"QUALITY TIME" IN POLITICAL ENGAGEMENT
When the two-earner family became the norm, there was a lot of talk about how if parents spend "quality time" with their children, doing activities like reading and in depth conversation, then it would make up for the deficit in the quantity of time. The results have been, well, mixed.
I think a similar dynamic is taking place in the political process. We don't really get engaged in local elections or congressional debates. Instead we focus our energy on things like Supreme Court nominations. So, we don't get bothered if the state assembly passes a law that says that that the government can knock down my house so that Wal-Mart can get bigger, but we get up in arms when the Supreme Court says that the law doesn't violate the Constitution, and instead of focussing our efforts on ensuring that laws like this don't get passed, we focus on confirming Supreme Court justices who would strike it down.
It's laziness, pure and simple, and not how I think a democracy is supposed to work.