A year ago, in December 2012, a Gallup Poll revealed that the only profession that had a lower approval rating than Congress was a car salesman. Congress’s rating was 10% and car salesmen had a rating of only 8%.
In January 2013, a poll showed that the approval ratings of Congress compared to a number of other people were quite low. People liked lice, colonoscopies, root canals and even cockroaches more than they liked Congress. To Congress’s defense, some people said they liked Congress more than they liked telemarketers, Ebola, communism and gonorrhea. At the time, the overall approval rating of Congress was at a dismal 9%.
Just when you believe that Congress’s approval ratings can’t get any lower than they were in January, they have. The latest Economist/YouGov Poll reveals that Congress’s approval ratings dropped to a mere 6%, which is lower than car salesmen in the earlier Gallup Poll. Breaking it down by political party, only 10% of Democrats approved of Congress, 7% of Republicans and Independents have all but abandoned Congress by giving them a miniscule 3% approval rating.
Among the topics in the latest poll were partisanship and the recent Senate nuclear rule on filibusters. Senate rules dictated that it took 60 votes to stop a filibuster. The Democrats used filibusters when Republicans controlled the Senate. Now that Republicans were using filibusters to stop a number of President Obama’s appointments, Democrats voted to change the rule so that only 51 votes could stop a filibuster. How convenient when there are 53 Democrats in the Senate at this time. They didn’t have enough power to stop the filibusters until Harry Reid pushed the nuclear option through.
In the Economist/YouGov Poll, 34% said the original filibuster rule was a good rule and another 34% said it was a bad rule. When asked about the rule change to needing only 51 votes, 36% said it should be changed and 37% said it should not have been changed.
When asked if Senate rules should be changed for the purpose of preventing filibusters being used to stop presidential nominations, 29% said yes, change the rules and 35% disapproved of allowing the change for that purpose.
What I find interesting is that the record low approval ratings have occurred when a Democrat is President and the Senate is run by Democrats who consistently refuse to compromise on key legislation with Republicans. All of the fiscal cliffs and other major stalemates that have taken place in the past 3 years have occurred because Democrats insist on having everything their way and often won’t even look at Republican proposals.
In 2011, the Democrats proposed a jobs bill that was a disaster. House Republicans proposed 12 different jobs bills, but when they were sent to the Senate, Harry Reid stated emphatically that he would not entertain any of them and that they would never see the light day. The same thing happened with the various fiscal and federal budget bills. Reid and Obama both refused any of the numerous Republican compromised offers until the offer was so close to the Democrats’ original plan.
No wonder the American public is disgusted with Congress. It’s a one-sided power trip for the Democrats and they don’t care who they hurt or what the consequences of their actions are as long as they get their way. I just wish most of America understood what has been happening and vote most of the Democrats out of office in 2014, along with a few Democrat friendly Republicans. If they don’t, there is room for Congress’s approval ratings to drop even further, but not much further.