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Long IslandColumnists

Political blame game sees the boomerang effect

Nobody's happy. And all the options stink.

That, right there, pretty much sums up the public mood around here when it comes to politics and government.

Taxes are too high. Opportunities are too few. Everything's too expensive. And nothing is likely to improve.

Welcome to Grumpy Island! When did everyone get so pessimistic? Isn't the economy actually starting to brighten a bit?

If there was any doubt about this rising tide of dissatisfaction, it was fully dispelled by the Newsday/News 12 Long Island/Hofstra University poll. Pity the poor survey-takers! Almost every question they asked was greeted with a surly response!

How satisfied are you with how things are going in the country? Seventy percent dissatisfied.

The state? Seventy-four percent dissatisfied.

Which political party would do the best job making things better? Democrats? Republicans? It was "no difference" by a mile!

And when the questioning turned to the real-life Long Island challenges, such as school funding at a tight financial time - well, no one seemed at all inclined to accept anything less. People are solidly opposed to increasing class size, cutting programs, laying off teachers and, of course, raising taxes.

It's tempting to blame pandering politicians and flabby bureaucrats, and no doubt they have their maddening failings.

But don't we also deserve some blame?

If our only response is to hate the people we vote for, grumble at what they do and refuse to make hard choices - maybe the old expression has never been more true:

We really do get the government we deserve.

ASKED AND UNANSWERED: How do we clone Steven Lo Verde? The red-light Good Samaritan couldn't witness that horrible accident in Carle Place and not act . . . Question about the LIRR's big project in Babylon: Is it a "green" car wash for environmental reasons, or because of all the stimulus cash? . . . How overstaffed is the New York Racing Association if layoffs are coming even AFTER a big state bailout? . . . Does Oyster Bay really want to be known as the Arizona of Long Island? U.S. District Judge Denis Hurley has temporarily blocked the town's day-laborer ordinance, but everyone's back in court on Friday . . . Has obscure ex-congressman Rick Lazio really picked as his running mate the obscure Chautauqua County executive Gregory J. Edwards? . . . Was it dumb to rob the same Islandia Walmart twice - or just dumb to rob it twice in the same week? Thomas Wolfe, 33, one of two guys fingered by a sharp-eyed security guard, may soon have time to reflect on that.


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