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Best. Congress. Ever.
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Or so the faithful were led to believe in January of this year. But it is now August and reality has apparently set in among the masses:
A new Gallup Poll finds Congress' approval rating the lowest it has been since Gallup first tracked public opinion of Congress with this measure in 1974. Just 18% of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing, while 76% disapprove, according to the August 13-16, 2007, Gallup Poll.

So how in the world did they sink that low that fast? Well the next graph explains that:

All three groups, Republicans, Democrats and Independents, have apparently lost any semblance of confidence in this Congress and now disapprove of it in whopping numbers. Republicans, from a high in February of 37% to a low this week of 18%, Independents from 33% in January to 17% this week and most surprising, Democrats from a high of 44% approval in February to 21% in August.

What does this portend? Well your guess is as good as anyone else's in that regard. Maybe not much of anything since Congress is a local game (your Rep and your Senators). But what it does point out is that this Congress is going to have a rough time leveraging a lame duck president from any real position of power, that's for sure.

The reasons for this drop are multiple. The bickering and partisanship have increased not decreased as promised. Any hope of bi-partisanship was killed by the tactics used in the House by Democrats in their first "100 hours". Republicans are finally acting like Republicans which is frustrating the heck out of Democrats. The Senate majority is so slim that the minority wields more power than the majority. Iraq is still there and Democrats have done zip about it. And after all the Democratic complaining and caterwauling about FISA they capitulated on Bush's FISA bill and handed him everything he wanted. Last, but certainly not least, they've spent all their time investigating marginal, and to most Americans, unimportant things while accomplishing nothing of importance.

Huh ... so then it's not so hard to explain. The question is, can a Democratic leadership, which to this point has, well, sucked, do anything about it after the August recess?
 
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The Bickering, The Wailing, The Lack of attention to the rest of us... the smell of a minor success. It is nice being somewhat left alone.
 
Written By: Ed on West Slope
URL: http://
Republicans, from a high in February of 33% to a low this week of 17%, Independents from 37% in January to 18% this week
I believe the highlighted portions are transposed.

NED
 
Written By: NewEnglandDevil
URL: http://
I believe you’re right. Edited (thanks).
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Possibly because so many found out (the hard way) that "The adults are now in charge" is just so much bullpoop...in the extreme.
 
Written By: Sharpshooter
URL: http://
I hope the Congress will vote the Pelosi leadership out of office and will have the wisdom to replace it with a less partisan and more unifying Speaker and leadership.

PS same goes for Harry Reid

So as not to "Biden" myself, credit goes to Carl Levin
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
Ouch, so approval has never been above 50% except for brief spikes at the end of the Clinton administration, start of the Bush Administration, 9/11, and the start of the Iraq war? I wonder if Fareed Zakaria is correct in his assertion (in his "Future of Freedom" book) that part of the cause of this is the sunshine-laws that made congressional proceedings more open (and therefore, more easily observed by lobbyists/special interests.)

Sort of ironic that some of the legislation passed in the wake of 9/11, during the biggest spike in approval ratings, is now some of the most divisive and controversial (e.g. USA PATRIOT act, etc.)
 
Written By: James O
URL: http://
Actually, if your standard is a do-nothing deadlocked congress, this actually may be the Best. Congress. Ever.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Actually, if your standard is a do-nothing deadlocked congress, this actually may be the Best. Congress. Ever.
Heh ... yeah, there is a bit of irony in that, isn’t there?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
I would suggest that the continuous media attention to the different investigations of the administration by the Democratic congress certainly would give the impression that nothing else is being done. And then to learn that none of the spending bills have been passed turns that impression into reality. People may not agree on what should be in the spending bills, but whether one is on the left or right not working on the spending bills is not appreciated. i.e., congress has its priorities screwed up.
 
Written By: AMR
URL: http://
Well your guess is as good as anyone else’s in that regard.
To hazard a guess, I’d say that the right is ticked because the Dems keep saying things that while pleasing to the nutroots, are huge propaganda bonuses to our enemies. The left is ticked because those same Dems wont actually follow through on their rhetoric.
 
