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phoenixdoglover On June - 20 - 2014
Professor Brat Goes to Washington?

Professor Brat Goes to Washington?

How low can you go?
Well, in the case of Congress, it appears, even lower than you imagined. Gallup has released results of their latest approval numbers for Congress, and it’s not pretty:

Americans’ current confidence in Congress [7%] is not only the lowest on record, but also the lowest Gallup has recorded for any institution in the 41-year trend. This is also the first time Gallup has ever measured confidence in a major U.S. institution in the single digits. Currently, 4% of Americans say they have a great deal of confidence in Congress, and 3% have quite a lot of confidence.

The Gallup Poll – read it and weep.

In contrast, confidence in the President and the Supreme Court stands at 30 percent. That’s not great, but it’s over four times higher than Congress.

What is happening to Congress that it should be judged now as unworthy of respect by the most Americans ever?

Small Candidates
Many candidates for the House and Senate are shrunken caricatures of politicians. Their experience is low or non-existent, their life stories lack interest, and their political views consist of a select few shopworn ideas. This is especially true of the so-called Tea Party upstarts, who appear to be manufactured by a right wing Willy Wonka. Lumps of confectionery for voters in the age of junk food.

Big Sponsors
Where do these candidates come from and how do they ascend so quickly into the limelight during the primary season? From humble businessman or university professor to slick politician in 30 days, or your money back. Of course, it’s not their money. The Wonka factory board room provides the funding, and the lumps come off the line in sparkly wrappers, with their ingredients plainly labelled: Christian, family man, hate taxes, love guns, anti-choice, gonna repeal the ACA. Any questions? Oh yes, Charter Skools.

Broken Ideology
The last 10 years have seen a string of defeats for an ideology that rose up in the 70’s and triumphed in 1980. We don’t have living ideas any more, we have zombie ideas: tax cuts for the rich; pre-emptive war; the war on drugs; deregulation, three strikes. Throw in the substitute: Evangelical Christian dominionism with a dash of libertarian anti-government paranoia. What you end up with is an unappetizing mess.

Cranky Voter
Somewhere along the way, the “throw the bum out” philosophy of voting replaced the “candidiate who’s policies make sense” philosophy of voting. How convenient! Everybody, from the candidate, to the reporting media, to the voters, can take a holiday from cognitive function. Now it’s easy: Me see on Youtube; me like sweet candy flavor; me no like incumbent; me throw bum out. But who can blame them? After 35 years of failed policy prescriptions, why pay the slightest bit of attention to policy?

Yes, Congress is now sitting at 7% approval. Mathematically, it can certainly go lower. If it gets to zero, Gallup will have to change their poll. What is the purpose of measuring nothing?

But will that happen? Might something else happen before Congress totally bankrupts? In the voting booth or on the streets?

P.S. It may appear my thesis is slanted against the conservative side of politics. Yes, it is. Maybe it’s the bubble I’m living in, or maybe it’s reality.

39 Responses so far.

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  1. James Michael Brodie says:

    So Boehner is going to sue President Obama over his executuve orders. A little perspective:


    WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- U.S. House Speaker John Boehner said on Wednesday he is preparing a lawsuit alleging that President Barack Obama has abused his executive authority by implementing policies without congressional approval.

    Boehner said the suit from the House of Representatives was aimed at protecting the rights of Congress under the constitution and said Obama was ignoring the laws that it passes.

    “The constitution makes it clear that the president’s job is to faithfully execute the law. In my view, the president has not faithfully executed the law,” Boehner told reporters.

    He declined to say which actions taken by Obama would be challenged in the suit and denied that the action was aimed at impeachment proceedings against the president.

    Obama has used executive orders to advance his agenda in the face of a gridlocked Congress, including raising the minimum wage for federal contractors and stopping the deportation of many children who entered the United States illegally. Most recently he directed the Department of Labor to extend family leave to same-sex couples and bar federal contractors from discriminating against gay employees.

    He said Obama has eroded the power of the legislative branch under the Constitution and it was “in the best long-term interest of the country” for the House to stand up for its rights.” Not only does the president regularly ignore the law, he brags about it and he brags about his willingness to change it unilaterally,” Boehner said, adding that these order have resulted in “arrogance and incompetence straight down the line” from the administration.

    White House spokesman Josh Earnest responded to Boehner’s announcement by saying that such a suit would be funded by taxpayers and would not be supported by most Americans.

