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The PJ Tatler

by
Bryan Preston

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August 8, 2011 - 1:11 pm

I’ll give you the poll, and a snapshot of the reason so many Americans seem to have lost faith in the federal government. Here’s the poll.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 17% of Likely U.S. Voters think the federal government today has the consent of the governed.  Sixty-nine percent (69%) believe the government does not have that consent. Fourteen percent (14%) are undecided.  (To see survey question wording, click here.)

The number of voters who feel the government has the consent of the governed – a foundational principle, contained in the Declaration of Independence - is down from 23% in early May and has fallen to its lowest level measured yet.

Perhaps it’s no surprise voters feel this way since only eight percent (8%) believe the average member of Congress listens to his or her constituents more than to their party leaders. That, too, is the lowest level measured to date.  Eighty-four percent (84%) think the average congressman listens to party leaders more than the voters they represent.

The historic disapproval of Congress is surely part of the mix that has led to such a low regard for the government, and I’d venture that the manner in which ObamaCare became the law of the land — despite majority objection, and accompanied by overt smears of the bill’s opponents — has a lot to do with it too. The literally unbelievable attempt to pin the downgrade on the Tea Party that rose up to prevent it is just the latest sign of contempt that some in power have for the rest of us, and that contempt is more and more a two way street. But let’s take a look at what the government is doing to just one state.

Earlier this summer, the US Fish and Wildlife Department announced their decisions to seek protection for the “dunes sagebrush lizard.” This lizard is a subspecies of the a “common” reptile found in the western US. Hard to be both endangered and common…

The real effect of the listing would be to endanger the state’s oil and gas production industry. Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson said in May that the federal action “will bring exploration and production to a screeching halt.”

As the guys at AgendaWise noted last month, media outlets have been more than willing to assist the Obama Administration in assaulting jobs in the Lone Star State.

Too bad it doesn’t end there. Not content to just obliterate jobs and shutter a nationally-vital industry in the inconveniently productive (and conservative) Texas, the Obama Administration unveiled last week plans to essentially force the closure of much-needed power plants.

With Texans sweltering under a month-straight of triple-digit highs, and the electric-production grid straining to meet demand, the Environmental Protection Agency could well be putting Texas lives in danger.

The EPA would force coal-fired power generators to unrealistically cut emissions by early January. That means many plants would be forced to just shut down. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which manages the state’s power grid, says the EPA action could cause the state to “face a shortage of generation necessary to keep the lights on.”

Texans will remember this past winter, when bitter temperatures strained the grid and caused rolling blackouts. Eliminating generation capacity will all but ensure worse problems ahead.

Texans didn’t ask for any of this or give our consent for any of this. We voted in a Congressional delegation that doesn’t support any of it, and our state government has fought all of this every step of the way, loudly and publicly. And at least in the case of the EPA regs, Congress itself didn’t vote for any of these actions to be taken. When a Democrat-controlled Congress had the chance to weigh in on cap and trade (upon which the EPA’s actions are largely based) it declined. The government’s agencies have simply assumed powers not granted them, and Congress is evidently powerless to stop them now.

I love this country as much as anyone and served in the military to defend it, but the fact is, we’ve crossed a few lines in the past few years. So if you asked me directly if government has my consent to do what it’s doing, I would answer no. With a modifier or two if I’m in a particularly foul mood. Not only does the government not have my consent, it hasn’t even asked for my consent. The president has dubbed me an “enemy” and treated my state like a hostile power via federal agency power grabs.

I’d wager that every red state and several swing states have similar stories to tell in the Obama years. The Rasmussen poll reflects the spread of a “Come and Take It” mood across much of the nation.

Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.
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