mm134: The DC Establishment versus American public opinion – Glenn Greenwald

MUDGE’S Musings

As we post Sunday afternoon, the week upcoming seems to have the potential to be a watershed in U.S.A. politics, perhaps even history.

For this is the week that General Petraeus testifies to Congress regarding the state of the surge.

Here’s an interesting take on what should be obvious by now: the perception of the executive and legislative branches regarding the conduct of the war has never been more antithetical to what U.S. citizens believe.


The DC Establishment versus American public opinion

The Washington Establishment has spent the last several months glorifying Gen. David Petraeus, imposing the consensus that The Surge is Succeeding, and most importantly of all, ensuring that President Bush will not be compelled to withdraw troops from Iraq for the remainder of his presidency. The P.R. campaign to persuade the country that the Surge is Succeeding has been as intense and potent as any P.R. campaign since the one that justified the invasion itself. While this campaign has worked wonders with our gullible media stars and Democratic Congressional leadership, it has failed completely with the American people.

Ever since the Surge was announced (and allowed) back in January, Conventional Beltway Media Wisdom continuously insisted that September was going to be the Dramatic Month of Reckoning, when droves of fair-minded and election-fearing Republicans finally abandoned the President and compelled an end to the war. But the opposite has occurred.

The newly elected Democratic Congress, elected to make changes, instead drank the Kool-Aid:

Democratic Congressional leaders — due either to illusory fears of political repercussions and/or a desire that the war continue — seem more supportive than ever of the ongoing occupation (or at least more unwilling than ever to stop it). They are going to do nothing to mandate meaningful troop withdrawal. Most Republicans are hiding behind the shiny badges of Gen. Petraeus and his typically sunny claims about Progress in Iraq, and they, too, are as unified as ever that we cannot end our occupation.

The American people have been paying attention all these months, while Washington has been living in its own insulated bubble.

But what is notable about all of this, if not surprising as well, is that the overwhelming majority of the American people now harbor such intense distrust towards our political and media elite that they are virtually immune to any of these tactics. Several polls over the past month have revealed that most Americans do not trust Gen. Petraeus to give an accurate report about Iraq. And a newly released, comprehensive Washington Post-ABC News poll today starkly illustrates just how wide the gap is between American public opinion and the behavior of our political establishment.

In fact,

More significantly still, overwhelming numbers of Americans understand what the D.C. Establishment refuses to accept: namely, that even if there are marginal and isolated security improvements, there is still no point in continuing to stay in Iraq. Large majorities want the number of U.S. troops in Iraq decreased (58-39%); believe overwhelmingly that a decrease should begin “right away,” rather than by the end of the year or next year (62-33%); and favor legislation now to compel troop withdrawal by the spring (55-41%).

Okay, go ahead and read, including Greenwald’s update, which notes that he was writing about this dichotomy between government and its citizens in May:

[Per L-HC’s reformed process, please click the link below for the complete article — but then please come on back!]

Glenn Greenwald – Political Blogs and Opinions – Salon

We’re being beat up on all fronts (the economy, real estate, our mortgages, our kids’ toys).

But, despite all of the distractions (and a paranoid person might start to wonder…), the public seems to be more intelligent than its “leaders.”

In one sense, it is quite unhealthy in a democracy for such a large majority of Americans to so distrust the political and media establishment that they even believe in advance that war reports from our leading General will be nothing more than self-serving and misleading propaganda. But in another, more important sense, when a democracy’s political establishment becomes as rotted and deceitful and corrupt as ours has become — enabling the most unpopular President in modern American history to continue what is so blatantly a senseless war for years and years, in complete defiance of what Americans want — the one encouraging sign is that a majority realizes how corrupt our establishment is and has stopped believing anything they say.

General P, Monday most of us real people will be holding our fingers in our ears and saying “la la la.”

We’ve seen through the propaganda.

People, call your Senators! Email your Representatives!

Let’s get real.

It’s it for now. Thanks,



Football is back!

What does that have to do with this post?

Nothing, of course. This is a serious post regarding a critically serious issue.

Everything. Because MUDGE finds himself seriously distracted during football season.

Especially during the weekend, when the college and professional games are played.

But, we’ll rally. So to speak. We may discuss football in a future post.

Or maybe not. Not an expert by any means. Just a fan of the game. And, by fan, I’m not implying anything about fantasy football. Which has nothing to do with being a fan, and everything to do with gaming, or gambling, neither of which this writer is into whatsoever.

Unless we’re talking poker. Also a future post?

It’s really it for now. Thanks,



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