Monday, July 23, 2007

On Congressional Approval

If you don't know that public approval of Congress is substantially lower than the Presidents poll numbers, you don't watch many talking head news programs. If you do watch these programs you have had this fact drummed into your skull repeatedly, time and again, day in and out, for the last several weeks.

But when you actually look at the numbers, you find quite an interesting set of facts. One of the major reasons Congressional support has plummeted is because liberals (like yours truly) are upset with the inability of Democrats to... what is the phrase to use here... oh yeah, grow spines. Most of the recent loss of support for Congress comes from Democrats, because their leadership won't stand up and fight like we think they should.

Do you for one second think that means people like me are going to turn that frustration into votes for Republicans in 2008? Hah! It means that Congress is liable to take a decidedly leftward turn, until the nation feels that the people representing them will effectively challenge Republican dogmatics.

Another interesting subplot to these polls are the numbers which think the Congress is actually better under Democratic rather than Republican leadership. The very same polls showing such dissatisfaction with Congress also shows wide majorities of people trusting Democrats leadership on the most important issues of our times. The Washington Post published a poll just this week mirroring this disapproval of Congress, but widespread approval with Democratic leadership.

Congress is losing popularity because the war is dragging on for no apparent reason, the President is thumbing his nose at the nation, crooks are running the Department of Justice, and our Vice President is setting policy when he ought to be institutionalized... but Congressional reaction is tepid at best. For example, if charges of perjury before Congress can not be levied against Alberto Gonzales, there is no point in having those laws on the books going forward. The Attorney General is an inveterate liar, to the point of committing bald faced and obvious perjury, and Congress isn't doing a thing about it.

Here is what it comes down too. If any big wig Democratic strategist ever stumbles over Club Lefty, here is my advice for what little it may be worth. You are in a street fight and you are fighting by the Marquess of Queensberry parliamentary rudimentaries even as your opponents have spent the last 7 years MMA'ing your butts all around the political arena. Fight Back! Take off the gloves and slam them back! You will see those poll numbers rebound just from having your base jump up to support you. If you are trying to win over the Republican base, just change parties so we can vote you out and get back to sanity in this nation.

If the Republicans are going to obstruct everything and anything, Democrats in Congress may as well let them obstruct the impeachment of Gonzales at the very least. You can't do anything anyway Democrats... so grow spines and get nothing done with a fight. Let the Republicans be the obstructionists, protecting the 25% President, as the situation in Iraq degenerates and the people get madder.

Don't sit around blubbering about them not playing nice. Did our Democratic leaders really think they would get anything past these Republicans anyway? This is the party that prevailed upon Collin Powell to sacrifice 30 years of distinguished public service in order to present a pile of unmitigated crap to the U.N. leading up to the Iraq war. The only toxic substance of any note in Powells presentation were the insidious vapors emanating from the papers from which Powell was reading. Powell threw away decades of hard earned respect and good will by making that presentation and will go down in history as a tragic figure... a once respected Bush administration tool. That sort of loyalty and devotion may be hard to fathom, and the devotee may wish they had clearer judgement in hindsight, but it is this type of blind faith in wrong headed idealism that guides Republicans under this Presidents leadership.

The American people expect Democrats to do what they can to stop this disaster. If the Republicans won't play along (which we know they will not) that is no excuse for the Democrats to simply lay down and continue being beaten to a pulp.

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