Poll: Public Overwhelmingly Supports Congressional Prosecutors Firing Probe
Yet another poll has come out that indicates the Bush administration is taking a hard-line stance that is at odds with the majority of the American people — this time on the ongoing furor over the firing of Republican prosecutors who some believe were axed because they didn’t go after Democratic politicians fast enough and even went after some Republicans:
Americans overwhelmingly support a congressional investigation into White House involvement in the firing of eight U.S. attorneys, and they say President Bush and his aides should answer questions about it without invoking executive privilege.
In a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll taken Friday-Sunday, respondents said by nearly 3-to-1 that Congress should issue subpoenas to force White House officials to testify.
But Democrats are not getting a total vote of confidence:
There is skepticism about the motives of both the administration and congressional Democrats:
â€¢By 53%-26%, respondents say the U.S. attorneys were dismissed primarily for political reasons, not because they weren’t doing their jobs well â€” as Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has said.
â€¢By 59%-30%, they say Democrats are investigating the dismissals mostly for political advantage, not because of ethical concern.
The bottom line: George Bush and his administration are entering into a political minefield on the issue of executive privilege. This poll shows that most people believe the Democrats are leaping on this growing scandal — but they also believe the administration isn’t being truthful and that the prosecutors were booted for political reasons.
The bottom line? This is ONE MORE INSTANCE of another credibility problem in an administration rapidly developing a credibility gap far bigger than Richard Nixon’s or Lyndon Johnson’s. Every day seemingly brings a new story that indicates under-the-radar political tinkering, allegations involving poorly-used or misused powers…followed by the inevitable denials from administration bigwigs.
The biggest problem for Bush: there is a clear pattern being underscored now by a Congress run by Democrats and a news media that is finding plenty of stories — with the suspicion that there may be lots more material in the days ahead.