Belle of Liberty

Letting Freedom Ring

Friday, April 27, 2012

Call Out the Cheerleaders

The tidings from the most recent Pew Research survey bode ill for federal politicians of all stripes, and also hint and how Americans really feel about Woodrow Wilson’s 17th Amendment.

More Americans trust their state, and even municipal, government to be honest than the federal government.  The statistics about municipal governments seem a bit incredible.  It’s the way Americans felt about the government 15 years ago, according to Pew.  That would take us back to 1997.  The year before, Congress approved the line item veto bill, only to have it struck down as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

James and Susan McDougal, friends of the Clintons were convicted of fraud and conspiracy in the Whitewater case, although Pres. Clinton was never indicted for any crimes, nor was Hilary.  Al Qaeda blew up the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, and a major welfare reform bill was signed into law, guaranteeing Bill Clinton’s re-election.  Major welfare reform succeeded; Hilary Clinton’s universal health care did not. 

A decade ago, Americans felt similarly about their local, state and federal governments.  No longer.  Today, just one in three has a favorable view of the federal government — the lowest level in 15 years, according to a Pew survey. The majority of Americans remain satisfied with their local and state governments — 61 percent and 52 percent, respectively, according to party affiliation — but only 33 percent feel likewise about the federal government.

In 2002, nearly double that figure, 64 percent, viewed the federal government favorably, and Americans held their local and state governments in similar esteem, at 67 percent and 62 percent, respectively.

There’s the expected partisan gap: A majority of Democrats, 51 percent, view the Obama-led government favorably, compared with 27 percent of independents and 20 percent of Republicans. During the Bush presidency, a majority of Republicans viewed the federal government favorably, while support for it faded among Democrats.

The poll also reveals that more Americans trust their state governments to be honest, efficient and less partisan than the federal government.  The survey of 1,514 people was conducted Apr. 4-15, with a margin of error of 2.9 percentage points.

The Democrats should be worried that their guy holds a majority of only 51 percent.  Among the vaunted independents, he only has a meager 27 percent, only 7 points above the Republicans, which is really much too high a number for GOP voters.  The number should be something like minus 10 percent.  What were they afraid of?

The good news is state governments are getting better numbers thanks to Gov. Chris Christie, Gary Johnson (a fiscal conservative), and Mitch Daniels.  There’s also more emphasis on state government thanks to the Tea Parties, who believe everything begins in their own backyards.

But never fear; the cheerleaders are in training for the summer campaign season and will be out in force to bolster support for the current administration and cheer on the riots that are expected after May Day.

Time will tell the tale.

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