[[S T A T S]] * Hoping to quiet recent and spreading talk of impeaching George W. Bush, the Republican-friendly Wall Street Journal yesterday published a good-sized story that sought to make clear the folly of initiating such a political effort--at least before this November’s midterm elections. The author’s bottom line seemed to be that impeachment is the exclusive province of left-wing fringers, while what the Journal thinks are “mainstream Democrats” are steering clear of the idea because “They remember how the effort boomeranged on Republicans in the 1998 midterm elections, when [President Bill] Clinton’s adversaries expected to gain House seats but lost ground instead.”
However, a graphic accompanying that piece demonstrates quite clearly how different the circumstances are now from 1998, when the GOP--led by Representative Tom DeLay (R-Texas) and buttressed by the salacious reports and news leaks generated by “independent counsel” Kenneth Starr--launched a poisonously partisan campaign to oust President Clinton from office over a sexual indiscretion. The graphic shows that 27 percent of Americans polled back then supported Clinton’s impeachment, while a whopping 64 percent opposed it, and 9 percent weren’t sure. Opinions are pretty much reversed when it comes to Bush. Using the results of a November 2005 Zogby International survey, the Journal’s graphic points out that 51 percent of Americans believe the prez should be removed from the Oval Office if he lied about the reasons for America’s entry into the disastrous Iraq war. Forty-five percent say Bush shouldn’t be impeached, while only 4 percent aren’t sure. And that was before revelations about Bush’s domestic spying operation or his administration’s plans to turn operations at strategic U.S. ports over to a government-owned company in Dubai.
SOUTHERN FRIED: Even red-staters seem to be turning on Republican Bush. A new poll conducted by North Carolina’s Elon University finds that 52 percent of adults living in “five key Southern states” don’t approve of the prez’s performance in office and say the war in Iraq “was not worth fighting.” As the Associated Press reports, “All five of the states polled--Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida--went to Bush in the 2004 presidential election by margins ranging from 58 percent in South Carolina and Georgia to 52 percent in Florida. Less than 18 months later, Bush isn’t even close to majority approval in any of those states.” Read on.
READ MORE: “Vermont Towns Vote to Impeach Bush,” by John Nichols (The Nation); “Has Bush Done Anything Right?” by Steve Benen (The Carpetbagger Report).