Nothing surprising here, but after Democrats spent the entirety of Bush’s second term loudly despairing over civil liberties and freedom of the press being trod upon in the name of counterterrorism, polls like this will remain forever blogworthy. HA readers already know all about their well-timed reversals on drone strikes and Guanatanamo, but the DOJ’s snooping on the AP opens up a new area for polling. How do they feel about the Unicorn Prince rifling through reporters’ phone bills in the interest of punishing a leaker? That sounds like something Darth Cheney might do. Surely rank-and-file Democrats can’t fail to notice and react accordingly.
Or can they?
The second data set there is even more telling than the first. The more Democrats know about the story, the more they support the administration’s snooping; this isn’t a simple case, in other words, of uninformed partisans reflexively giving a pollster whichever answer they think benefits their side. No doubt the GOP (and maybe even the indie) numbers would also be different if the president was a Republican, but that’s life in a tribal, partisan political world. Why did Democrats ever think they were above it?
Just to twist the knife a bit, which liberal leading light wrote the following left-of-Democratic sentences? “The Justice Department’s seizure of the AP’s phone records shows that this administration cares far more about power than political and civil liberty. It has intruded on the freedom of the press in ways that the allegedly power-hungry Bush Administration would never have dreamed.” Glenn Greenwald? Not exactly.