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Tuesday, April 10, 20071176231761

The American People Aren't Against This Congress; They Are Against Any Congress

I'm normally sympathetic to South Dakota Politics, but their defense of President Bush's low job approval numbers (36.5% for, 60.3% against) by comparing them to the low job approval fo Congress (35.0% for, 55.8% against) misses the mark.

SDP blogger Ken Blanchard writes:

I anxiously await Chad [of left-wing South Dakotan blog Clean Cut Kid] telling me why the bad news only counts when its bad for Republicans.

The reason: the American people are opposed to Congress as an institution, but are not so opposed to the President. Political science research (see, for instance, Congress as Pulbic Enemy or Stealth Democracy) shows that Americans are opposed to the idea of a body that is dedicated to political compromise making decisions for us. We would rather our government be in the hands of experts, or people who are able to ignore politics and get things done.

It is not surprising that the public has a low view of the Congress. But as long as abolition of Article I is not on the ballot, that really doesn't matter. What does matter is that the American people don't think highly of Bush. And it's pretty clear where he lost them (staying too large and too long in Iraq) and where he lost conservatives (Harriet Miers).

However, in Blanchard's defense, Bush is not running again. He can't. Therefore this back-and-forth about Bush is somewhat philosophical. The post-presidency has long since begun.


"We would rather our government be in the hands of experts, or people who are able to ignore politics and get things done."

In short, what we really want is a benign dictatorship?

Posted by: Michael | Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Yes, I think so.

From an article [1] highlighted on a previous post [2]:

"But the striking finding to us was that, even setting aside [particular scandals and controversies], there was an undercurrent of intense disgust with intrinsic elements of democratic government, particularly democratic government in a technologically complex society of 270 million people, most of whom expect the government to do many things.

Although people, at least as represented by the individuals who participated in our survey and in our focus group, are effusive in praise for the concept of democracy as well as for the basic construction structure of the United States government, they recoil from what democracy looks like when seen in action and sometimes in inaction.. People love the rules of the game, but hate the game itself. Such a hatred of democratic procedures is obviously unhealthy and apparently springs from a patently unrealistic set of"

[1] http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=1049-0965%28199603%2929%3A1%3C57%3ACINETB%3E2.0.CO%3B2-U
[2] http://tdaxp.blogspirit.com/archive/2005/11/04/teaching-barbarism.html

Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Tuesday, April 10, 2007

I wonder. . . If HBO's next series was on Athens, with suitable amounts of sex and violence mixed with the history of their democracy, do you think people would start to get it?

*need more caffeine. . .!*

Posted by: Michael | Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Unfortunately the idea that the government should be run by experts is very well summed up in the German word F├╝hrerprinzip.

If the pictures of what happened there don't make people get it, I doubt HBO could.

Posted by: Michael Zappe | Thursday, April 12, 2007