May 31, 2002

JON GARTHWAITE points out that polls showing a decline in confidence in government are not really bad news for conservatives, since they undermine the public’s willingness to support new big-government initiatives, which conservatives don’t want.

Yeah. Question is, does it help Bush? That depends on whether Bush is a conservative of the sort that Garthwaite means, or a big-government Republican in the Nixon/Kristol mode. As Nixon proved, those folks don’t do well when confidence in government declines while they’re in office.