    (Reporting By David Lawder; Editing by Bill Trott)

    Presidents with more executive orders than Obama:

    Ulysses S. Grant

    William McKinley

    Theodore Roosevelt

    William Howard Taft

    Woodrow Wilson

    Warren G. Harding

    Calvin Coolidge

    Herbert Hoover

    Franklin D. Roosevelt

    Harry S. Truman

    Dwight D. Eisenhower

    John F. Kennedy

    Lyndon B. Johnson

    Richard Nixon

    Gerald R. Ford

    Jimmy Carter

    Ronald Reagan

    William J. Clinton

    George W. Bush

    • kesmarn says:

      Even FOX (for whatever motive) is calling Michelle Bachmann “silly” for pushing this “waste of time.”

    • Nirek says:

      Jim, they are useless. The congress has accomplished next to nothing!

      “He said Obama has eroded the power of the legislative branch under the Constitution and it was โ€œin the best long-term interest of the countryโ€ for the House to stand up for its rights.โ€ ”

      Jim, they eroded their own power by doing nothing.

    • kesmarn says:

      Thank you, James! I was just thinking the same thing when I read this news a little while ago. The President has made very sparing use of executive orders.

      Grrrrr!! Do these people NEVER get tired of wasting the taxpayers’ money and Congress’s time on stupid stuff? It’s like the Prez is a person who is trying to rescue people from a burning building, and the neighbors keep setting their pit bulls on him over and over.

      So disgusting.

  2. funksands says:

    This is probably the most egregious example of this problem in recent memory:

    • Nirek says:

      Funk, this is proof of corruption to me.I should put it in the lobbying piece.

    • kesmarn says:

      Democrats locked out of rooms. Midnight votes. Bribery and corruption. This makes House of Cards look like a kindergarten field trip, funk. No wonder Medicare has had financial problems when this is nothing but a direct pipeline for taxpayer dollars to go into the pockets of Big Pharma.

      Remind me to tell you sometime about the scam that involves the med Lucentis versus Avastin in the treatment of the eye condition known as macular degeneration. MDs are being forced to use a med that costs $1200-$1500/dose when there’s one that’s equally effective for $75/dose. My own Dad was a victim of that one.

      • Nirek says:

        Kes, my wife is an RN (retired) and she tells me that Dr. are encouraged to push newer drugs that cost more when an older established drug will do the job nicely. When a drug that works well has been around long enough to allow companies to make it “generically” the drug company will get a patent on a new one just to keep the the price (profits) up.

  3. RSGmusic says:

    Well, seems like a turning point in history is upon us.
    IT is that the TPGOP and far right conservatives just can’t work with the3 US citizens just the rich.

  4. sillylittleme says:

    It is all of us who are at fault. We the people can’t function, because we the people don’t vote.

    Excellent discussion. Carter was right, we stopped caring about one another and went about living our lives. For most, if we stayed ahead of our bills and worked somewhere we didn’t detest that was enough. How many times must we be hit over the head with a hammer before we pull the hammer away. I wish I could say that I am hopeful that enough of the citizenry will awaken before we become Somalia, but I wonder about that every day.

    And, just because, voting for people who know less about how the government is supposed to function, than you do is pure lunacy. Any person running for office should have to take the same test as newly minted citizens, if they can’t pass, they can’t run…

  5. Nirek says:

    7% is pretty low but there is room for them to go even lower, PDL.

    • phoenixdoglover says:

      As a “radio guy”, I think we are down in the noise.

      Many years ago, I heard of a “famous persons” poll. It included a simple question: Who is the President of the US? At the time, 10% could not name the President. I have thought about that over the years, and I developed a maxim:

      At any given time, 10% of the people are truly out to lunch.

      They probably could not tell you how many hours are in a day, but they might profess the universe is 6,000 years old.

      Congress? I think I heard of them. Yeah, they’re OK, I guess.

  6. S-Man says:

    It’s reality, pretty un-real huh?


    This post is off topic here but it moved me genuinely.What a great lesson!

    The Whittington Family: Ryland’s Story

    PDL ,enjoyed your article tremendously. I am often thinking what will be made of this country IF the republicans take the Senate…Perish the thought..

    • phoenixdoglover says:

      For an off-topic post, that was a winner!

      John Lennon (and others before him) are attributed with the saying,

      “Life is what happens to us while we are busy making other plans.”

      [edited for additional words of wisdom]
      “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”
      “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.”

    • AllenMcw says:

      Beautiful video! I so much wish all parents could be like this!

