February 11, 2010 9:11AM

A Time for Less Government?

The public is unhappy with government. How could it be otherwise, given the mess our governors have made? Reports the Washington Post:

Two‐​thirds of Americans are “dissatisfied” or downright “angry” about the way the federal government is working, according to a new Washington Post‐​ABC News poll. On average, the public estimates that 53 cents of every tax dollar they send to Washington is “wasted.”

Despite the disapproval of government, few Americans say they know much about the “tea party” movement, which emerged last year and attracted voters angry at a government they thought was spending recklessly and overstepping its constitutional powers. And the new poll shows that the political standing of former Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, who was the keynote speaker last week at the first National Tea Party Convention, has deteriorated significantly.

The opening is clear: Public dissatisfaction with how Washington operates is at its highest level in Post‐​ABC polling in more than a decade — since the months after the Republican‐​led government shutdown in 1996 — and negative ratings of the two major parties hover near record highs.

Surely this is a moment for a true political entrepreneur, someone who believes in liberty–across the board–willing to challenge Washington’s bipartisan consensus that government should grow ever bigger and more expensive. Someone who opposes expensive, and often deadly, social engineering at home and abroad. Someone willing to simply leave the American people alone, rather than determined to conscript them into yet another annoying, intrusive, and expensive national crusade. Someone willing to back up his or her rhetoric about individual liberty with action.