Social Security Under Fire
"CNN asked if Social Security, a program that's been in existence for more than 75 years, was constitutional. 21 percent said no. Tea Partiers were the likeliest to feel that way: 37 percent. They were followed by Republicans at 32 percent. Again, [Republican Presidential hopeful] Perry had previously criticized Social Security as unconstitutional, but has tempered his speech on the issue since landing the national spotlight. The CNN results seem to suggest that while it's not a popular argument generally, it does reverberate with a conservative minority, and is perhaps a way to attract a substantial base in a GOP primary."
The poll seems to suggest that Gov. Rick Perry's ideas have some traction. The old political trick of saying the same thing over and over works. But can it win him a national election?
Crisis In Democracy
"Public attitudes toward politics and government today resemble a game of limbo: how low can you go? Just when you think Americans’ confidence in their government has hit rock bottom, it sinks even further."
"These numbers [from a Gallup poll] point to a fundamental breach of trust that goes far beyond Americans’ habitual grousing about government. The public is losing faith in their political system’s basic capacity to forge consensus and grapple effectively with national problems. We’re experiencing a crisis in democracy that eclipses all the other big challenges we face."
This is very troubling -- even as the evidence without any poll mounts. It's easy to blame Conservative Republicans for stirring up discontent. And, they do create additional problems. However, in many respects they simply are reflecting the same concerns many of us have -- that our government is not meeting the challenges it must, that America is falling behind, that our leaders are under the thumb of big business and not acting in our collective best interests.
The Republican Hard-To-Believe-It Zone