Pew poll: 58% of Democrats agree with Dick Cheney on Obama’s drone strikes

posted at 10:49 am on February 12, 2013 by Allahpundit

I’m trying to be charitable and assume that a lot of this is explainable on the merits, that Democrats have looked at O’s admittedly stellar record of taking out AQ operatives with drones and concluded that it’s the least bad option available in eliminating terrorists before they eliminate towers full of American office workers. But note: Democrats now support drone strikes (58 percent) more than independents do (50 percent), which is not a result you’d expect if you looked at any polls on the war on terror taken from, say, 2005 through 2008. Back then it was Republicans who were reliably the most hawkish group (and still are, with 68 percent support for drones today), then indies, and then of course the vehemently anti-war left. Somehow, despite O having famously liquidated an American citizen turned AQ capo in Anwar al-Awlaki and then inadvertently liquidated Awlaki’s teenaged American-citizen son in a strike aimed at a different jihadi, that same anti-war left is now less anti-war than unaffiliateds are. What do you suppose accounts for their awakening? It couldn’t be that Glenn Greenwald’s right that a significant swath of them are overtly unprincipled hacks who were never vehemently anti-war so much as vehemently anti-Bush, could it?

Interestingly, despite the heavy media coverage this past week of the White House’s “white paper” justifying strikes on American citizens, there’s now more support for drones (56/26) than there was last July (55/34). I’m not sure how to explain that except to think that there’s some chunk of voters in O’s base who’ve never given much thought to the issue, were happy to reflexively oppose it in the past on grounds that aggressive counterterrorism is really a “neocon” thing or whatever, and now are just as happy to reflexively embrace it upon having discovered that it carries the Hopenchange seal of approval. A notable data set:

p-legal

That GOP/Dem split on endangering civilians is interesting, but more on that in a minute. The other line that jumps out is the one on legality: Even among Democrats, who shrieked about the Geneva conventions and international law for the better part of a decade vis-a-vis Bush’s interrogation program, you can’t do better than a third who say they’re very concerned about whether drone strikes are legal. Apparently most lefties are prepared to fight dirty to degrade Al Qaeda provided it’s one of their guys whose finger is ultimately on the trigger. As for that partisan split on endangering civilians, this is useful:

p-gend

Part of the reason why Republicans are more willing to risk civilian casualties in drone strikes is likely because men generally are more willing to risk civilian casualties in drone strikes and right now the GOP skews a bit male. That’s not the whole reason — clearly there are partisan philosophical differences about how much the presence of civilians should deter a strike against a prized jihadi target — but it’s curious to me that you could have 58 percent support among Democrats for drones when you have 65 percent saying they’re “very concerned” about civilians being hit. Either that shows a lot of trust in Obama to hit the bullseye exactly, with little fear of collateral damage actually occurring, or else Dems are simply telling the pollster what they think they’re supposed to say. They’re “anti-war,” right? They’re virtuous progressives. Of course they’re “very concerned” about civilians. Now, get those birds back in the air and start firing.

Here’s Darth Vader, the font of all evil to liberals, twisting the knife by agreeing with them.


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Great headline Allah.

DanMan on February 12, 2013 at 10:51 AM

Liberals agreeing with Cheney. That’s gotta hurt.

trigon on February 12, 2013 at 10:52 AM

Democrats have become so partisan that Obama could get high approval ratings from them on how well he kicked a puppy across the White House lawn.

ButterflyDragon on February 12, 2013 at 10:52 AM

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA
HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA
HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA
HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

Good Lt on February 12, 2013 at 10:52 AM

58% of Democrats agree with Dick Cheney on Obama’s drone strikes

58% of Democrats will agree with absolutely anything the Democrats do regardless of what that might be.

sharrukin on February 12, 2013 at 10:53 AM

How about them apples, Code Pink?

