Monday, April 19, 2010

Government Distrust

Here's a piece about the problem of government distrust.

And here's what I think about it.

The Republicans are in the minority but not out of power. Successfully undermining Obama with obstructionism and political cynicism are elements and indications of power. Having a majority today doesn't equate to being the party in power. Republicans have nothing to lose by lying, since the people believe that all politicians lie anyway. Republicans fall in line, but Dems fall all over themselves, and by doing so appear to the public as indecisive, lacking in moral conviction and weak. Their problem is not lacking in conviction, it's having too many conflicting convictions. The GOPhers aren't hindered by moral convictions to make them fall out of line. They have an instinct and a determination to march in lock step against the enemy which humiliated them in the last election.
The party in "power" is the only target voters have, so Obama could lose his Congressional majority in November big time. Then in 2012 it could reverse again, with the public taking out its frustration on the GOPhers, especially if they are seen as the current corrupt group at that time, against which the public can turn.
It's not the two frustrating wars by themselves which are causing the anger. It's the unemployment problem which scares people. Even those who still are employed, are looking over their shoulder, and wondering when they will get the ax. That's the acute pain people are feeling. The wars, sadly enough, have been relegated to being felt like chronic and nagging discomfort, making one cranky pretty much all the time.
On an even more subconscious level we now have earthquakes on a global basis, global warming, the Israeli/Palestinian intractable problem, not to mention an obstreporous volcano. Talk about an inconvenient truth!
But "it's still the economy stupid", which makes people, who might generally feel just out of sorts, angry and looking for someone to lash out at. (Oops, I just ended a sentence with a preposition. New England academic elites tell me I should write, "looking for someone at which to lash out. Loses something in translation don't you think?)
In retrospect I'm glad we made a first step toward providing affordable health care for most people, though polls indicate that health care for all has not been seen by the electorate as crucial to its own interests. Those who will benefit most from HCR. while huge in terms of absolute number, are a small percentage of, and perhaps the least influential in, the electorate.
Obama might get some needed regulation passed to reign in the narcissistic high rollers on Wall Street, especially if the Feds handle the Goldman Sachs thing wisely( don't hold your breath). But here again the GOPhers will get away with blatant lying that Obama and the Dems are the only corrupt party and too cozy with Wall Street. Geithner and Summers are convenient examples of cozy.
The nation discounts lying as already expected, and so many people who don't, won't or can't think, buy into the lies and vote against their own interests, just because they're pissed off in general. I think that's what the Tea Party is taking advantage of and why GOPhers in office are not disassociating themselves from it.
Obama must be thinking, "I can't win for losing". Perception, as they say, is everything.


Old Dude said...

It seems to me that the so called Tea Party folks are just a random group of citizens with growing anger toward the Government. Let's face it, there are a lot of things to be upset about. But what we see is this "movement" being used by politicians and blabbermouths for their own reasons. This will not end happily for the citizens. Our nation is busy building a Plutocracy brick by brick, and the Tea Party is just another way to help achieve that sorry goal.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper said...

The more sanguine among us say this too shall pass when the economy turns around more obviously, that is to say, when jobs start coming back.

The jerks we always have with us. The media rewards them with exposure when it seems to be what I call an OOPS phenomena, an out of pattern anomaly.