US Citizens Turning Against Libya War; Dem Warns Obama Is becoming an ‘Absolute Monarch’

June 25th, 2011 - by admin

The Gallup Poll & The Hill – 2011-06-25 00:49:20

Americans Shift to More Negative View of Libya Military Action
Now more likely to disapprove than approve

Jeffrey M. Jones / The Gallup Poll

PRINCETON, NJ (June 24, 2011) — Americans are more likely to say they disapprove than approve of the US military action in Libya. That represents a shift from three months ago, just after the mission began, when approval exceeded disapproval.

Next we have a question about the current military action by the US and other countries against Libya. Do you approve or disapproved of the current US military actions against Libya?

March 21, 2011
Approve 47%; Disapprove 37%; No opinion 16%

June 22, 2011
Approved 39%; Disapprove 46%; No opinion 15%

The results are based on a Gallup poll conducted June 22. The House of Representatives is set to vote on resolutions that would limit the US role in Libya, partly because of questions about whether the mission violates the War Powers Act since President Obama did not obtain congressional authorization for it. The US sent forces to Libya in March as part of a multinational force to protect rebels in that country from attacks by Libyan President Moammar Gadhafi.

Democrats are the only political group to show more support for than opposition to the US involvement. Independents are the most likely to show opposition, with a majority disapproving.

Republicans’ opinions have changed the most since March, moving to 39% approval from 57%. This likely reflects increased criticism of the mission’s legality and cost from some Republican congressional leaders and presidential candidates. Independents’ views have become slightly more negative over the last three months, while Democrats’ opinions have been largely stable.

Opposition Mainly Because of Substance, Rather Than Legality, of Military Operation
The poll sought to explore Americans’ reasons for opposition to the operation by asking those who disapprove whether they disagree with the substance of the policy or with how it was executed. Most who disapprove, 64%, do so because they do not think the US should be in Libya at all. Just under a third, 29%, disapprove because they do not think the president obtained the necessary approval from Congress to conduct the operation.

Do you disapprove mainly because — [ROTATED: you do not think the US should be involved in military action in Libya at all (or because) you do not think President Obama obtained the necessary approval from Congress for the military action]?

Based on those who disapprove of US military action in Libya.

June 22, 2011
The US should not be involved in Libya: 64%
The President did not obtain necessary approval: 29%
No opinion: 7%

Republicans who disapprove divide about equally between saying the US should not be in Libya (48%) and saying the president did not go through the proper procedures (46%).

Supporters View Gadhafi Removal as Ultimate Goal
The stated goal of the military operation was to protect Libyan citizens from attacks by the country’s government, but the obvious question is whether the ultimate goal should be removal of the government, namely, President Gadhafi, from power. The poll asked those who approve of the mission whether the US action should continue until Gadhafi is removed from power, and the vast majority, 85%, agree.

Gallup found initial support for the US mission in Libya low compared with other recent US military engagements. As the operation continues into its fourth month, and with increased criticism of the effort from political leaders, it is not surprising that support for it has eroded. It is still unclear whether Congress will ultimately limit the mission in Libya or authorize it to continue. The president’s Wednesday announcement of troop withdrawals from Afghanistan shows he is sensitive to pressure to scale down U.S. military operations abroad as the U.S. struggles to improve the economy and get the federal budget deficit under control.

Survey Methods
Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted June 22, 2011, on the Gallup Daily tracking survey, with a random sample of 999 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points.

Interviews are conducted with respondents on landline telephones and cellular phones, with interviews conducted in Spanish for respondents who are primarily Spanish-speaking. Each sample includes a minimum quota of 400 cell phone respondents and 600 landline respondents per 1,000 national adults, with additional minimum quotas among landline respondents for gender within region. Landline telephone numbers are chosen at random among listed telephone numbers. Cell phone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods. Landline respondents are chosen at random within each household on the basis of which member had the most recent birthday.

Samples are weighted by gender, age, race, Hispanic ethnicity, education, region, adults in the household, and phone status (cell phone only/landline only/both, cell phone mostly, and having an unlisted landline number). Demographic weighting targets are based on the March 2010 Current Population Survey figures for the aged 18 and older non-institutionalized population living in US telephone households. All reported margins of sampling error include the computed design effects for weighting and sample design.

In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

Polls conducted entirely in one day, such as this one, are subject to additional error or bias not found in polls conducted over several days.

View methodology, full question results, and trend data.
For more details on Gallup’s polling methodology, visit

Copyright © 2011 Gallup, Inc. All rights reserved.

President ‘Becoming an Absolute Monarch’ on War Powers, Dem Says
Pete Kasperowicz / The Hill

WASHINGTON (June 24, 2011) — A House Democrat warned Friday that the US president is becoming an “absolute monarch” on matters related to the authority to start a war. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) said Congress must act to limit funding for military operations in Libya in order to correct that trend.

“We have been sliding for 70 years to a situation where Congress has nothing to do with the decision about whether to go to war or not, and the president is becoming an absolute monarch,” Nadler said on the floor. “And we must put a stop to that right now, if we don’t want to become an empire instead of a republic.”

Nadler stressed that he is not talking exclusively about “this president,” meaning President Obama. But he said nonetheless that Congress needs to reassert its authority to declare war, and said this should be done even over concerns that it would damage US credibility with its NATO allies.

“I think that the nation’s credibility, that is to say its promise to go to war as backed by the president, not by the Congress, ought to be damaged,” he said. “And if foreign countries learn that they cannot depend on American military intervention unless Congress is aboard for the ride, good,” he added. “That’s a good thing.”

Members of the House early Friday morning were debating a rule allowing for consideration of H.J. Res. 68, which would authorize continued operations in Libya, and H.R. 2278, which would limit funding for those operations.

Members of Congress have been clashing with the White House over the Libya mission. Many Republicans and some Democrats argue that President Obama does not have the authority to continue involving the U.S. in the NATO-led mission without congressional authorization.

The White House argues the U.S. role in Libya does not constitute “hostilities” and is therefore not covered under the 1973 War Powers Resolution, which requires the president to seek authorization from Congress 60 days after notifying lawmakers of a military action.

H.R. 2278 is seen as tough and is expected to pass. However, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) stressed repeatedly that the exceptions in H.R. 2278 would essentially allow the U.S. military to continue the operations it is already involved in, and recommended a vote against both bills.

Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.), the ranking member of the House Rules Committee, said in the debate that it is “shameful” the way House Republicans have rushed through both bills. She said much more debate was allowed decades earlier when Congress considered launching the Persian Gulf War, and even apologized to future generations for the rushed consideration regarding Libya.

“We avoid the robust debates that preceded us here today,” she said. “Indeed, the way in which today’s measures are being debated shames the dignity, history and tradition of this body.

“I really regret the shameful way this important debate has been rushed through Congress and I apologize to future generations who will look back on the work that we are doing today to try to understand the time,” she added.

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