BigGator5 on February 12, 2013 at 10:59 AM

What do you suppose accounts for their awakening? It couldn’t be that Glenn Greenwald’s right that a significant swath of them are overtly unprincipled hacks who were never vehemently anti-war so much as vehemently anti-Bush, could it?

Greenwald is exactly right. A huge majority of the left doesn’t believe in anything but power. “anti-sexism,” “anti-war,” “global warming” and “anti-racism” always take a backseat to them retaining power. They just perceive these causes as useful tools to bash Republicans.

Doomberg on February 12, 2013 at 10:59 AM

Sycophant Class.

They follow him to Hell.

StubbleSpark on February 12, 2013 at 10:59 AM

It’s not that complicated. A vast majority of the left was never upset about drone strikes, warrantless wiretapping, Gitmo detainees, enhanced interrogations, or military tribunals. What made them angry was that Bush and Cheney were behind those policies. Once one of their own(particularly Obama) was in charge, their concerns were alleviated. They’ve admitted as much over this past week.

The problem with that mentality(aside from its rank hypocrisy) is that you can’t run a government that way, particularly with regard to national security. You don’t get to arbitrarily decide which Presidents or politicians are allowed to utilized certain anti-terrorism tools based on whether or not a majority of elitists in the media approve of the person holding elected office. You either support drone strikes aimed at killing American citizens without due process or you don’t. And very few on the left have the stones to commit themselves to that degree.

Doughboy on February 12, 2013 at 11:00 AM

I’m not sure how to explain that except to think that there’s some chunk of voters in O’s base who’ve never given much thought to the issue, were happy to reflexively oppose it in the past on grounds that aggressive counterterrorism is really a “neocon” thing or whatever, and now are just as happy to reflexively embrace it upon having discovered that it carries the Hopenchange seal of approval.

“Overtly unprincipled hacks”.
/Greenwald

Yep.

Here’s Darth Vader, the font of all evil to liberals, twisting the knife by agreeing with them.

Heh. Heads exploding everywhere.

“Clean-up on the Left aisle.”

Bitter Clinger on February 12, 2013 at 11:01 AM

Here is a prime example of the Democrat base:

Low Info/Low IQ

And they vote….by the millions.

sentinelrules on February 12, 2013 at 11:03 AM

Here’s Darth Vader, the font of all evil to liberals, twisting the knife by agreeing with them.

Heh. I’ll take the knife twisting wherever I can get it.

Seems the left gets upset when they are told to be.

lynncgb on February 12, 2013 at 11:04 AM

Because the enemy is stateless, we are forced to violate the sovereignty of nations not at war with the US in order to persue this policy. To initiate a large explosion among the civilian population seems to fit the definition of terrorism. Am I wrong?

FOWG1 on February 12, 2013 at 11:08 AM

Kick this over to the lefties: Brennan, Bark’s pick for CIA director, refused to say whether the new drone policy would preclude the Preznit from droning a U.S. citizen here in the U.S.

Libs, what say you, Dog Eater won’t answer the question on whether or not he can order a hit on an American citizen in your home state.

Bishop on February 12, 2013 at 11:08 AM

They will be flying everywhere if the dems control it. That is the problem.

tomas on February 12, 2013 at 11:08 AM

If it was a Republican President, Dem approval would be abouut 8%.

bw222 on February 12, 2013 at 11:09 AM

The reason democrats agree with the drone program now has absolutely nothing to do with Cheney, drone effectiveness or ethics.

Democrats’ beliefs are always driven by personal attachment to their social icons. Obama says, “it is good”, then it is good. Any other reason, stated or implied, is just rationalization. That’s why the MSM is so effective a tool to influence public opinion. They get a liberal darling or two to say something and it’s instant wisdom.

ROCnPhilly on February 12, 2013 at 11:10 AM

I can’t look at photos of Glen Greenwald without seeing a sock with a ‘stache.

Hey, Allahpundit! Where’s our Walking Dead thread? I’m worried about Andrea. She needs to come back and “cure” Rick from his zombie fevah!

