T Nation

Congressional Disapproval

I’ve mentioned it in another thread, but a new low has been achieved:

[i]New Gallup data show confidence in Congress at all time low
Just 14% of Americans have a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in Congress.

This 14% Congressional confidence rating is the all-time low for this measure, which Gallup initiated in 1973. The previous low point for Congress was 18% at several points in the period of time 1991 to 1994.

Congress is now nestled at the bottom of the list of Gallup’s annual Confidence in Institutions rankings, along with HMOs. Just 15% of Americans have a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in HMOs. (By way of contrast, 69% of Americans have a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in the military, which tops the list. More on this at galluppoll.com on Thursday).

It?s worth remembering that Congress is basically nothing more than a mechanism for the representation of the people?s wishes. We all can?t go to Washington. So we elect men and women and send them off in our stead. It?s not an optimal situation, it seems to me, when such a low percentage of average Americans have confidence in this system.

Generally speaking, Americans have been skeptical about Congress for decades now. But the current 14% confidence rating for Congress is down from 19% last year and is the lowest in Gallup?s history, surpassing the 18% confidence in Congress measured in 1991, 1993 and 1994.

Americans’ are generally in a sour mood, as discussed here. The particularly low rating for Congress this year thus represents a continuation of the existing low esteem in which Congress is held, coupled with a strongly negative mindset on the part of the American public. [/i]

http://blogs.usatoday.com/gallup/

Strangely, in 2006, we heard talk that the electing of Democrats was a repudiation of Bush and his GOP and that a “paradigm shift” was in the works with a mandate for liberalism.

And yet, with Bush’s numbers in the basement, the Democratic Congress is actually faring worse.

Is this a sign that Democrats are damned in 2008?

Or is it merely that Americans are just mad at Congress (as the article suggests) and can distinguish the historical dislike?

I continue to find it amazing that Democrats continue to do so poorly in the face of Bush’s and the GOP’s failures. With sincerity, I mean that - the GOP has never been weaker in modern politics, and the Democrats have a meatball coming right at the plate, just begging to be slapped out of the park.

So why do Democrats keep whiffing?

[quote]thunderbolt23 wrote:

So why do Democrats keep whiffing?[/quote]

Because they don’t have a bat.

Nancy Pelosi

Sometimes, one name is worth more than a thousand words.

I would attribute this to a general disapproval of politics and government and not just of disapproval of democrats. I think people might actually be waking up to the fact that the federal government has become too bloated and ineffective at governing. This might be a good argument for our next president to start cutting the “fat”.

It’s simple, really. Liberals/Democrats took the elections to mean that the public approved of their policies. However, it wasn’t the case. The elections illustrated a strong dissatisfaction with the Republicans, and was not a mandate for Leftist policies.

Basically, Republicans were swatted on the nose by conservatives (apathy), while Democrats were energized to vote. If a guy like Thompson does enter 2008, which is almost certain, you’ll see conservatives fired up. On the flip side, I’m starting to think there will be a considerable amount of apathy amongst the left this time around.

With approval numbers like that even a considerable amount of leftists are upset with the Democrat’s performance. Will it translate to staying at home during the '08 performance election? We shall see.

Oh, and don’t forget corruption and pork. Republicans were hurting with charges of such things, remember? In fact, the Democrats ran on a platform of cleaning such things up. So far, they’ve not only disappointed, but their own members have been caught up in corruption and Pork barrel spending.

So the parliament rates somewhere along with used car salesmen and the military is deemed trustworthy?

Ouch.

Excellent news for a democratic republic.

[quote]thunderbolt23 wrote:
I’ve mentioned it in another thread, but a new low has been achieved:

[i]New Gallup data show confidence in Congress at all time low
Just 14% of Americans have a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in Congress.

This 14% Congressional confidence rating is the all-time low for this measure, which Gallup initiated in 1973. The previous low point for Congress was 18% at several points in the period of time 1991 to 1994.

Congress is now nestled at the bottom of the list of Gallup’s annual Confidence in Institutions rankings, along with HMOs. Just 15% of Americans have a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in HMOs. (By way of contrast, 69% of Americans have a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in the military, which tops the list. More on this at galluppoll.com on Thursday).

