Poll: Abuse of power doesn't matter to most Americans

I'd just like to see one poll that even strives to paint a bigger picture.

Plucking at random, I see a piece in the Seattle P-I by a Marsha Mercer, pushing the same, already tired, concept: Foley doesn't matter to voters. End of story.

It's not the end of the story. In order to get anything resembling a useful picture we'd need to see the opinions of people who know what's going on, versus those who don't. It's like pre-Iraq War polls where public opinion may have gone a certain way, but public opinion was misinformed. Not of a "different" understanding. But wrong. Plain wrong.

So what we end up getting is simply a gauge of how well the available information and the ensuing PR operation are faring in the media. In the Foley case, Hastert admits to hearing about a "katrina message" in one instance, and "over-friendly" messages in another, several months ago. That the parents of the page involved asked that the communications be stopped.

Rep. Tom Reynolds says he told Hastert months before about "inappropriate" messages and Majority Leader Jim Boehner claims that Hastert told him he was "taking care of it" several months earlier as well. Conservative Bay Buchanan commented that the earliest emails "had predator stamped all over [them]."

These are all republicans. If this isn't a cover-up it's the most colossally dim-witted and out of touch group of people going. All this is to say that I had a conversation with an especially well-informed friend who was aware of exactly none of the above. He had been listening to NPR and watching TV and was essentially under the impression -- as handlers sought to create from the outset -- that there were a bunch of conflicting accounts of conversations waiting to be untangled. While it's true to an extent, and while none of the above constitutes "beyond a reasonable doubt" evidence, I'm burning with curiosity about the number of respondents in these polls, echoing in the media caves, who are both aware of the Republican accusations and who responded that they don't care a whit.

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