This opinion based article by Peter Wehner of website Politics Daily takes as its focus the results of last week's CNN poll which asked 1023 adult Americans about their trust in federal government.
Wehner states that,
'56 percent of people questioned [...] say they think the federal government has become so large and powerful that it poses an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens. Forty four percent of those polled disagree. The survey indicates a partisan divide on the question: only 37 percent of Democrats, but nearly 7 in 10 Republicans, say the federal government poses a threat to the rights of Americans.'
Given that Obama's latest job approval rating on Gallup is fifty percent, this latest CNN poll suggests the instability of American citizens' trust in government and their association of Obama with big government threats. The height of the Health Care Bill within the media last week will of certainly affected the results of the poll conducted. Wehner goes on to say that,
'When Obama took office, trust in government was already low; rather than setting about to incrementally rebuild confidence, Obama made a fateful decision to exploit the economic crisis in order to enlarge the size, scope and reach of the state.'
Wehner's typically anti-Obama and anti-Health Care reform view do not however lead him into a patriotic Tea Party infused debate (like so many people are tapping into currently). He instead notes of the dangers of recent public anger and frustration in damaging original 'American' notions of governance which have defined progress in politics for centuries, 'the levels of mistrust toward government can also be corrosive and harmful to our nation. '
What is refreshing about this article is the author's belief that 'true' American politics will return in a Republican environment of responsibility and responsiveness.
'It is not enough to simply pour kerosene onto the bonfire. Republicans need public figures (like Gov. Mitch Daniels, former Gov. Jeb Bush and Rep. Paul Ryan) who can articulate an alternative view of government in a way that isn't simplistic, that isn't angry, or that doesn't appeal (as I worry Sarah Palin sometimes does) to cultural resentments.'
Wehner's disapproval of Palin suggests his lack of faith in the grass roots campaign of the Tea Party; that such movements are useful in venting federal government related anger but helpless in reclaiming confidence and support of a republican government, which could enhance a 2012 win.
Indeed, restoring confidence within the American people could prove successful in republican campaigns in the run up to 2012; a limited government rhetoric suggests more control of individual states and therefore more localised, community based action.