Blake on February 12, 2013 at 11:10 AM

Because the enemy is stateless, we are forced to violate the sovereignty of nations not at war with the US in order to persue this policy. To initiate a large explosion among the civilian population seems to fit the definition of terrorism. Am I wrong?

FOWG1 on February 12, 2013 at 11:08 AM

Yes, you are wrong.

Yemen is an ally and at war with Al-Qaeda. We are NOT violating their sovereignty.

I take it you think the bombing of Hamburg in World War Two was terrorism as were the two nuclear strikes against Japan? Those were clearly large explosions among the civilian population in question.

sharrukin on February 12, 2013 at 11:12 AM

We trust dear leader not W
-lsm

cmsinaz on February 12, 2013 at 11:14 AM

Here’s Darth Vader, the font of all evil to liberals, twisting the knife by agreeing with them.

Worth the price of admission right there. ; )

Bmore on February 12, 2013 at 11:14 AM

It just goes to show you that stick a (D) next to anybody, including Dick Cheney, and suddenly the low information voter will approve. Sheeple – gotta love ‘em.

Decoski on February 12, 2013 at 11:20 AM

The criticism of Cheney has always been that he advocated for (successfully) broader and misguided response to 9/11 – e.g. Iraq.
That he now supports the Obama admin’s much more focused and targeted (and successful) approach is more dickie-come-lately than any sort of knife twisting for ‘liberals’.
Cheney’s legacy largely remains the Iraq war – which pretty much everyone now views as one of the the biggest mistakes and most costly errors in the ‘war on terror’.
But fair enough…maybe he has indeed had a change of heart…and is supportive of the current president’s efforts to clean up his mess.

verbaluce on February 12, 2013 at 11:28 AM

Every friday down at the end of my street, one of my neighbors would go protest against the “Bush war”. All of that protest stopped on the day Obama was elected, and has never resumed.

I assume she’s now pro-war.

unclesmrgol on February 12, 2013 at 11:33 AM

verbaluce on February 12, 2013 at 11:28 AM

The focussed and targeted response requires boots on the ground — including in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. After all, if we took Mr. Obama’s freshman Senator approach to war, we would never ever have gotten bin Laden.

unclesmrgol on February 12, 2013 at 11:35 AM

They told me if I voted for Mitt Romney that Dick Cheney would approve of the president’s usage of drones to kill innocent people, and they were right.

Smooth Rooster on February 12, 2013 at 11:36 AM

You either support drone strikes aimed at killing American citizens without due process or you don’t. And very few on the left have the stones to commit themselves to that degree.

Doughboy on February 12, 2013 at 11:00 AM

Of course not — deep inside, they are all still Confederates.

unclesmrgol on February 12, 2013 at 11:36 AM

I’m with Rand and Ron Paul on this; we should use drones when we are at war (meaning the Congress approval) just as we use any other weapon. To use them as some sort intelligence initiative and killing people we deem as “Bad” is far to open for a wrong interpretation from the government.

I’m not defending Awalaki, however were we within the proper definition of war powers when we executed him and all who were lucky enough to be around him?

If we are going to be the Constitution party then we need to follow the Constitution.

Tater Salad on February 12, 2013 at 11:36 AM

So if China or Russia launched drone strikes in America to take out some perceived terrorists to their countries that would be okay, too?

albill on February 12, 2013 at 11:37 AM

Of course not — deep inside, they are all still Confederates.

unclesmrgol on February 12, 2013 at 11:36 AM

Confederates?

sharrukin on February 12, 2013 at 11:38 AM

After all, if we took Mr. Obama’s freshman Senator approach to war, we would never ever have gotten bin Laden.

unclesmrgol on February 12, 2013 at 11:35 AM

How so?
He opposed the Iraq war. And now in hindsight, many who did support it say they were wrong to.
But irrelevant…as you do know where/how UBL was found/killed…right?
It wasn’t in Baghdad or via any intelligence gathered in that tragic fool’s errand.

verbaluce on February 12, 2013 at 11:38 AM

Libs, what say you, Dog Eater won’t answer the question on whether or not he can order a hit on an American citizen in your home state.

