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Obama Misses the Source of the Cynicism

Plus: WH tries the apocalypse argument.

12:00 PM, Jan 28, 2010 • By MARY KATHARINE HAM
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The American people are skeptical because they were able, much to the dismay of the president himself, to slow down the sausage-making on Capitol Hill enough to see how short it falls, not just of Obama's promises, but sometimes of even basic functionality. This is a point small-government conservatives have been making for years (about Democrat and Republican administrations alike), which is why they argue in favor of more tailored and local government/non-government solutions to domestic problems.

Americans are skeptical because, during the process Obama tried to prevent and obscure, they learned that their legislators often don't know the intended consequences of the giant bills they don't read, not to mention the unintended ones. Is it any wonder, at this point, that they'd like the government to try biting off less to chew, that they'd rather rely on themselves, even in times of low job security and high premiums?

Ironically, a liberal president's crusade, built on unshakeable faith in the federal government as a problem-solver, revealed to many in a new way how misplaced that faith can be.

"Every day, Americans meet their responsibilities to their families and their employers," Obama said last night. "It is an American value."

And, every day, they are right to question whether the federal government that brought you the process described above has any intention of doing the same for them. That is an American value, too.

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