[[P O L L S]] * Given that the majority of Americans don’t trust the Bush administration to tell them the truth when it comes to current issues, it’s no surprise that a new CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll finds 69 percent of respondents saying they’re concerned that the White House would be too quick to use military force to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Sixty-eight percent prefer economic and diplomatic action to thwart any such development, while a skimpy 9 percent endorse military action. Rather curiously, 67 percent of those questioned say they don’t expect the United States to do enough to keep nuclear arms out of the hands of the Iranians. That suggests that they have no confidence in the Republican administration to execute the diplomatic efforts necessary to reach a peaceful solution. And no wonder, after the prez rushed to war with Iraq, rather than allow diplomatic resolutions to play themselves out.
This same poll finds that Bush’s approval rating has “dropped to 39 percent, down from 42 percent in a poll taken February 6-9.”
SO NOW WHO DO WE DEPEND ON?: Noting that this poll shows “a combined 55 percent of Americans say[ing] they’re not confident in the president’s ability to address the situation in Iran (27 percent said ‘not too confident’ and 28 percent said they’re ‘not at all confident’),” Steve Benen of The Carpetbagger Report remarks: “The president who won a second term based on his alleged ability to address international crises has lost the confidence of most Americans on the very issue that propelled him to victory. Can Bush regain that confidence? Short of abandoning every instinct, position, and aide, it’s hard to see how.”
READ MORE: “Out-Hawking Bush on Iran,” by Walter Shapiro (Salon).