Tuesday, May 25, 2004

# Posted 9:30 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

BLOGOSPHERE ROUND-UP: Andrew Sullivan and Kevin Drum agree that the most newsworthy aspect of the President's speech was his promise to grant Iraq full sovereignty on June 30. Andrew accepts the President's words at face value. Kevin, echoing OxBlog, thinks that the idea of full sovereignty on June 30 is a farce. Waxing cynical, Kevin writes that
Iraqis won't be fooled by [the promise of sovereignty], but for that reason they aren't going to be disappointed either. Americans, however, are going to be fooled by it, and that's all Bush cares about. A hundred million people are going to hear that we're handing over "full sovereignty," and maybe 1% of them will read or hear an explanation of why that's not true. So it's a win for Bush.
On a similar note, Matt Yglesias writes that "To the grossly ignorant American public, this sort of tripe can be extremely convincing." Matt thinks, however, that if Bush follows through on his plan to give a speech about Iraq every week, even our ignorant fellow Americans will see through it.

The problem with this kind of cynicism is that it flies directly in the face of numerous opinion polls, the most recent of which reports that 58% of Americans think that Bush has no clear plan for Iraq. The same 58% disapprove of how Bush is handling the situation in Iraq. Moreover, both numbers have risen over the past months.

As the WaPo points out, Bush's lower approval ratings, both for Iraq and for overall job performance, reflect the fact that even Republicans are losing faith in the President. So perhaps most Americans won't be able to explain the difference between full and limited sovereignty for Iraq. But Kevin and Matt should be celebrating the fact that even the President's partisans are beginning to take a Democratic view of Iraq's future. The only question in my mind is whether the Democratic view is actually democratic.
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