Friday, February 17, 2006

Degrees of Disappointment

[[P O L L S]] * Of all the scandals besetting the Bush administration--the CIA leak scandal, the domestic spying scandal, and the Jack Abramoff influence-buying scandal--the one that most troubles Americans turns out to be the White House’s flat-footed response to Hurricane Katrina last autumn, and its failure ever since to live up to the prez’s promises to rebuild storm-thrashed New Orleans. A new WNBC/Marist poll finds that “66 percent of registered voters nationwide are bothered a great deal or a good amount by the administration’s response to Hurricane Katrina. Although Democrats are most critical, 64 percent of independents and 42 percent of Republicans are bothered by how the administration handled the disaster.”

By comparison, 50 percent of respondents say they’re bothered to the same degree by Bush’s warrantless surveillance program; another 50 percent by the deliberate leaking of CIA agent Valerie Plame’s identity and other classified information to the press; and 42 percent by the wide-ranging Abramoff political corruption fiasco. (Curiously, pollsters didn’t ask respondents about either the Abu Ghraib torture scandal or misuses of intelligence on Iraq’s nonexistent weapons of mass destruction.)

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