Friday, December 23, 2011

Congress Ending 2011 With Worst Approval Rating Ever

Gee, who would have ever thought that a group of individuals led by contemptible scumbags like John Boehner, Nancy Pelosi, Eric Cantor, Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell might be historically unpopular, especially in light of the latest debacle involving the payroll tax?
In his biography of American iconoclast Mark Twain, Albert Bigelow Paine quotes the noted author referring to the U.S. Congress in a less-than-congenial manner: “Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself,” he famously said.

No matter how much times have changed since Twain’s death in 1910, there’s one thing that remains a seeming constant in the U.S.: then and now, we hate our political class. But more than at any point in history, a new Gallup poll out this week shows more Americans today are dissatisfied with Congress than ever before.

The governing body is now set to end 2011 with the lowest one-time approval rating in its history: 11 percent. Their annual average for 2011 came to a whopping 17 percent, which is also the lowest ever recorded.

Overall, Gallup found that the nation’s 112th Congress had an 86 percent disapproval rating by the end of December, 2011: yet another record-breaking statistic.

Independent voters were the most dissatisfied, Gallup found, holding Congress in such contempt that it earned just 7 percent approval. Republicans and Democrats were both similarly cynical, with just 14 percent of Democrats approving of Congress, and 12 percent of Republicans.

The numbers come at the end of a highly contentious year that saw the government nearly shut down twice when Republicans and Democrats failed to agree on a budget due to squabbles over tax rates for the wealthiest Americans. Most voters want to see top-tier tax rates increase as budgets for things like food stamps and unemployment insurance are cut, but most Republican lawmakers are opposed to that step.
Wow...normally it is impossible to get 86% of the people to agree on ANYTHING. Yet right now they all agree that Congress sucks balls. Sure sounds bad for the Congresscritters, huh?

Yet I'll make a prediction right now, and you can feel free to come back here next November and call me out for being full of shit if I'm wrong. My prediction is that despite these awful poll numbers, over 80% of congressional incumbents who choose to run for reelection next year will win. Even 20% defeated would be a veritable tsunami of failure as historically the reelection rate is well above 90%, so I feel pretty confident in my prediction.

Sadly, despite the above numbers, the same poll showed evidence that a majority of Americans still have their heads shoved far up their asses when it comes to understanding the political system:
Fifty-five percent also agreed that “the political system can work fine, it’s the members that are the problem,” while just 32 percent felt like the system had broken down entirely.
Yep...despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, even now slightly less than one-third of the population understands that it is the system itself that is the real problem. Until that number rises to become a substantial majority, there is little hope that any genuine change is going to come about in this country.

Bonus: Bill's classic bit on politics, "Go back to bed, America. Your government is in control."

1 comment:

  1. It is the members that are the problem.... the members of society. We're the idiots who continue to send criminals and incompetents to act on our behalf.

    That said, I'll take the over on your incumbent call. Excluding retirees, I'll be shocked if the number is under 85%. We, the people, are simply incapable of recognizing our own stupidity, content to live our lives in search of an "American Dream" that exists only in the advertisements that the rich use to sell us shit we absolutely don't need and cannot afford.

    I personally see no way to reform government that does not include two constitutional amendments: 1) organizations are not people, 2) money is not speech. Absent these, there is no way to get money out of politics and create a playing field on which it might be possible for actual citizen-legislators and people of conscience to successfully run for office. Frankly, I see zero chance of this, so I'm not holding my breath for any dramatic changes that don't include proverbial torches and pitchforks.

    Like I said, I'll take the over.