In an Aug 17th interview, Noam Chomsky mentions an interesting Program on International Policy Attitudes poll on the US budget in Feb 2005, as an indicator of just how far from the mainstream the Bush administration and Congress is:
"What's happened is that both political parties are pretty far to the right of the general population on a host of serious issues... If you take a look at popular attitudes on international affairs, on international crisis, on who should take the lead on the so-called "War on Terror", on domestic issues like healthcare, on and on, [the public's attitudes are] just radically different.
One of the most striking examples was the major study of public opinion right after the Federal budget was announced in February of 2005, the Federal budget of the Bush administration. There was a major study by the Program on International Policy Attitudes, the most respected polling institution. Public attitudes were almost exactly the opposite of the budget.
Where the budget was going up the public wanted it to go down, by large majorities: military spending, supplementals for Iraq and Afghanistan, and so on. Where spending was going down the public wanted it to go up, also by very large majorities: health, education, welfare, renewable energy, support for the United Nations...
[But] the results [of this poll] were apparently not reported. A friend of mine who does database searches checked carefully and couldn't find a single report in any American newspaper of very dramatic information: information that says the public is completely opposed, radically opposed, to the Federal budget, meaning public policy. And the same has been true on occasion after occasion. Now that's a serious problem within the United States."