Written By: bains
URL: http://
I see John Gibson yesterday saying that the reason the Democrats did so well on the most recent election was not objection to the Iraq war, as much as it was a voter reaction to the sense of entitlement exhibited by Duke Cunningham, Mark Foley and Bob Ney.

This thinking would seem to fly directly in the face of the conventional wisdom... which suggests that the whole thing is tighter performance specific to the Iraq war... And that is an argument that insofar as the republicans are concerned anyway, I’ve rejected from the outset. Granted that the left is PO’d that Congress hasn’t moved fast enough to surrender in Iraq. However, the rest of us are probably annoyed that they’re trying to surrender and Iraq, if they think about it much in all, and are more worried about the entitlement syndrome of which Gibson speaks.

This would seem to fly in the face also of the idea that Hillary Clinton is going to do well in the general election. After all, given her legislative record (more correctly, the lack thereof) what else could she possibly be running on, aside from a sense of entitlement? Certainly, all but the most part end of democrats will affect up on that, by now, and will so reject her claim on the throne... errr... white house, out of hand.

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
Its easy to understand why their ratings are so low, because they can anger so many people on so many issues.

The Iraq War: they angered both the supporters and those who wanted to defund. Reyes managed to anger everyone because he didn’t know the difference between Shia and Sunni.

Immigration: they angered those who supported reform, those who wanted even more radical reform, those against reform, and the nativists. Even those who are happy with the outcome didn’t like the process.

Spending: They anger those who want more and those who want less.

FISA wiretaps...they anger those who worry about civil liberties and they anger people on the right who told their liberal buddies that it wasn’t really illegal and not a big deal anyways and now the frickin’ Dems pass a law saying, oh yeah, I guess it was a good idea. So even those who like the result get angry at the process...why am I forced to have a partisan debate with my friend on this stuff and then his party goes ahead a year later to prove me right. (We’ll see the same thing with Hillary on SS reform in 2009.)

rant off.
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
If Duke Cunningham, Mark Foley and Bob Ney were the reason for the November election win by the Democrats, then the continued earmarks, and the new ethics bill that makes is illegal for a lobbyist to pay for Congress’ lunch unless a contribution follows, gives the electorate all the more reason to dislike this Congress.
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
Bithead wrote: "I see John Gibson yesterday saying that the reason the Democrats did so well on the most recent election was not objection to the Iraq war, as much as it was a voter reaction to the sense of entitlement exhibited by Duke Cunningham, Mark Foley and Bob Ney."

That and the spending like heroin addicted sailors.

Yet, count the examples of "entitlement" on the other side of the aisle: Murtha, Pelosi’s husband, Jefferson, Reid’s real estate scams, Shrillary’s scams on everything-uder-the-sun,...

Remember, too, that the Keating Five scandal was four Dem’s and one Repub (McCain) and NOT ONE was voted out of office (and McCain is STILL there).

Republicans will get rid of their garbage, democrats think their power is some sort of "divine right".
 
Written By: Sharpshooter
URL: http://
If Duke Cunningham, Mark Foley and Bob Ney were the reason for the November election win by the Democrats, then the continued earmarks, and the new ethics bill that makes is illegal for a lobbyist to pay for Congress’ lunch unless a contribution follows, gives the electorate all the more reason to dislike this Congress.
They were examples of the reasoning involved, not the sole reasons. Past that quibble, your point is taken... And is in the end more or less my own point.
That and the spending like heroin addicted sailors.
I suspect that to some degree, the republicans and independents are going to be more forgiving of that kind of thing in the wartime environment we currently find ourselves in.

But in the end, between the entitlement business, and spending all of their time trying to arrange for our surrender in Iraq, I suggest that the democrats are going to have a great deal of explaining to do, between now and next November... frankly, I don’t think they’re going to be successful at it.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us

 
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