So why are the Democrats seeing militiamen under every rock, and Oklahoma City comparisons around every corner?
Not because of any evidence, of course; the rallies themselves are so peaceful that some police departments hold them to a looser standard than the loopier anti-war demonstrations. And the fact remains that every known act of actual political violence in the past several years has been left-on-right.
No – as with anything else Bill Clinton does, it’s about a poll:
Dig past the headline of the Pew study and one discovers why Bill Clinton is insinuating that “demonizing” government could cause another Oklahoma City bombing. If these numbers are at all close to reality, something one can hardly doubt just now, the American people have issued a no-confidence vote in government, at both the national and state level. To the extent one believes in the “consent of the governed,” consent is being eroded.
This report isn’t bad news for the Democrats. It’s Armageddon.
Remember – the Democratic Party’s big platform is “Government Brings Good Things To Life”.
The survey compares views sampled in 1997 with now. The “now” is the Democrats’ problem. The survey took place this mid-March. After one year of the charismatic, ever-present Barack Obama, after passage of the party’s totemic health-care bill, after spending zillions on Keynesian pump-priming, the American people—well beyond the tea partiers—have the lowest opinion ever of national government.
A year ago, 54% said government should exert more control over the economy; a year later it’s 40%.
Some 58% say Uncle Sam is interfering too much in state and local affairs; 53% want “very major reform” of the federal government. After health care passed in March, Pew re-sampled in early April: Trust in government rose—to 25% from 22%. Inspector Clouseau would call that a “bmp.”
Barack Obama’s speeches are filled with the Democrats’ core claim to legitimacy: Government must and will do good. It must “act.” But in a crucial period when voters across the political spectrum were losing faith in that core claim, the Democrats lost any self-protective sense of what they were doing with public budgets. Barack Obama took a rising reservoir of public trust for his party (62% said they liked the Democrats in January 2009), and emptied it. Since he took office, the percentage of people who want smaller government and fewer services has risen, to 50% from 42%.
Better late than never – although be watching for the pundits to start scolding the American people about “Schizophrenia” for voting for a statist one cycle and a bunch neo-libertarians the next.
If that doesn’t help, start looking for pieces on how “the American people don’t deserve Barack Obama!” shortly after.