A new poll shows just how deeply, eye-poppingly unpopular Congress has become. But are voters partly to blame for lawmakers' failures?
J. Scott Applewhite/AP
It may be a cheap shot. But we couldn't resist commenting on the latest Public Policy Polling survey measuring just how deeply, down-there-with-sewer-rats-and-root-canals unpopular Congress is these days with the American people.
To wit: When given the opportunity to choose which they held in higher regard, voters actually picked all of the following over Congress:
Used car salesmen
NFL replacement refs
As the PPP press release commented: "It's gross to have lice, but at least they can be removed in a way that, given the recent reelection rates, members of Congress evidently can't." For the record, lice were favored over Congress by 67 to 19 percent.
Sure, it's a funny poll. And in lawmakers' defense, they actually did score higher than the Kardashians, playground bullies, North Korea, and Gonorrhea. (Although in a way, those results simply validate the overall poll – showing that respondents actually gave their rankings some thought, rather than simply giving Congress the lowest possible rating to make a point.)
But we also find it a little disturbing that Congress is now so widely seen as a laughingstock or worse. Congressional approval ratings have been at historic lows for some time now, and Congress-bashing has become a national pastime. The sentiment stems from a number of trends –including a growing lack of trust in institutions in general. But above all, it's a clear reflection of the public's frustration with legislators' inability to come together and resolve the nation's most pressing fiscal problems.