Given that small-government fiscal conservatism has been on the rise over the past year, it's tempting to assume that Americans' displeasure with Washington means they're tired of government in general--that, after the stimulus and Democrats' proposals for a government-run health insurance plan, they just want less government to exist.
But Hotline Editor in Chief Amy Walter cautions against this. It's not that Americans don't like government, Walter writes, they're just upset that it's not working:
In times of great stress and anxiety, voters demand more of their elected officials, not less. What they are tired of isn't government, but excuses and finger-pointing. Democrats won elections in 2006 and 2008 simply because they weren't the folks in power. Republicans will be able to pick up seats this year based on the same formula. But a majority is only as enduring as the results it can deliver. This requires a focus less on winning the majority and more about figuring out what to do once you're there.