Surveys say

Published December 21, 2004 3:00PM (EST)

We are a confused lot, aren't we? On the one hand, Americans seem to know exactly how a failed secretary of defense can redeem himself: By resigning. A majority thinks Rummy should step aside. Bold of them, no?

Don't get too excited. In another new poll, fewer than two-thirds said Americans should be allowed to criticize the government in a time of war. Seen the other way, more than a third of Americans think speaking out against government policy right now should be banned, presumably by government. And how many of those First Amendment foes support Bush's mission of spreading democracy by military force, we wonder? It's a curious vision of democracy, this idea that government should be able to ban anti-government speech. Almost Saddam-like, even!

Cue founding fathers, spinning in graves.

By Geraldine Sealey

Geraldine Sealey is senior news editor at

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