19 April 2010

Great moments in passivity

AP | Liz Sidoti | Poll: 4 out of 5 Americans don't trust Washington

America's "Great Compromiser" Henry Clay called government "the great trust," but most Americans today have little faith in Washington's ability to deal with the nation's problems.

Public confidence in government is at one of the lowest points in a half century, according to a survey from the Pew Research Center. Nearly 8 in 10 Americans say they don't trust the federal government and have little faith it can solve America's ills, the survey found.

The survey illustrates the ominous situation President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party face as they struggle to maintain their comfortable congressional majorities in this fall's elections. Midterm prospects are typically tough for the party in power. Add a toxic environment like this and lots of incumbent Democrats could be out of work.
I like how it's "a toxic environment" that will give Democrats problems. It's certainly not that a majority of voters actively dislike how they've been governed, and it's not that Washington has done anything to foster this dislike. It's not individual human being acting under their own agency being displeased, it's just part of "the environment."  Distrust is apparently like the pollen in the DC now, or the humidity we'll have in a month: it's just in the air. Just something to be dealt with, and not something that the government has actually brought upon itself.
"Trust in government rarely gets this low," said Andrew Kohut, director of the nonpartisan center that conducted the survey. "Some of it's backlash against Obama. But there are a lot of other things going on."

And, he added: "Politics has poisoned the well."
Politics IS the well. There's no such thing as government without politics.
Distrust could lead people to refuse to vote or get involved in their own communities.
Sidoti confuses society with government. See Bastiat:
Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain." 
– Frederic Bastiat, "The Law"
In contrast, this guy may get it:
But Matthew Dowd, a top strategist on Bush's re-election campaign who now shuns the GOP label, says both Republicans and Democrats are missing the mark. 
"What the country wants is a community solution to the problems but not necessarily a federal government solution," Dowd said. Democrats are emphasizing the federal government, while Republicans are saying it's about the individual; neither is emphasizing the right combination to satisfy Americans, he said.
(Via Future Mrs. SB7)

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