Surprising Numbers

North Korea launched a missile earlier today. No surprise there, North Korea has no respect for international condemnation of their behavior. And no fear whatsoever that the condemnation is anything more than talk. They, quite rightly, see that all the UN blah, blah, blah is meaningless.

The surprise comes from Rasmussen Reports: 57% of Americans want a military response to North Korea’s provocations. These are absolute majorities of Republicans, independents and Democrats. Yes, Democrats.

Fifty-seven percent (57%) of U.S. voters nationwide favor a military response to eliminate North Korea’s missile launching capability. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that just 15% of voters oppose a military response while 28% are not sure.

North Korea defied international pressure and launched a missile last night. Officials from that country claim a satellite was placed in orbit. U.S. defense officials confirm that a missile was launched but that no object was placed in orbit.

“With this provocative act, North Korea has ignored its international obligations, rejected unequivocal calls for restraint, and further isolated itself from the community of nations,” President Obama said.

The telephone survey was conducted Friday and Saturday, April 3-4, the two days immediately prior to North Korea’s launch. The question asked about a military response if North Korea actually did launch a long-range missile.

Support for a military response comes from 66% of Republicans, 52% of Democrats and 54% of those not affiliated with either major political party. There is no gender gap on the issue as a military response is favored by 57% of men and 57% of women.

Meanwhile, Obama today points the finger of blame at America. Calling for an end to nuclear weapons he said this:

“As a nuclear power — as the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon — the United States has a moral responsibility to act,” he said. “We cannot succeed in this endeavor alone, but we can lead it.”

One cannot push the genii back into the bottle. One cannot close Pandora’s box. While an end to nuclear weapons would be a good thing, North Korea today explicitly showed why this particular Utopian fantasy is unworkable.  They also showed why the UN is meaningless.

Average Americans, however, surprised me with their response to the poll. Obama might be misjudging the reception his finger-pointing will bring.

One can but hope.

UPDATE: Or what Ed said.

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