Escalation Blues

ESCALATION BLUES….The Washington Post reports on an overnight poll conducted after last night’s speech:

The findings of the survey, conducted after Bush’s primetime speech, represent an initial rebuke to the White House goal of generating additional public support for the mission in Iraq. The poll found that 61 percent of Americans oppose sending more than 20,000 additional troops to Iraq, with 52 percent saying they strongly oppose the plan. Just 36 percent said they back the president’s new proposal.

No surprise there. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if his speech actually increased the number of people who oppose a surge. It was that bad.

In other results, “53 percent of Americans support Democrats’ efforts to cut off funds for additional troops, with 44 percent opposed.” Now, Republicans might block a funding cutoff in the Senate, and Bush would veto it even if they didn’t, but what’s the argument for not trying it? As far as I can tell, it’s almost entirely political, a fear that trying to cut off funding would be unpopular with the public. And yet, it’s not, is it? So what’s the argument again?