Bishop on February 12, 2013 at 11:08 AM

The answer to that one was given during the Civil War — for every Confederate solder who was shot at and killed by the Union Army was also a United States citizen.

A gun is a kind of drone — it is a machine which does what its handlers tell it to do. Don’t pull the trigger and the guy lives. Pull the trigger and he dies.

Nothing is new — everything is old.

unclesmrgol on February 12, 2013 at 11:39 AM

verbaluce on February 12, 2013 at 11:28 AM

a troll popped up! hey loser, where have you and your stupid friends been?

DanMan on February 12, 2013 at 11:39 AM

The biggest mistake is to think that taking out the old Al Qaeda leadership means that we are defeating islamic terrorism… The old Al Qaeda terrorist leadership has been ineffective since we went into Afghanistan in October 2001… The real danger is now coming from the new Al Qaeda terrorist franchises in the Arabian Peninsula and North Africa… Of course we should never forget about the extreme danger of the “lone wolf terroists” living in the US and the West…

mnjg on February 12, 2013 at 11:40 AM

That he now supports the Obama admin’s much more focused and targeted (and successful) approach is more dickie-come-lately than any sort of knife twisting for ‘liberals’.

verbaluce on February 12, 2013 at 11:28 AM

To the contrary, the “knife twisting” for liberals should have been Obama using drones to kill American citizens without due process when they blamed Cheney for “rendition” and “torture.”

It’s standard libtard hypocrisy.

sentinelrules on February 12, 2013 at 11:41 AM

It wasn’t in Baghdad or via any intelligence gathered in that tragic fool’s errand.

verbaluce on February 12, 2013 at 11:38 AM

As I remember, Mr. Obama was against Afghanistan too. We went where the enemy appeared to be — we took the fight to him. We misjudged — perhaps — in Iraq — but the Iraqis were paying martyr money and supporting Al Qaeda affiliates in other places — not to mention shooting at our aircraft.

In hindsight, perhaps we should have left them to smolder — but Americans have never been like that to the people we defeat.

Our approach has worked well — for the enemy is far worse off than we are at this point.

unclesmrgol on February 12, 2013 at 11:42 AM

So if China or Russia launched drone strikes in America to take out some perceived terrorists to their countries that would be okay, too?

albill on February 12, 2013 at 11:37 AM

Nope. That only happens to countries that cannot control their own territory and the United States can. The US doesn’t conduct strikes against China, or even smaller nations like Portugal because they do control their own territory. If they wanted a terrorist they could ask for him and that would be an extradition proceeding.

sharrukin on February 12, 2013 at 11:43 AM

sentinelrules on February 12, 2013 at 11:41 AM

Offered via the standard contard hypocrisy…

verbaluce on February 12, 2013 at 11:44 AM

Offered via the standard contard hypocrisy…

verbaluce on February 12, 2013 at 11:44 AM

Whoah, good comeback./s

As usual, no rational libtard response because it would force you to admit to having a double standard.

sentinelrules on February 12, 2013 at 11:48 AM

There is a difference, Bush’s interrogations were on people actually captured on the battle feild; whereas Obama killed people within the confines of a sovereign nation without any Congressional approval that wew were at war with them.

Tater Salad on February 12, 2013 at 11:48 AM

Confederates?

sharrukin on February 12, 2013 at 11:38 AM

People who deep inside hate the USA and would prefer that it — and its Constitution — be replaced by something else.

Perhaps the word as I used it is imprecise, for the Confederacy failed because it had a weak Constitution — and a lot of people who wouldn’t fight outside the borders of their state — which describes the political mindset of both the left and the libertarians — this “leave be who will leave me be” kind of thinking which leaves the guys who won’t let us be quite a bit of latitude.