It?s worth remembering that Congress is basically nothing more than a mechanism for the representation of the people?s wishes. We all can?t go to Washington. So we elect men and women and send them off in our stead. It?s not an optimal situation, it seems to me, when such a low percentage of average Americans have confidence in this system.

Generally speaking, Americans have been skeptical about Congress for decades now. But the current 14% confidence rating for Congress is down from 19% last year and is the lowest in Gallup?s history, surpassing the 18% confidence in Congress measured in 1991, 1993 and 1994.

Americans’ are generally in a sour mood, as discussed here. The particularly low rating for Congress this year thus represents a continuation of the existing low esteem in which Congress is held, coupled with a strongly negative mindset on the part of the American public. [/i]

http://blogs.usatoday.com/gallup/

Strangely, in 2006, we heard talk that the electing of Democrats was a repudiation of Bush and his GOP and that a “paradigm shift” was in the works with a mandate for liberalism.

And yet, with Bush’s numbers in the basement, the Democratic Congress is actually faring worse.

Is this a sign that Democrats are damned in 2008?

Or is it merely that Americans are just mad at Congress (as the article suggests) and can distinguish the historical dislike?

I continue to find it amazing that Democrats continue to do so poorly in the face of Bush’s and the GOP’s failures. With sincerity, I mean that - the GOP has never been weaker in modern politics, and the Democrats have a meatball coming right at the plate, just begging to be slapped out of the park.

So why do Democrats keep whiffing?[/quote]
Perhaps we could mention why they aren’t approving? (Hint: haven’t ended republicans war yet.)

[quote]100meters wrote:

Perhaps we could mention why they aren’t approving? (Hint: haven’t ended republicans war yet.)[/quote]

  1. So if true, why aren’t the Democrats doing that - ending the war - after being such good stewards of the “will of the people”?

  2. If true, why would the anti-war masses actually disapprove of Democrats more, being that at least they try and end the war (even if they aren’t succeeding at accomplishing it)?

Your theory doesn’t make sense. The people wouldn’t like Bush more if the main reason for disliking Democrats on account of not ending the war.

They may dislike the Democrats for not being successful at it, but they would dislike Bush more.

Something doesn’t add up. Why do the people dislike the Democratic Congress more than the despised Bush?

[quote]thunderbolt23 wrote:

Your theory doesn’t make sense. The people wouldn’t like Bush more if the main reason for disliking Democrats on account of not ending the war.

They may dislike the Democrats for not being successful at it, but they would dislike Bush more.

Something doesn’t add up. Why do the people dislike the Democratic Congress more than the despised Bush?[/quote]

It is a bit larger than that.

They despise the system. I think that a lot of Americans have caught on that their vote does not mean shit anymore and that is a bad, bad thing for a system that claims democratic “legitimacy”.

All it takes one crisis and the call for the military to take over could become loud and then that might actually a responsible course of action.

I will all be so Chilenian…

Dems voted to get us out of the war.

We are still in the war.

Therefore, the people are still pissed.

[quote]thunderbolt23 wrote:
100meters wrote:

Perhaps we could mention why they aren’t approving? (Hint: haven’t ended republicans war yet.)

  1. So if true, why aren’t the Democrats doing that - ending the war - after being such good stewards of the “will of the people”?

  2. If true, why would the anti-war masses actually disapprove of Democrats more, being that at least they try and end the war (even if they aren’t succeeding at accomplishing it)?

Your theory doesn’t make sense. The people wouldn’t like Bush more if the main reason for disliking Democrats on account of not ending the war.

They may dislike the Democrats for not being successful at it, but they would dislike Bush more.

Something doesn’t add up. Why do the people dislike the Democratic Congress more than the despised Bush?[/quote]

  1. Because they’re fucking pussys. and no matter what they do, the GOP will say they’re pussys. Either for cutting and running, or not sticking by their morals

  2. Because they’re just pussy footing around it. If Hilary says “I think I made the right decision at the time” one more time I’ll fucking flip. They need to come out and say “We fucked up. This war was a bad idea. Let’s bring our boys home, NOW.”

Do you really think the disapproval has anything to do with anything but the war? Do you really think most Americans really see past the war politically? The average person has very little idea what their candidates actually want to do with health care and other issues. They vote the way their parents voted, and call the other side crazy rednecks or hippy-pussies.

it seems these low numbers reflect the general thoughts people have of the dems, being so utterly worthless and useless to stand in opposition against a self imploding administration with the lowest approval ratings since nixon.

there are a few great dems (and a few repubs), but their numbers are too few to have any significant impact of turning the ship around.

f

[quote]Beowolf wrote:
Do you really think most Americans really see past the war politically? The average person has very little idea what their candidates actually want to do with health care and other issues. They vote the way their parents voted, and call the other side crazy rednecks or hippy-pussies.[/quote]

Though simplistic, I must admit it’s awfully close to the truth.

None of the exchange Americans I meet in school have a clue about any of the candidates programs. They all seem disillusioned in politics.

It’s sad because of the US’ was a pioneer in modern democracy. And it’s scary given the potential harm that can ensue from an evil misguided person in charge of the world’s sole hyperpower. Consequences could be dire for the planet.

[quote]lixy wrote:
It’s sad because of the US’ was a pioneer in modern democracy. And it’s scary given the potential harm that can ensue from an evil misguided person in charge of the world’s sole hyperpower. Consequences could be dire for the planet.[/quote]

“Consequences could be dire for the planet.”

WTF?

What in the hell are you smoking? And since when is the US a ‘hyperpower’. And what does that mean anyway? And how does that relate to Congressional Disapproval as the OP posted about?

lixy, why are you still here?

And back on topic:

I think its the fact that people realize that most politicians don’t really care at all. They are elected to act for the people but do no such thing. They act in their own self interests and the interests of those with power and money, like corporations… which in turn is in their interests too.

That’s why the disapproval. How can you approve something you don’t believe in?

[quote]lixy wrote:
Beowolf wrote:
Do you really think most Americans really see past the war politically? The average person has very little idea what their candidates actually want to do with health care and other issues. They vote the way their parents voted, and call the other side crazy rednecks or hippy-pussies.

Though simplistic, I must admit it’s awfully close to the truth.

None of the exchange Americans I meet in school have a clue about any of the candidates programs. They all seem disillusioned in politics.

It’s sad because of the US’ was a pioneer in modern democracy. And it’s scary given the potential harm that can ensue from an evil misguided person in charge of the world’s sole hyperpower. Consequences could be dire for the planet.[/quote]

The disillusionment reaches far…

However, I’d hardly call Bush Jr. evil. Misguided and slightly retarded, perhaps. But not evil. I’m less afraid of the harm that could possibly be done, and more angry over the potential good that could have been done.

Get rid of lobby groups, and representatives will begin doing the work for the people that sent them there. Approval ratings would dramatically rise.

Democracies do not do wars well. Even in world war two American support for the war starting to go away near the end. This was one of the motivations for using the atomic bomb.

It should be remembered that back then they didn’t have the latest daily casualty figures bombarding public opinion everyday on tv like we do now. They didn’t show dead American soldiers in the newsreels until after Tarawa had been taken and they knew we were going to win.

The democrats took advantage of this limited attention span in order to win the election, which they did. The democrats platform was based entirely on opinion polls and focus groups. As such it was a purely political platform instead of a leadership platform.

There is a difference between politics and leadership. Politics is following opinion polls. Leadership is staking out a position and sticking to your position for better or for worse.

At some level people realize that the democrats played to the politics of the moment to get elected. Now the Dems are in power they don’t want to be the ones responsible if things go bad.

For example if we pull out of Iraq, there really is a strong possibility that they will follow us home and there really is a possibility that it would become a haven for Al Qaeda to attack us from.

So if the Dems actually did lead us out of Iraq and the things the white house has been saying would happen, came to pass. The Dems would be done as a party for a long time and they know it.

Whatever todays opinion polls say, we are one big terrorist strike away from those changing in a big way and the Dems know it.

[quote]Sifu wrote:
Democracies do not do wars well. Even in world war two American support for the war starting to go away near the end. This was one of the motivations for using the atomic bomb.

It should be remembered that back then they didn’t have the latest daily casualty figures bombarding public opinion everyday on tv like we do now. They didn’t show dead American soldiers in the newsreels until after Tarawa had been taken and they knew we were going to win.

