ideas on Iran, that makes you appear even more hollow.

finally acknowledge that you are unable to find evidence indicating that Bush's slide in popularity is due to his softness on Iran as opposed to some other reason.

And I never suggested that it was the sole reason, as is evident to anyone reading the article (who has intellectual honesty). You keep mischaracterizing my position in a childish manner, solely because you can't argue on a level playing field. Quite childish, really. I see that you have been defeated by other commenters on other threads for the same reason.

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