Though the 2-to-1 margin is higher than I expected, there was little doubt President Obama's decision to invoke executive privilege to prevent the release of documents that might shed some light in the Fast and Furious scandal was a bad political move.
This is what makes the President's decision so troubling.
What's in those documents that makes paying the political price worth it?
Because our media has protected Obama by refusing to cover Fast and Furious, voters aren't anywhere near as educated on the story as they were, say, the nothingburger that was Valerie Plame. But for decades, executive privilege has been synonymous with Watergate and cover ups.
From the looks of this poll released today, it still is:
The Hill Poll found that likely voters disapproved by an almost 2-to-1 margin of Obama’s assertion of presidential power in the case. Overall, 56 percent of voters disapproved of his action, while only 29 percent approved. …
Sixty-one percent of independents said they disapproved of the president’s actions, and just 25 percent approved. Among Republicans, opposition to the president’s use of executive privilege was more entrenched at 78 percent.
Even 28 percent of Democrats, and 30 percent of self-identified liberals disapproved of Obama’s position.
After the President invoked executive privilege, the media was forced to cover a story it had strenuously covered up for a year. In response, the media attempted to paint the President's move as a fight against a renegade Republican Congress playing political games during an election year. Not only does this poll prove that tactic failed, my guess is that these numbers will get worse as people start to ask, "What the heck is Fast and Furious?"
Our government flooding thousands of guns into Mexico, a few hundred dead innocent Mexicans and two dead American law enforcement officers later -- the President is only going to find himself in more trouble.
Contrary to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney's absurd statement that the President's first ever use of executive privilege was a "principled" move meant to protect the need for an administration to know its policy conversations will remain private (a perfectly valid use of executive privilege), no one believes that's the case here. Or if they do, they wonder what in the world needs to be protected about a failed policy. Even so, executive privilege is only considered a truly valid move when it comes to national security issues.
What's especially troubling, though, is that the use of executive privilege in the case of Fast and Furious opens up a new line of questioning about how much Obama knew about a scandal that the White House claims it was unaware of until hearing about it on the news.
Over the weekend, I suggested that a super PAC needs to be started if we're ever going to get all the facts out to the public. Like the Swiftboat Veterans for Truth 2004 ad campaign, we need to go around the media in order to report truths the media will never tell. Most importantly, we need to let voters know that the most likely and logical motive behind this indefensible gunrunning operation was the Obama Administration's desire to cause chaos in order to push gun control.
This poll shows the people are ready to listen.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC