What I would like to know is this: just who are these people in the Twelve Percent Congressional Fan Club? The pollsters won't say, except that they're a cross-section of "likely voters". In other words, anonymous, allegedly breathing humans over the age of 18. But I am willing to bet they include members of Congress, their families, the lobbying industry and the Forbes 400 List of the Wealthiest Americans, along with pranksters who get their kicks spoofing the pollsters who call during the dinner hour. Even this 12 percent approval rating is overly generous:
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely Voters shows that just six percent (6%) of Likely U.S. Voters rate Congress' performance as good or excellent - for the second straight month. Sixty-six percent (66%) say Congress is doing a poor job, up five points from July and the highest negative rating since March 2010. (To see survey question wording, click here.) Only nine percent (9%) of voters believe this Congress has passed any legislation during the past year that will significantly improve life in America, the lowest finding in nearly five years of surveys. Prior to the latest finding, this number ranged from 11% to 29% since November 2006.
Among the first items on the Congressional agenda is the Senate Banking Committee's confirmation hearing for Consumer Financial Protection Bureau nominee Richard Cordray. A five time "Jeopardy" champion, Cordray has already proven his ability to rapidly respond to vacuous questions. In this case, though, the result is a foregone conclusion. Republicans have already vowed to block any nominee because the big banks which own them hate consumers. President Obama could have recess-appointed Elizabeth Warren long ago. But Majority Leader Harry "Give 'Em
But back to Rasmussen -- it doesn't look good for either Congress or the generic human being, from the point of view of the telephone pollees. A majority think the average Tea Party member is smarter than the average member of Congress! Voters are evenly divided between those who think Rick Perry's desire to make Washington inconsequential in our lives is a fine idea and those who think he's nuts. Most voters think it's better to be labeled a liberal than a conservative -- but think politicians labeled conservative are the absolute best!
In other words, either the people who don't hang up on pollsters are complete dorks, or the polling methodology itself is fatally flawed. Either way, we are so screwed. Politicians look at this stuff and try to find meaning in it, even though they claim not to. Results like these go a long way in explaining the bipartisanship addiction of Barack Obama, for one thing. He is like the Pushmi Pullyu in "Doctor Dolittle". Two opposing points of view add up to one weird character pleasing nobody.