Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Unspoken Truth

Have you heard, President Bush has low approval ratings? How could you avoid it? When approval ratings dropped into the forties, we were deluged with the news. It was vindication of the errors of his policies on things like the war on terror, rebuilding the economy after 9/11 and selecting conservative Supreme Court justices. Those choices made with approval ratings in the high sixties, and even as high as 80% were now flogged incessantly as misguided, ineffective and even plainly stupid. When the message of a flawed presidency began to resonate, we heard that approval ratings plummeted. Now only the reclusive can avoid the drumbeat of news informing us that the lame duck President hovers in the low 30% area. Most folks are dissatisfied and will base their voting decisions this fall on that fact. (Note the number of Obama references to McCain as linked to those bad decisions and suggesting blatantly that McCain represents a third Bush term.)

But, what about that Democrat majority in the legislature? You know, the folks that swept into power in 2006 as a response to the dissatisfaction with the incumbents. They wanted control so that they could show us how it was done. How are they doing? Take a moment to Google “congressional approval rating” and check what comes up. You might be surprised, maybe even shocked.

Shortly after taking office, their approval slumped. Chosen eagerly to replace the controlling Republican majority in both chambers, they quickly dropped in approval below the despised folks they replaced. In early 2007, they approached record low approval in the mid-20% range. Since then they haven’t gotten better. They continue to have a lower approval than their predecessors and lower than their disparaged President. How bad has it gotten? Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal released a new WSJ/NBC poll (how about that pairing of political opposite bedfellows?) that showed that only 13% of Americans are happy with the job their elected representatives are doing for them.

Apparently Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid pontificating each day on the evils of the administration while Leahy, Rangel and Conyers keep announcing new hearings on some affront to society isn’t as effective a form of governance as most voters thought it might be. All of the promises of action remain unfulfilled and the agenda of obstructionism runs full steam ahead. Americans don’t seem happy about it.

So, what do we plan to do? Additional polling data shows that in our incomparable political wisdom, we plan in great numbers to ask for more of the same! Yes, despite congressional approval being at record lows with intense dissatisfaction and distrust for the Democrat controlled legislature, Americans are eager to choose more from the same mold. How stupid can we be?

Of course that last question is purely rhetorical. The answer is apparent.

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