      When I see things like this I can believe there truly is hope for the world.

      But then when I see what politicians and others are doing I sometimes have to wonder how we as the human race has lasted as long as we have.

      In the end I do have faith as a whole that we will come together as a species and make this world a better place and the starting point is to get rid of the radical TP conservatives.

      Thank you for sharing this.

      • EXFANOFARIANA says:

        Our species are changing…for better. I see and observe teens who behave naturally whenever confronted with other genders. HOPE is all we have. PEACE! And thank you for posting !

    • sillylittleme says:

      Thank you for sharing that video. That gives me hope.

    • sillylittleme says:

      More like perish America…

      • EXFANOFARIANA says:

        Exactly…and much more like perish the planet….The greed bastards will do anything in their power to flame it all.I think they tend to believe they will have a rocket to the moon? Sociopaths should be put to death, immediately.There is no science to cure it.Nor medication.Only choice is lobotomy….But we now have over 50 million people escaping to other countries. Food is short and this globe is already steaming at it’s borders…..The Chinese took control of Africa’s water supplies to ensure THEIR people will survive , by bribing dictators in that continent.In my humble opinion, Americans tend to look not above their belly buttons.MERIKA MERIKA MERIKA…..Famine is at it’s worst.People without resources, give birth to even more poor children.History repeats itself.
        Reason why I am so envy of Searing Truth.He has managed to keep a wonderful spirit……I guess I cannot.One of my brothers, who was always my best friend, became an “evangelical”….Born again bullshit. And SADLY, I’ve watched my best friend , an engineer ,transformed into one of the most evil persons I’ve ever met.They run on the Old Testament….So truly sad…..PEACE and thanks for listening to me.To be there.NAMASTE.

        • sillylittleme says:

          I heart you infinity. And one of the reasons I come here every day is to read Searing Truth. One day you and I should have a conversation about the different interpretations of the Old Testament that are still debated upon by the modern day Jews. Although I can only convey what I learned from several years of Hebrew school. I grew up in the seventies and I have a VERY different interpretation of the OT, evangelicals beware!!!

  8. MilesLong says:

    This is what happens when you abandon electing for brains and instead vote for brain-dead ideology…

    Miles “Cause & Effect” Long

  9. fjb says:

    The GOtP credo is hate, lies, and deception. Thinking like that they are profoundly unable to care for those they have been elected to serve.
    And the GOtP base is as inane as possible by accepting the lies they are being fed.

  10. GreenChica says:

    Seems to me the whole gerrymandering mischief represents the GOP’s death rattle. They can put someone in the House with their jigsaw puzzle districting but the presidency seems beyond their reach. I expect their tactics to get even dirtier in the near future. We’ll see more GOP “operatives” like James OKeefe posing as a pimp to catch some liberal in a lie. Their descent is not and will not be pretty. I wouldn’t put it past them to manufacture a crisis overseas. That tends to frighten Americans enough to put a warmonger in the White House.

  11. pinkpantheroz says:

    I, for one, would have thought that SCOTUS would be right down in the sewer with Congress. But I suppose, with so much ignorance of politics AND Law, I really shouldn’t be surprised.

  12. kevinbr38 says:

    The GOP has known for over a decade that it’s ideology is out of sync with the vast majority of Americans…
    That is why they made such a concerted effort to gerrymander districts, and have attempted to put into place all types of obstructions to impede people’s access to cast their ballots.
    Due to these endeavors, they may in fact squeak by and hold on to a [slim] majority in the House.
    However, they will not be able to take control of the Senate, and fortunately, Harry Reid slammed through The Nuclear Option.
    If it occurs, their’s will be the most tenuous of victories ever, one easily turned around in 2016.
    It is imperative to get out the vote this November.
    Even Banana Republics, countries governed by dictators give their governments a higher approval rating than 7%.
    How embarrassing for us…
    Surely we deserve better.

    • monicaangela says:

      Very well said kevinbr38. This nation is in a sad state of affairs when only 7% approve of the job that congress is doing. I personally would like to know who that 7% is. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • CityGardener says:

        MonAng wrote: “I personally would like to know who that 7% is.”

        So would I, very much so. Polls with 4 or 5 choices would be a lot more useful to the electorate than ‘yes/no, either/or’ formats.

        Or perhaps the answer to the 7% question is that those who approve the current Congress are drawn from the same groups (real estate salesmen, car salesmen, family members, close friends) who go to performances of middle-school plays.

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