Patterico dusts off a 2006 poll from Fox News that plumbs the history of wishing failure a little more thoroughly than the media seems to want to do on their own. The question of wishing success or failure is not new; Fox explicitly asked that very question to its survey respondents. Fifty-one percent of Democrats wanted to see George Bush fail:
Even 34% of independents said they wanted to see Bush fail. This came after Katrina and in the middle of the deluge of sectarian violence in Iraq, and not long before Bush’s second midterms. Three months later, Republicans lost Congress and Donald Rumsfeld got the boot. Bush was not terribly popular then, and it didn’t get better for him afterwards.
We didn’t hear screams of outrage in the media when this survey showed a majority of Democrats wanting “our President” to fail. Nor should we have; our democratic republic uses competing political interests as its own check on extremism. Some people had a legitimate policy interest in hoping that Bush would fail, and some had less legitimate reasons, but few screeched “TREASON” at these results. No one in the media found the idea that an opponent of Bush might wish him failure particularly noteworthy in 2006, either.
Now the 51% of Democrats who wanted Bush to fail in 2006 suddenly get the vapors when the tables turn and the hero of Hope and Change is in the White House. Maybe they’re just not used to having to play defense. The way they act, they won’t have to play it for long.
Update: Sister Toldjah — who has a cool new design for her site — finds the same result in a 2007 poll, but this time on Iraq. 34% of Democrats wanted the new US plan (the “surge”) to fail, explicitly rooting for our military to fail. Read the question carefully:
Do you personally want the Iraq plan President Bush announced last week to succeed?
Overall: 63% Yes 22% No 15% Don’t Know
Democrats: 51% Yes 34% No 15% Don’t Know
Republicans: 79% Yes 11% No 10% Don’t Know
Independents: 63% Yes 19% No 17% Don’t Know
That isn’t asking for a prediction. It’s asking what people want — and they wanted us to fail in Iraq.
Update II: I had the numbers reversed on the update. 51% wanted the plans to succeed, while 34% rooted for defeat.
Update III: Jon from Third Base Politics had this first, so let’s give him a big thank you!
Update IV: Here’s an AOL Hot Seat poll on the topic:
My answer: No — and neither is hoping Obama fails in his efforts to fundamentally reshape American economics and government.