October 3, 2014

People don't hate Congress

The GOP has a hold on the Congress and that isn't about to change.  Liberals frequently now decry that the Congress has a lower approval rating than the president.  This was true of the previous president as well.  But here's the open secret.  Most sitting representatives and senators are going to get re-elected.  It's not because of money.  It's not because of special interests.  It's not because of gerrymandering.  Sure, these all impact Congress to some degree.  But the real reason they get re-elected, liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican, is because they are not hated by 90% of their own electorate the way the highly misleading Congressional approval rating indicates they might be.

People who dislike Congress often tend to like their own Congressman.  The problem they really have is either with the other party, or with the dysfunction of Congress in general.   Nobody wants a Legislative branch that can't get things done.  Liberals want immigration reform.  For conservatives, hey, maybe an actual budget would be nice.

Of course the approval rating for Congress is abysmal.  No one is fully satisfied.  As much as it pains me to say this, no one should be - conservatives included.  There always needs to be dissent and disagreement.  If everyone agrees, then the country is probably headed down a bad path.  Not because the idea is bad, but because the legislation is not being debated.  No legislation is perfect - Obamacare included liberals, Obamacare included.  So to see no debate would be a bad thing. To not see strident disagreement would be pause for concern.

And since the parties have become somewhat intractable in their positions, debate has often descended into name-calling and libelous accusation.  Again, as a voter, you aren`t going to be happy with some Congressional representative, being paid big money, spending time calling some other highly paid representative some name.

Yes there has been a stunning lack of conciliatory work and finding of common ground compared to years past.  That's because there is a fundamental distinction between socialism and capitalism which is the crossroads the United States now finds itself at.  So to blindly stroll down the path of socialism without debate, without consideration is pure folly.  It is a remaking of America in a direction not espoused by the founders of the nation but also not espoused by any generation since.  If it is such a shining path Democrats should welcome the debate.

There is some breakage in the system, but the system is generally working.  And if it were completely broken, you`d see a strong third party challenge to the status quo.  But the GOP will win Congress this year. The same is true in Democratic districts with Democrats as representatives. And that proves that people can`t be all that unhappy (i.e. 90%) with their own parties. 

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