Half of Americans favor impeaching Bush

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-1130361164747.jpg’, ”, ‘George W. Bush’);

“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

—H.L. Mencken

Fifty percent of Americans favor impeaching George W. Bush if it is proven he lied about his reasons for invading Iraq, according to a poll commissioned by AfterDowningStreet.org, a grassroots group that wants a congressional probe of President Bush’s decision to invade.

The poll margin was 50 percent to 44 percent in favor of impeachment. Ipsos Public Affairs, a non-partisan polling company, sampled the opinions of 1,001 U.S. adults between Oct. 6-9 to reach its results.

Pollsters reported 50 percent of those interviewed agreed with this statement: “If President Bush did not tell the truth about his reasons for going to war with Iraq, Congress should consider holding him accountable by impeaching him.”

Among those who held strong opinions, 39 percent strongly agreed, while 30 percent strongly disagreed.

Bob Fertik, co-founder of AfterDowningStreet.org, stated: “The results of this poll are truly astonishing. Bush’s record-low approval ratings tell just half of the story, which is how much Americans oppose Bush’s policies on Iraq and other issues. But this poll tells the other half of the story—that a solid plurality of Americans want Congress to consider removing Bush from the White House.”

Responses showed 72 percent of Democrats favored impeachment, as against 56 percent of independents and 20 percent of Republicans. Solid majorities of citizens younger than 55 (54 percent) and those with household incomes below $50,000 (57 percent) were for impeachment. In the Northeast, 53 percent were in favor, 51 percent in the West and 50 percent in the South.

The Ipsos poll revealed a strong surge for impeachment since last June. A Zogby poll conducted then found 42 percent in favor and 50 percent opposed. It used a statement nearly identical to the one in the Ipsos sampling. Pollster John Zogby told The Washington Post at the time that support for impeachment “was much higher than I expected.”

Both polls asked about backing impeachment if Bush lied about the reasons for going to war in Iraq, instead of just asking about impeachment. Pollsters said just asking about impeachment without any context would lead to a large number of “I don’t know” answers. The poll results, however, may be somewhat low in its percentages because there are many Americans who favor impeachment for other reasons, like Bush’s laggard response to Hurricane Katrina, his policy on torture, skyrocketing gasoline prices and other concerns.

Other polls reveal a majority of Americans believe Bush lied about his reasons for the Iraq war. Last June, an ABC/Washington Post poll showed 52 percent of Americans believe Bush and his colleagues “deliberately misled the public before the war,” and 57 percent said the administration “intentionally exaggerated its evidence that pre-war Iraq possessed nuclear, chemical or biological weapons.”

Support for the war has plunged sharply—about 14 percent—since June, suggesting the number of Americans who think Bush lied about the war has grown.

The national media, both print and broadcast, have carefully avoided this story, partly because not one Democrat has called for impeachment despite grassroots activism for that cause.

David Swanson, co-founder of AfterDowningStreet.org, said: “We will, no doubt, see an increase in activism following this poll, but will we see an increase in media coverage? The media are waiting for action in Congress. Apparently it is easier to find and interview one of the 535 members of Congress than it is to locate a representative of the half of the country that wants the president impeached if he lied about the war. What we need now is journalism befitting a democracy, journalism that goes out and asks people what they really think about their government, especially George W. Bush.”

A second poll has been commissioned by Swanson’s group and is expected to be released soon. Other polling organizations have been urged to include the impeachment question in their regular polls. If they fail to do so, the coalition will continue to carry out additional polls.

From the Oct. 26-Nov. 1, 2005, issue

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!