Green Room

Meet the Americans who still approve of Congress

posted at 1:16 pm on March 1, 2013 by

There aren’t many left. Scarcity alone makes this NYT piece newsworthy:

But the small group of people [12 percent in the latest Times poll] who really did approve of Congress generally seemed to fall into two broad camps, which might be termed the “natural optimists” and the “Obama haters.”

Take the second group first. Several respondents said they believed that Congress — which is divided between a Republican-controlled House and a Senate where Democrats are in the majority but generally unable to pass legislation because they lack 60 votes to overcome an almost automatic filibuster by the minority party — was trying its hardest in difficult circumstances, but was repeatedly frustrated by a hubristic White House with a my-way-or-the-highway attitude…

The other camp of respondents just tended to be looking on the brighter side of things: focusing on the future, crediting Congress with trying and offering some qualified thanks for the effort.

Take Helen Larsen, a wife and mother who lives in coal country in Utah. “If I had to explain it, I’d say that they’re putting money where it needs to go,” she said of Congress, mulling over her thoughts on Thursday morning. “They’re putting it towards our future and our children’s future, and maybe a little bit more into helping Social Security and Medicaid and Medicare.”

If she had said “they’re putting money where we want it to go,” that’d be accurate. The public wants unsustainability; Congress is giving it to them. You’d think they’d be grateful. Final word to Ross Douthat:

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Gotta love Douthat, he’s like the Charlie Brown of the righty blogoshpere. Americans are hipocritical, self-centered, and lawless criminals with limited IQ’s and no shame. So are ALL of our elected representatives, from the local school boards on up to the white house and the fed. But I’m NOT surprised in the way Douthat is – I’ve always known that there’s no honor among theives. Congress will be hated until it’s no longer a reflection of the nation.

LOL!! Hey look!! A football!!

abobo on March 1, 2013 at 1:46 PM

Count me in the first group, for a few reasons. Firstly, gridlock means the congress is fulfilling its constitutional duty. Second, if you are involved in politics and aren’t optimistic about the long term course of the country, you’ll drive yourself crazy with all the silliness that happens in the short term.

vegconservative on March 1, 2013 at 2:18 PM

The Founding Fathers knew gridlock would ensue and thereby protecting our liberties and freedoms. The best scenario is when those jackwagons can’t get a single thing passed. I don’t need any Congressperson protecting me.

trs on March 1, 2013 at 2:50 PM

The Founding Fathers knew gridlock would ensue and thereby protecting our liberties and freedoms. The best scenario is when those jackwagons can’t get a single thing passed. I don’t need any Congressperson protecting me.

trs on March 1, 2013 at 2:50 PM

If you think they haven’t passed any bills lately that affect you…good grief.

The problem with gridlock, when one side finally gets their power, it’s a landslide, a broken dam, avalanche of bills…hence they had one chance, just one to pass Obamacare, no matter how bad, they knew they had one chance, and they took it…

right2bright on March 1, 2013 at 3:00 PM

We elect 535 members of Congress, 435 to the House and 100 to the Senate and that’s as far as our vote goes, in return these 535 appoint thousands of staff that we have no say at all as to their qualifications. My source? Google (number of staff for congress) shocking to say the least that these thousands do the grunt work that the Representatives take credit. Now you have a clue as to the wacko’s who we call the Congress.

mixplix on March 1, 2013 at 3:14 PM

The problem with gridlock, when one side finally gets their power, it’s a landslide, a broken dam, avalanche of bills…hence they had one chance, just one to pass Obamacare, no matter how bad, they knew they had one chance, and they took it…

right2bright on March 1, 2013 at 3:00 PM

Thanks to American Idol voters. What more should you expect? Elections have consequences.

NJ Red on March 1, 2013 at 4:00 PM

Repeal Obamacare, means-test Medicare & SS and pass a BBA (bonus: term limits), and I’ll sign on for gridlock into perpetuity.

crrr6 on March 1, 2013 at 4:56 PM

Count me in the first group, for a few reasons. Firstly, gridlock means the congress is fulfilling its constitutional duty. Second, if you are involved in politics and aren’t optimistic about the long term course of the country, you’ll drive yourself crazy with all the silliness that happens in the short term.

vegconservative on March 1, 2013 at 2:18 PM

A corollary of your second point is that we may wrong on a few issue and the Democrats right. We hope in the long run that the best take on issues win out. Currently, the Democrats are right about gay people and large majorities will see it their way. There are probably a few more issues that the Democrats get right, though I for the most part don’t know what they are. I have suspicions, but I could be wrong.

thuja on March 1, 2013 at 6:39 PM

I notice that Mr. Doubtthat doesn’t even consider borrowing and spending less as part of the equation.

Cindy Munford on March 1, 2013 at 8:20 PM

Democrats are in the majority but generally unable to pass legislation because they lack 60 votes to overcome an almost automatic filibuster by the minority party any plan or proposal that they want to bring up for a vote

besser tot als rot on March 1, 2013 at 8:28 PM

Both parties are a joke. 535 elected representatives that appoint thousands of staff to do their grunt work. Doubt me? Google (number of staff for Congress) and while your at this site peek at the salaries they get.

mixplix on March 2, 2013 at 6:25 AM

Obama is a typical Community Organizer—-Getting people all angry about the “injustices” being inflicted on the down trodden etc. Public Meetings and confronting the Establishment is all he knows (other wise known as campaigning). Problem??? The Dummy doesn’t realize HE is the establishment and not the “Boss Mayor” as in Chicago. A president is the chief executive and should be able to persuade people to come around to his issues or he must find a way to “sweeten” the pot to make it where they want to come around. The final goal of a president is to work for the good of the country and not for the good of the party.

Herb on March 2, 2013 at 9:02 AM

You know, I just really hate people.
So easily riled, led, lied to, & so easily convinced of the most ridiculous stupid inane things.
IT makes you want to crawl in a hole & die knowing these dip$hits are really your neighbors.

Badger40 on March 2, 2013 at 6:21 PM

Yeah, I approve of about 12% of Congress./
The rest of them can go straight to heck.

S. D. on March 2, 2013 at 8:22 PM