Thursday, April 22, 2010

April 20, 2010

      Arizona Republican Senator John McCain, who's been a presidential candidate for his party, is facing a tough Senate reelection campaign this year against a conservative Tea Party type named J.D. Hayworth, a former congressman and radio talk show host. Conservative?  He voted against an anti-immigration bill which would have barred religious charities from aiding illegals because he thought it was too soft.  He has accused President Obama of "identity theft," which I think is a reference to the untrue charge that Obama wasn't born in the United States.  And on gay marriage, according to the Washington Post:  "I guess that would mean if you really had affection for your horse, I guess you could marry your horse."  Yes, conservative.      McCain has faults too, of course.  He has a famously hot temper which he doesn't always control, for instance.  But compared to Hayworth?  Aw, c'mon.      Still, what's going on in Arizona may reflect the national mood.  A new Pew Research Center poll reports that just 22% of Americans say they can trust their government all or most of the time.  Only 19% say they are "basically content" with government;  56% say they are "frustrated" and 21% say they are "angry."  The survey says Americans have negative views of lots of things--banks, Congress, the national news media.  Positive views?  Colleges, churches, small businesses.      I don't know exactly what this means or how permanent this pessimism/despair may be.  Most of our problems--our two wars, for instance--go back to George W. Bush not Obama.  But if the poll is right--and there's no reason to think it isn't--it should be a fascinating November.  
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