I believe in a very strong central Government whose only duty is to guarantee to every citizen the enumerated rights of the Constitution.

unclesmrgol on February 12, 2013 at 11:48 AM

Obama killed people within the confines of a sovereign nation without any Congressional approval that wew were at war with them.

Tater Salad on February 12, 2013 at 11:48 AM

Yemen invited the US and is an ally. No violations of sovereignty and the AUMF was passed and approved by Congress.

sharrukin on February 12, 2013 at 11:51 AM

Whoah, good comeback./s

sentinelrules on February 12, 2013 at 11:48 AM

Thanks!
Just trying to keep it at your pace.

verbaluce on February 12, 2013 at 11:51 AM

verbaluce on February 12, 2013 at 11:28 AM

Communist scum and slave of the State… In Iraq we defeated Al Qaeda terrorists and killed tens of thousands of its actual terrorists and not just few ineffective Al Qaeda old leaders who have been ineffective since October 2001… Now what did we achieve in Afghanistan under Obama stupid policies? Nothing… The Taliban terrorists are on the verge of controlling Afghanistan once we leave there and Obama the coward is already withdrawing our troops from there… His strategy in Afghanistan was basically “the forgotten war”, for him the war was a nuisance that interferes with his communist agenda… All the brave troops we lost in Afghanistan were for nothing as the Taliban terrorists are now stronger than ever and are poised to control the country the moment we leave there…

mnjg on February 12, 2013 at 11:52 AM

Offered via the standard contard hypocrisy…

verbaluce on February 12, 2013 at 11:44 AM

Actually not. I see the argument by your opponents as being of the nature of “What additional rights should the US offer citizens over non-citizens?”

The Constitution says nothing about waterboarding, and quite a bit about due process for citizens.

The big question is whether said due process pertains to acts of citizens against the nation in time of war.

I’ve already said my piece where I put a Confederate soldier — a citizen of the United States — in the sights of a Union marksman. Whether or not the marksman pulls the trigger, any discussion of due process is moot.

As for the terrorists who were waterboarded — well, they are still alive and well, even though their victims aren’t.

unclesmrgol on February 12, 2013 at 11:53 AM

People who deep inside hate the USA and would prefer that it — and its Constitution — be replaced by something else.

unclesmrgol on February 12, 2013 at 11:48 AM

Communists, fifth columnists, subversives, traitors, or Democrats all work and mean largely the same thing.

sharrukin on February 12, 2013 at 11:54 AM

As I remember, Mr. Obama was against Afghanistan too. We went where the enemy appeared to be — we took the fight to him. We misjudged — perhaps — in Iraq — but the Iraqis were paying martyr money and supporting Al Qaeda affiliates in other places — not to mention shooting at our aircraft.

In hindsight, perhaps we should have left them to smolder — but Americans have never been like that to the people we defeat.

Our approach has worked well — for the enemy is far worse off than we are at this point.

unclesmrgol on February 12, 2013 at 11:42 AM

The enemy was always far worse off.
Perhaps that’s something else Obama and Cheney might agree on.

verbaluce on February 12, 2013 at 11:55 AM

Thanks!
Just trying to keep it at your pace.

verbaluce on February 12, 2013 at 11:51 AM

Really? Because you missed the ‘/s.’

/s = sarcasm.

Your two brain cells are unable to grasp this.

sentinelrules on February 12, 2013 at 11:55 AM

Cheney’s legacy largely remains the Iraq war, despite the fact he didn’t personally make the decision to start it – which pretty much everyone on my side of the aisle now views as one of the the biggest mistakes and most costly errors in the war on terror.

verbaloon on February 12, 2013 at 11:28 AM

Edited for accuracy.

Oh, and F-

Del Dolemonte on February 12, 2013 at 12:02 PM

And now in hindsight, many who did support it say they were wrong to.

verbaloon on February 12, 2013 at 11:38 AM

You’re entitled to your opinion, but not your “facts”. In fact, many Democrats still say they have no regrets for signing off on “Bush’s War”, including the new Secretary of State and his predecessor. In fact, the only politicians who said they were wrong were all Democrats, and they all changed their minds solely for political gain, not out of guilt.

