Note well: The poll was conducted before The One’s radio silence on Iran’s meltdown.
A FOX News poll released Monday finds more than two-thirds of Americans say Obama has not been tough enough on North Korea (69 percent), while some 15 percent think his actions have been “about right” and 3 percent think he has been too tough…
On Iran, the findings are almost identical: 66 percent overall say Obama has not been tough enough, including 57 percent of Democrats, 80 percent of Republicans and 59 percent of independents.
More Hopenchange fee-vah: 60 percent say he shouldn’t have closed Gitmo (up 15 points since January) and 56 percent believe the CIA’s version of events on waterboarding briefings versus just 22 percent who believe Pelosi’s. Question: Where’s all the Iran hawkishness suddenly coming from on the left, with even people like George Packer bemoaning the “strange naivete” of realists about the nature of the regime? Goldfarb speculates:
[T]he left, I think a little to their own surprise, became deeply invested in the Mousavi campaign. Perhaps you could see it most clearly on Andrew Sullivan’s blog, but much of the media liked the simple narrative of Mousavi the Obama-like reformer against Ahmadinejad the Bush-like ideologue. And after the Lebanese elections, the media was primed for a story on the “Obama Effect” in the Middle East.
Fair point. It’s striking how bipartisan the support for the protesters is on Twitter, with some lefties even coloring their avatars green in solidarity. I don’t remember anything like that for the Cedar Revolution or the Orange Revolution (or, needless to say, the Iraqi elections), which as I recall broke down largely along standard neocon/nutroots “I hope this works”/”this’ll never work” lines. The difference now is due in part to the vastly higher stakes involved — this may be the last, best chance to scuttle an Iranian bomb and we all know it — but there’s no doubt the “Obama saves the world” storyline figures heavily too. I remember just before the 2004 election reading a post by Michael Totten (I think it was Totten) arguing that the virtue of a Kerry victory is that it would make the war on terror a fully bipartisan affair. I think we’re seeing that effect now, five years later, but what a shame that it took a Democratic president to make popular revolt against tyranny wildly popular again.
Here’s Brit Hume making a similar point yesterday on the Fox News panel, wondering when the left’s contempt for anti-communist dictators metastasized into the “realist” impulse to deal with dictators in the name of “stability.” Exit question from an unnamed Iranian student: “Do the Americans know what is happening here?”