Is the President Trying to 'Become an Emperor?'

And now the most compelling two minutes in television, the latest from the wartime grapevine:

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It's What the Poll Doesn't Ask
The New York Times says a New York Times/CBS poll shows that “a majority of Americans say that the nation's economy is in its worst shape in nearly a decade and that President Bush and Congressional leaders are spending too much time talking about Iraq." In fact, the poll shows no such thing. It does show that people, by a 56 to 43 percent margin, think the economy is bad, and it does show that 70 percent of those asked would like to hear political candidates talk more about the economy. But the poll never asks whether the president is talking too much about Iraq. And those surveyed put the war, security and terrorism ahead of all other priorities, beating the economy, jobs and the stock market by four percentage points. And the poll found a majority — 52 percent — think the president is spending his time "about right," with only 41 percent saying he was too focused on foreign policy. Those numbers are not reported in the Times.

A New Line of Attack?
Democratic Congressman Jim McDermott of Washington, who attacked President Bush's credibility last week during a visit to Baghdad, has a new line of attack. He now says there is a "coup going on" in America and that President Bush "is trying to bring himself all the power to become an emperor — to create Empire America." By the way, McDermott and David Bonior, the other prominent Democrat who traveled with him to Baghdad, have been saying the reason they went was to warn Saddam that the United States is serious and he should readmit the inspectors. But as the Weekly Standard points out, when the two put out a joint press release about their trip beforehand, issuing warnings to Saddam was nowhere mentioned as one of their reasons for going.

Challenger Still Trying to Get on Ballot
Up in New Jersey, a Republican who's trying to challenge Democratic Congressman Robert Andrews for re-election, says he should be placed on the ballot immediately. Mark Otto acknowledges he didn't get enough primary votes to get on the ballot in the overwhelmingly Democratic first district, says he's been waging a write-in campaign. Now he says, "Had I known the law was merely a guideline and not to be taken literally, I most certainly would have immediately pursued a different path to get my name on the ballot." He says Republican leaders had earlier discouraged a court challenge, telling him, "the law is the law."