A new Pew Research poll shows that a “solid majority of Americans say they want their congressional representative to support a bill calling for a withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq by August 2008.”
Nearly six-in-ten (59%) say they would like to see their representative vote for such legislation, compared with just 33% who want their representative to oppose it.
Democrats are united in their support of legislation calling for a U.S. troop withdrawal by August 2008, and most independents (61%) also favor this step. Most Republicans oppose this step, but there are substantial divisions within the GOP. More than four-in-ten moderate and liberal Republicans (44%) want their representative to vote for legislation calling for an August 2008 deadline for a troop withdrawal, compared with only about a quarter of conservative Republicans (26%).
On the subject of the eroding support for Bush’s War, E.J. Dionne notes in his Tuesday column in the WaPo that “an antiwar tide” is on “the rise.”
Within three weeks, the United States could face a constitutional crisis over President Bush’s war policy in Iraq. The president and his allies seem to want this fight. Yet insisting upon a confrontation will be another mistake in a long line of bad judgments about a conflict that grows more unpopular by the day.
Last week’s narrow House vote imposing an August 2008 deadline for the withdrawal of American troops was hugely significant, even if the bill stands no chance of passing in the Senate this week in its current form. The vote was a test of the resolve of the new House Democratic leadership and its ability to pull together an ideologically diverse membership behind a plan pointing the United States out of Iraq.
With the Senate now ready to debate withdrawal from Iraq yet again, Dionne says, “With most counts showing Senate Democrats needing only one more vote to approve the call for troop withdrawals next year, antiwar pressures are growing on Sens. John Sununu (R-N.H.), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Norm Coleman (R-Minn.).”
All face reelection next year, as does Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Ore.), who is already seen as leaning toward the withdrawal plan.
Bush might still win this Senate vote and a reprieve for his war policy. But the president’s refusal to acknowledge that the country has fundamentally changed its mind on the war makes it impossible for him to work with Congress on a sensible approach to a withdrawal that will happen some day — with or without a constitutional showdown.