The liberal media had a daily drumbeat of outrage over President Bush’s War on Terror, openly editorializing about closing Guantanamo and against harsh treatment of suspected terrorists. Barack Obama was elected in 2008 running against the Bush policies. Now that he’s president and he’s failed to live up to his anti-anti-terror promises, The Washington Post pollsters report Republicans should not attack him, because a majority of the Left apparently has changed their minds.
"The sharpest edges of President Obama’s counterterrorism policy, including the use of drone aircraft to kill suspected terrorists abroad and keeping open the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, have broad public support,” reported Scott Wilson and Jon Cohen on Thursday, “ including from the left wing of the Democratic Party.”
Republicans shouldn’t try that weak-on-terror stuff, writes Wilson and Cohen:
Attacking Obama’s national security policies, the poll suggests, may do GOP challengers more harm than good when many Americans favor a national security approach that relies more on technology than troops. By a margin of more than 2 to 1, Americans say the president’s handling of terrorism is a major reason to support rather than oppose his bid for reelection.
The survey shows that 70 percent of respondents approve of Obama’s decision to keep open the prison at Guantanamo Bay. He pledged during his first week in office to close the prison within a year, but he has not done so.
Even the party base appears willing to forgive that failure.
The poll shows that 53 percent of self-identified liberal Democrats — and 67 percent of moderate or conservative Democrats — support keeping Guantanamo Bay open, even though it emerged as a symbol of the post-Sept. 11 national security policies of President George W. Bush, which many liberals bitterly opposed.
Obama has also relied on armed drones far more than Bush did, and he has expanded their use beyond America’s defined war zones. The Post-ABC News poll found that 83 percent of Americans approve of Obama’s drone policy, which administration officials refuse to discuss, citing security concerns.
The president only recently acknowledged the existence of the drone program, which some human rights advocates say operates without a clear legal framework and in violation of the U.S. prohibition against assassination.
But fully 77 percent of liberal Democrats endorse the use of drones, meaning that Obama is unlikely to suffer any political consequences as a result of his policy in this election year.
The Post writers insisted It’s also “risky” for Romney to criticize Obama for a rapid drawdown on troops in Afghanistan:
The critique is a politically risky one to make after more than a decade of war in Afghanistan, a conflict that a majority of Americans stopped believing was worth fighting some time ago. The Post-ABC News poll shows that 78 percent of the public supports Obama’s drawdown plan, scheduled to culminate in 2014 with a complete withdrawal of U.S. combat troops.