[image via Drudge]

So I’m skimming along through my morning “news constitutional” yesterday, and I come across the WaPo Headline that promises to tell me “why people dislike government (and why it matters for 2010).” I chuckle as I click through, anticipating a host of stuff I already know but fear being hung by the neck until dead for if I speak up too much more about…those random acts of sedition I’d be accused of committing because I “feel” the same way and all that:

A new Pew poll finds historic levels of unhappiness about the federal government and its role in the lives of average Americans, unrest that is at the foundation of what is shaping up to be a strongly anti-incumbent political year.

The current conditions in public opinion amount to a “perfect storm” of disgust/distrust toward government, according to Pew poll director Andy Kohut, who cites “a dismal economy, an unhappy public, bitter partisan-based backlash, and epic discontent with Congress and elected officials” as the critical factors in this building tempest.

The article links through to a 142 page pdf file titled “The People and Their Government: Distrust, Discontent, Anger, and Partisan Rancor.” This document should be considered required reading. There’s a graphic on page 5 (full interactive version is here) that should stop us cold and make every one of us think long and hard about why we’re here and what we’re going to do about it.

State of the Nation v. Trust in Government below the jump:

Public trust in the Government hovering in the 20% range? Lowest numbers since Clinton’s first term…and worst numbers since Pew started tracking this stuff? REALLY? And, inside that same poll, news that a third of us say our own Government is a threat to us? That train of Hope and Change™ Obama rode into Washington on…what happened? All he has to show for his efforts to change the tone in Washington and across the Country are disgust, distrust, discontent, and anger. That surely isn’t what he had in mind, is it? And he can’t blame Bush for this mess-Bush was in the mid 50’s in 2001/2002. Obama has cut those numbers by more than HALF.

Go to the interactive graphic and take a close look at each of the questions as they are overlaid against “Trust.” Stunning doesn’t adequately describe the mess this Administration has made of this country. If he thinks HE’S got problems, maybe HE should look at this poll to get a glimpse of how WE feel about the ones he’s given us.