Monday, April 19, 2010

A Vote of No Confidence?

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.

The survey found that just 22 percent of those questioned say they can trust Washington almost always or most of the time and just 19 percent say they are basically content with it. Nearly half say the government negatively effects their daily lives, a sentiment that's grown over the past dozen years.


  1. You have to love the way the AP writer framed this article with a quote from Henry Clay, but I wonder how much the media is complicit in this "overwhelming" disapproval in government, given how much creedence it has given the Tea Party and other naysayers this past year. And, of course, one has to ask who is the voter going to turn to in November? The Tea Party?

  2. The bailout of Wall Street is no doubt driving most of the discontent, and the bailout sure has reaffirmed everything I hoped wasn't true about Washington. I still don't have any confidence that real financial reform will be enacted.

    As for the media, excepting Fox News I don't think they are giving too much credence to the Tea Party movement. It is what it is. Suspiciously racial in makeup? Of course. Completely devoid of arguable positions? No.

  3. As I understand, most if not all of the Wall St. bailout came with the Bush stimulus bill. The Obama stimulus bill was aimed at a much broader public, which included Cash for Clunkers, Relief from Foreclosures, and other programs, and to date only about 1/3 of it has been spent.

    Of course, the general public isn't very discerning in this regard, and it seems that over the past 16 months just about all the ills of the past 10 years have been dumped on Obama's lap.

  4. "the general public isn't very discerning in this regard"

    True. But then, the Democrats have done absolutely nothing to enlighten the ignorant public. I don't ever see any of them on daily/weekly tv or radio shows bringing out facts like that. As a consequence, the public believes the Dems are wasting taxpayer money while it is the GOP that has actually done so.

    Even though it is the Dems who always bring us out of Republican created recessions or other problems, they choose to remain silent in the face of Republican lies. Back in 2000 they could easily have won the election but none of them stood up for Gore. Instead, they allowed the GOP to make up lies by pretending the economy and the nation were in a bad shape. Had they stood up by speaking the truth Bush would never have won, we would have been spared two needless wars, and the economy would be sound.

    Silence is death. And it is a choice. Nobody can blame the Republicans for being enterprising through their endless lies. It is the stupidity of the Democrats who choose to be silent that is the real problem.

  5. Seems the Dems like to appear on more gentile programs than venture into the crossfire on mainstream media. I thought Obama put the House Republicans in their place at Annapolis, but his administration didn't really follow up on it, and now that event is almost completely forgotten. Obama said he would get into a "campaign mode" and now's the time to do it. Other Dems need to follow suit.

  6. "more gentile programs"

    So, which are the Jewish ones?

  7. I guess I did spell that wrong. Thanks for pointing it out NYT ; )

    Seems the Dems are waiting for health care to kick in and the stimulus bill to start churning out jobs then they can tell the public, "I told you so."

  8. Thanks for the ;) Gintaras, I couldn't resist because it recalled an ancient spoof of Glen Campbell singing "Ever Gentile On My Mind."

    Can't be down about Repugs or otherwise at the moment, am still in afterglow of watching "Earth Days" on PBS...wish my kid hadn't been doing homework, hope she'll see it later.

  9. No confidence in the government?

    So where are the Tea bagging hypocrites today?

    Only a short while ago, of course, the populist right was riding high, sweeping the primaries and insisting that the operations of the market must not be interfered with; that government intervention of even the slightest kind dangerously diminishes human freedom.

    Just last week, for example, the Washington Post featured a 2,500-word essay by Arthur C. Brooks, head of the American Enterprise Institute, calling for a "New Culture War" for laissez-faire capitalism—a grand moral debate over the right relationship of business and government that Mr. Brooks felt his side was sure to win.


  10. Yea, pretty hard to swallow all that oil. Three corporate giants arguing with each other over who is to blame for the spill. Neither BP, TransOcean nor Halliburton will own up to it, so now they try to cast the blame on Mineral Management Services, which of course was corrupted from all those years under Dubya and Dick, skirting around the off shore drilling ban, safety regulations and just about everything else.

    Of course, the easy targets are now Salazar and Obama, since MMS has been under their watch the past 17 months. Not enough time to clean it up I guess, but I hope this spill leads to a major purge in this government organization, and that criminal charges will be filed as Holder has promised.