The democrats took advantage of this limited attention span in order to win the election, which they did. The democrats platform was based entirely on opinion polls and focus groups. As such it was a purely political platform instead of a leadership platform.

There is a difference between politics and leadership. Politics is following opinion polls. Leadership is staking out a position and sticking to your position for better or for worse.

At some level people realize that the democrats played to the politics of the moment to get elected. Now the Dems are in power they don’t want to be the ones responsible if things go bad.

For example if we pull out of Iraq, there really is a strong possibility that they will follow us home and there really is a possibility that it would become a haven for Al Qaeda to attack us from.

So if the Dems actually did lead us out of Iraq and the things the white house has been saying would happen, came to pass. The Dems would be done as a party for a long time and they know it.

Whatever todays opinion polls say, we are one big terrorist strike away from those changing in a big way and the Dems know it.[/quote]

Sifu,

I wanted to again express my appreciation for your posts.

I’ve been saying all along that the dems haven’t earned their leadership role, yet.

They didn’t ask the hard questions.

They didn’t mature as a party.

They are paying for it now.

I don’t think anyone is really surprised. I remember watching dnc headquarters as it was clear they were going to take over the House. You could almost see the, “Oh, shit. Now what look on their faces.”

This is exactly what happens when one votes anyone but…

JeffR

[quote]JeffR wrote:
Sifu wrote:
Democracies do not do wars well. Even in world war two American support for the war starting to go away near the end. This was one of the motivations for using the atomic bomb.

It should be remembered that back then they didn’t have the latest daily casualty figures bombarding public opinion everyday on tv like we do now. They didn’t show dead American soldiers in the newsreels until after Tarawa had been taken and they knew we were going to win.

The democrats took advantage of this limited attention span in order to win the election, which they did. The democrats platform was based entirely on opinion polls and focus groups. As such it was a purely political platform instead of a leadership platform.

There is a difference between politics and leadership. Politics is following opinion polls. Leadership is staking out a position and sticking to your position for better or for worse.

At some level people realize that the democrats played to the politics of the moment to get elected. Now the Dems are in power they don’t want to be the ones responsible if things go bad.

For example if we pull out of Iraq, there really is a strong possibility that they will follow us home and there really is a possibility that it would become a haven for Al Qaeda to attack us from.

So if the Dems actually did lead us out of Iraq and the things the white house has been saying would happen, came to pass. The Dems would be done as a party for a long time and they know it.

Whatever todays opinion polls say, we are one big terrorist strike away from those changing in a big way and the Dems know it.

Sifu,

I wanted to again express my appreciation for your posts.

I’ve been saying all along that the dems haven’t earned their leadership role, yet.

They didn’t ask the hard questions.

They didn’t mature as a party.

They are paying for it now.

I don’t think anyone is really surprised. I remember watching dnc headquarters as it was clear they were going to take over the House. You could almost see the, “Oh, shit. Now what look on their faces.”

This is exactly what happens when one votes anyone but…

JeffR

[/quote]

For once, I have to agree.

The Democrats should have made the war illegal. Or at least threatened to if no time table for removal was made.

They pussied out.

This is why the approval rating is so low.

I wonder what the WAR approval rating is?

[quote]thunderbolt23 wrote:

  1. So if true, why aren’t the Democrats doing that - ending the war - after being such good stewards of the “will of the people”?[/quote]

Because of Republican obstruction in Congress. The Democrats only have a narrow majority, with not enough votes to override the minority obstruction. (whatever happened to “Up or Down Vote” I guess those days are over?)

The GOP will correctly be seen by voters as obstructionist and voting against popular programs, during the 2008 elections. The Democrats should solidify their majority at that time, and there should be less gridlock.

The biggest issue right now is the Iraq war. While voters are frustrated that the Democrats haven’t cut the funding, only a complete idiot would think that translates into any Democratic (or Dem-leaning) voters switching Republican. Absolutely nobody who is against the occupation actually believes that the GOP would be ‘better’ than the Democrats on Iraq. The GOP has the stench of the war on them, and that will not change in 2008. You broke it, so you bought it.