Cut to the chase, Congress has a very bad reputation and has had so for a long time. Surely, it has had moments when its favor spiked among people. Usually, that happens when Congress reacts to disaster and performs acceptably. That just doesn’t happen very often. Norm Ornstein at the American Enterprise Institute might have us believe that we appreciate Congress more when it acts in a bipartisan manner. Bipartisanship is so rare that one simply cannot tell. It could just be a statistical anomaly.
Look at the Gallup Poll chart that is posted here because they make it available for “Pinit”. Roughly draw a line across the chart at about 25% and that is approximately the running average + or -. Realize that this chart is scaled such that 50% is a high water mark.
What should voters expect in the way of measurable performance from Congress? Would you not expect something more like 90%? When you see a chart with a 40 year timeline and Congressional performance is consistently below 50%, that is hugely disappointing. It isn’t a laughing matter; it is shameful.
One way to interpret this is that Congress is failing half of the time to perform the work as intended by the will of the people. We are a bipartisan nation of voters with most of us in the middle class and poor categories. Congress is failing us big time.
What can we do about it? Here is a list:
- Throw the incumbents out. Stop rewarding them time and again by returning duds to office.
- Eliminate lifer politicians. If people running for office have not accomplished anything of extraordinarily merit before running for office, don’t accept them as candidates.
- Don’t automatically align with Republican and Democrat Parties. They don’t deserve it. They are the source of rotten candidates. Register independent and make them earn your vote.
See the annotated list below.
The question is not about “popularity,” it is about performance and effectiveness. It is about approaching the office with dignity and respect for citizens, and being determined to give to them 100% best effort.
“When Congress was popular
By Elise Viebeck - 09/02/14 06:00 AM EDT
If you're not a paid staffer or blood relative, as the joke goes, you probably hate Congress.
The institution is so unpopular that voters were more positive about brussels sprouts, head lice and root canals in one recent survey. But there have been a handful of times over the last 100 years when the public gave a thumbs up to Capitol Hill.
In 1937, 44 percent of those surveyed agreed that Congress was "about as good a representative body as it is possible for a large nation to have." The number fell to 17 percent by 1990.