You really need 2 shovels. 1 for each hand.

Del Dolemonte on February 12, 2013 at 12:06 PM

contard

verbaloon on February 12, 2013 at 11:44 AM

New word? How original!

F+

Del Dolemonte on February 12, 2013 at 12:07 PM

I believe in a very strong central Government whose only duty is to guarantee to every citizen the enumerated rights of the Constitution.

unclesmrgol on February 12, 2013 at 11:48 AM

Apparently you are not very familiar with the United States Constitution, or the reason it was written the way it was. A “Very Strong” central government is philosophically at odds with the principals underlying the US Constitution.

SWalker on February 12, 2013 at 12:12 PM

Not to sound like a sexist… But how can a 1/4 of women not know about the drone program

OliverB on February 12, 2013 at 12:13 PM

The more statists like Obama and Cheney betray the Constitution and Bill of Rights, the more my opinion of small-gov “anarchists” and others on the left improves.

FloatingRock on February 12, 2013 at 1:28 PM

Authoritarian statists like Obama and Cheney are circling the wagons, assassinating Americans by remote control without due process granted to us by our creator, eviscerating the Bill of Rights with a wink and a shrug. People like them are the biggest threats to our freedom and liberty, not Islamists. Islamists are tyrants, too, but they are over there—Obama and Cheney are here wielding great power and are using it to destroy our freedom and liberty from within, something that no foreign nation could ever hope to achieve.

All of America’s worst people, the elites at the top, are circling the wagons together—all of the people at the bottom who still care about freedom and liberty, on the left and the right, need to circle the wagons as well.

FloatingRock on February 12, 2013 at 1:38 PM

Yes, you are wrong.

Yemen is an ally and at war with Al-Qaeda. We are NOT violating their sovereignty.

I take it you think the bombing of Hamburg in World War Two was terrorism as were the two nuclear strikes against Japan? Those were clearly large explosions among the civilian population in question.

sharrukin on February 12, 2013 at 11:12 AM

Your assumptions are wrong regarding my views on WWII activity.
Canada is an ally. Is it okay to drop a Hellfire or two onto their territory?

Thanks for playing.

FOWG1 on February 12, 2013 at 3:18 PM

To initiate a large explosion among the civilian population seems to fit the definition of terrorism. Am I wrong?

FOWG1 on February 12, 2013 at 11:08 AM

Ain’t life a b!tch? :)

Solaratov on February 12, 2013 at 3:22 PM

Canada is an ally. Is it okay to drop a Hellfire or two onto their territory?

Thanks for playing.

FOWG1 on February 12, 2013 at 3:18 PM

If they want us to help fight Al-Qaeda? Yes.

Why wouldn’t we help an ally?

sharrukin on February 12, 2013 at 3:24 PM

But irrelevant…as you do know where/how UBL was found/killed…right?
It wasn’t in Baghdad or via any intelligence gathered in that tragic fool’s errand.

verbaluce on February 12, 2013 at 11:38 AM

You really are too stupid to walk and chew gum at the same time…or you’re just trying to perpetuate the lie that no intel gathered under the Bush administration led to bin laden.

btw: You’re an idiot!

Solaratov on February 12, 2013 at 3:30 PM

a troll popped up! hey loser, where have you and your stupid friends been?

DanMan on February 12, 2013 at 11:39 AM

They’re all trying to figure out if Dorner is a hero/anti-hero and whether it means that only government agents should have guns; or if the civilian population needs them to protect themselves from the .gov.

Solaratov on February 12, 2013 at 3:34 PM

As I remember, Mr. Obama was against Afghanistan too.

unclesmrgol on February 12, 2013 at 11:42 AM

No. Lil barry consistently referred to Afghanistan as “the good war”. The one we should be fighting.

Solaratov on February 12, 2013 at 3:37 PM