Friday, January 03, 2020


Jonathan Chait discounts the notion that a war with Iran will ensure President Trump's reelection, citing a Gallup poll:
No doubt [Trump] anticipates at least a faint echo of the rally-around-the-flag dynamic that has buoyed many of his predecessors. But Trump’s critics need not assume he will enjoy any such benefit....

One salient fact is that it’s not 2001, or even 2003. A poll earlier this summer found that just 18 percent of Americans prefer to “take military action against Iran” as against 78 percent wanting to “rely mainly on economic and diplomatic efforts.”

It is in part due to public war weariness that Republicans have sworn repeatedly, for years, that they would not go to war with Iran.
That's encouraging, and it's encouraging that even Republicans in that survey, conducted in July, preferred diplomacy and economic sanctions to war:

But there's a catch:
What the U.S. Should Do if Nonmilitary Efforts Should Fail

... Unlike responses to the initial question of what the U.S. should do, there is a notable partisan difference in the preferred action should nonmilitary efforts fail. Six in 10 Republicans would support military action against Iran in that scenario, whereas 68% of Democrats would remain opposed to it.

The 42% of those who favor military action if nonmilitary efforts fail translates to 35% of all U.S. adults. Combining that group with the 18% who favor military action outright means a slim majority of Americans, 53%, would support military action against Iran if diplomatic and economic efforts are unsuccessful.

And this was when the White House, the Trump campaign, the Republican Party, and Fox News hadn't begun propagandizing in favor of war, as will inevitably happen. And you know the mainstream media will pitch in as well.

The only question is whether some of the people who favored war if "U.S. economic and diplomatic efforts do not work" will believe peaceful efforts weren't given a chance to succeed whebn war is imminent. But I suspect the war will have the support of a bit more than half of America -- possibly more than that if Iran does something that's seen as truly outrageous -- at least at the outset. And yes, "the outset" could continue well past the election.

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