03 Feb 2013 Yuck It Up Over Congress, But You Really May Dislike Obama More, by Derryck Green
People think Congress sucks, and there’s statistical evidence to prove they do.
According to a recent national poll conducted by Public Policy Polling, Congress has a favorability rating of nine percent.
The reputation of Congress is so bad that, when given a choice, cockroaches, lice, the NFL’s replacement referees, colonoscopies, root canals and used car salesmen are more liked than Congress.
France scored higher than Congress. France!
Much of the poll was undeniably done with tongue firmly planted in cheek. There’s obviously no logical link between federal legislators — most of whom were recently re-elected — and the Kardashians or Brussels sprouts. Likewise, as a Los Angeles resident, I know people cannot say they like a traffic jam more than Congress without cracking a mischievous smile.
Amidst the frivolity, however, are telling answers calling real Washington politics into question — as well as President Barack Obama’s alleged re-election mandate.
For example, the media usually personifies “Congress” as House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican. But, while nine percent of Americans overall like Congress, 36 percent of those calling themselves “very liberal” like Congress. Conversely, only six percent of those who are “very conservative” like Congress. This suggests ire for Congress isn’t necessarily targeted at conservatives such as Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, but rather liberals such as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and. by extension. Obama.
To the credit of Congress, more than twice as many respondents prefer it to North Korea. In another recent national poll, commissioned by the Better World Campaign, respondents identified North Korea’s nuclear threat — and Obama’s need to respond to it — as the second-greatest international issue behind the economy. Yet former American Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton asserts Obama’s first term showed an “inability or unwillingness to acknowledge” the North Korean threat. Similarly, Fidel Castro is significantly more hated than Congress. Yet Obama is moving to normalize relations with the Cuban government (now run by Fidel’s brother, Raul).
Congress was also preferred to “communism.” Not to accuse Obama or his congressional allies of being closet commies, but aren’t they the ones who embraced Occupy Wall Street and cheered the virtual nationalization of General Motors?
While Public Policy Polling’s effort largely generated laughs and poked fun at politicos and pop culture icons, these overlooked results uncover real unhappiness with things in which liberal politicos are involved.
Is it really surprising Congress isn’t favored well? Consider that the Senate hasn’t passed a budget in nearly four years, yet passed ObamaCare against the will of most Americans without reading it or attempting to discuss its merits and consequences. Yet the media prefers to demonize conservatives.
Many of those same senators who engaged in bad theater during the so-called fiscal cliff negotiations look ready for a bad sequel during upcoming debt-ceiling negotiations. If history is any guide, Reid and his liberal partisans will avoid seriously addressing entitlement reform and the President’s careless and dangerous spending while robotically clamoring for more taxes.
And members of both chambers are unwilling to engage in serious and frank discussions regarding the actual causes of gun violence. Instead, they prefer unintelligent and meaningless sound bites about banning “assault weapons” and infringing upon the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans.
Bad politicians, like bad people in general, are a product of our debased culture — a culture we created. They are a reflection of our deteriorating American ethos. Complaining solves nothing.
If Americans want more principled and credible lawmakers who extol their virtues, both religious and secular, the answer is simple. If they, like me, want lawmakers who believe in God, respect others and their property and cherish the blessings of liberty, now is the time — better late than never — to reassess political allegiances.
There’s likely to be a lot of buyer’s remorse. Maybe it will spark a Tea Party revival of even greater proportions focused on improving the character ethic of our culture.
There is a lot to do, and no time for idle complaining.
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Derryck Green, a member of the national advisory council of the Project 21 black leadership network, received a M.A. in Theological Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary and is currently pursuing his doctorate in ministry at Azusa Pacific University. Comments may be sent to [email protected].
Published by the National Center for Public Policy Research. Reprints permitted provided source is credited. New Visions Commentaries reflect the views of their author, and not necessarily those of Project 21, other Project 21 members, or the National Center for Public Policy Research, its board or staff.