One of the goofiest things that happened during the 2004 presidential election was when a national poll asked Americans whether they would rather have a beer with George W. Bush or the Democratic candidate, John Kerry. A majority of those polled indicated they would like to hoist a Heineken with Bush -- how did that method of choosing a candidate work out for us? -- and we appear to be at it again, with this year's version of that nonsense announced late last week.
I'm sure you heard about it over the weekend... An Associated Press-Yahoo! News poll released Friday showed these to be among the most compelling things we should consider when selecting the next President of the United States: Between Barack Obama and John McCain, who would we rather watch a football game with and, as a slightly more dignified follow-up, who would we choose to be our child's teacher.
For the record, Obama was the choice on both counts but let's not endorse these ridiculous questions by dwelling on those results.
It's actually quite sad that in a poll with 34 published pages of questions, these are undoubtedly the only two that made it to your television or newspaper over the weekend.
What I found interesting is that, like most comprehensive polls that include questions about the Iraq war, the AP-Yahoo survey shows once again that the vast majority of Americans want some form of timeline for exiting Iraq -- a result that has not changed much in the last few years.
The poll asked respondents "Do you support or oppose setting a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq?"
Almost half of all of those questioned "strongly support" a withdrawal timetable, with a total of 72 percent of Americans either "somewhat" or "strongly" supporting a date-certain for withdrawal. And before "the surge" was somewhat successfully publicized by Bush and John McCain as the end-all-be-all of the Iraq war -- like we haven't had five disastrous years before that and still have no rationale for even being there -- such responses were consistently at 80 percent or more.
But at this point, here's what almost three-quarters of American voters need to keep in mind: John McCain and almost every Republican candidate running for office this year think you're all a bunch of cowards -- they've said so. They say you want to "surrender to the terrorists." They say you favor a gutless retreat and that you want to "cut and run."
Perhaps most importantly, they have been questioning your patriotism for a long time and have often accused you of wanting to abandon our troops.
They may not have sent most voters a bulk mail or an e-mail directing those comments personally at them, but they use that language and those sentiments on a daily basis to describe the public figures who agree exactly with the point of view of most Amercians.
In her vice-presidential acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention (RNC), Sarah Palin said that Democratic nominee Barack Obama "wants to forfeit" to the terrorists.
Former GOP presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani said at the RNC that "if Barack Obama had been President, there would have been no troop surge and our troops would have been withdrawn in defeat" and followed that by accusing Democrats of giving up on Iraq and saying "I believe, ladies and gentlemen, that when they gave up on Iraq they were giving up on America."
Turncoat former Democrat Joe Lieberman said that Obama "wanted to retreat in defeat from the field of battle," and it goes without saying that Bush, McCain, Dick Cheney and every Republican with a second of air time has repeated "cut and run" so many times they probably still mumble it in their sleep and use it as an intoxicating phrase while having sex.
And it may have hit its peak in late 2005 when Ohio Representative Jean Schmidt went after Congressman John Murtha -- a highly-decorated former Marine --- on the floor of the House of Representatives because Murtha had just called for a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq and smeared him saying "cowards cut and run, Marines never do."
That was almost three years ago. That kind of mud had been flying before that, it has since and it will continue through November 4 and beyond.
But no matter how many names they've been called, no matter how many times Americans have been hammered with "cut and run" and "retreat and defeat" over the last four years, most still favor an exit from Iraq.
So the three-quarters of Americans sharing the same views on Iraq held by Barack Obama, Joe Biden and other Democrats need to ask themselves one simple question as election day approaches: Why would they want to vote for John McCain or any Republican when they've said you're a coward, are not patriotic, silently support a terrorist victory over America and have turned your back on our troops?
And then vote accordingly.
You can read more from Bob at BobGeiger.com.
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