Voters sick and tired of Congress, except when they're not

Oh, how Americans love to hate hypocrisy!

Find someone touting strict environmental plans who flies around touting in a private jet. And they’re publicly pounded for ‘Do as I say, not as I do.’


A most frequent target for hypocrisy, naturally, is members of Congress, who as a group routinely earn low job approval ratings from Americans, often in the teens.

Now, come to find out, Americans are hypocritical about hypocrisy.

Gallup’s just done a new survey. It found that voters, who routinely disapprove of the job those clowns on Capitol Hill are doing, really like the job their own congressman is doing.

Fifty-nine percent say their own individual member of Congress definitely deserves reelection come November. However, only about a third say members of Congress as a whole deserve another two-year lease on their office.

So, you know how angry and divided the country is said to be during these tumultuous political times? Well, it turns out, both the satisfaction rates with individual members and the overall group are the highest in nearly a decade.

This pattern helps explain both the ever-fierce demands for congressional term limits and the perpetual failure of this idea. First of all, how likely do you think it is that denizens of Capitol Hill making 174-grand a year are going to limit their future employment options?

Second, setting congressional term limits would require a constitutional amendment which would require ratification by three-quarters of the states. Three-quarters of the states these days could not agree on a national pie, let alone overturning a basic tenet of the U.S. Constitution.


And, by the way, term limits already exist in the collective power of voters every two years, if they just paid attention.

Gallup polls have found Americans to be fairly consistent in this pattern of hypocrisy with approval of Congress generally running around half of the approval of their own district member, which has jumped around from 48 to 60 percent.

Numbers show that when Democrats control the House of Representatives, as they do now, Democrats profess that members deserve reelection. Republicans not so much. And vice versa.

Reelection rates vary by individual races, of course, but generally run in the 80 to 90 percent success range.

So, those members quickly learn, term after term, that while voters whine and complain about them and their job much of the time, in the end, they come home and send the same person back to do the same stuff in the same place.

Imagine that.

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Jazz Shaw 5:31 PM on October 01, 2023