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America really hates Congress

For as long as I can remember, polls have borne out the conventional wisdom that Americans hate Congress but love the person who represents them. Yet a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released yesterday pronounces that wisdom false, and is the starkest example yet that the electorate is enraged at Washington and its inaction. Maybe these results will get the folks on Capitol Hill to start listening.

That Congress has a 17 percent approval rating is not surprising. Here's what is:

50 percent would "vote to defeat and replace every single member of
Congress, including your own representative."

72 percent would do this even if it meant the Democrats would retain control of Congress.

73 percent would do this even if it meant the Republicans would control the majority in Congress.

Americans have been angry with Washington since 2006, when voters gave control of the House and the Senate to the Democrats. They were still angry in 2008, when they elected President Obama. And their rage continued to roil as they turned out incumbents or the incumbent party in New Jersey, Virginia and Massachusetts.

When I made this point on "Morning Joe" today, host Joe Scarborough agreed. But he added to my critique (scroll ahead to 8:30) by arguing that the current anti-Washington feeling goes back to 2000.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Scarborough's brief against Washington -- "a decade of mismanagement...from the top," as he called it -- is not a lament. It's an indictment.

By Jonathan Capehart  | March 17, 2010; 11:29 AM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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Next: Democrats are responsible for the partisan mess they're in

Comments

The next step is to call out the American public on their dishonesty with the pollster! Like Ralph Cramden and Alice, it is all bluster.

I sometimes wonder if the "free bread" or
the "carnival" contains the sedative. At the movie theatre, I couldn't help but notice about a third of those in front of me were "texting" instead of watching "Alice".

Certainly, the public is addicted to the "free stuff" they have so far been promised and expect to receive more from
the incumbents each time the elections come around. I understand that in the last three thousand races in New York, only 17 incumbents were defeated!

Is the public being honest with the pollsters? Well, are they???

Posted by: PhillupSpace1 | March 17, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Anger and rage, while strong emotionally, is rather short on reason. It seems our large problem is more related to shortness of vision and goals. What are we to be about? For several decades, supposed "smart guys" have been pushing to make our economy be about "services." Well we just got a hard lesson that economies that are out of balance face heavy falls. We need to be about how we will govern a country that has but 300 million citizens but nearly half the world's economy.

To rail madly at Congress - which is merely to be our representation - is pointless. Who do we elect and what do we expect of them? If Congress is dysfunctional, it is our fault. So trading them in is only worthwhile if we honestly work to trade up. If our representatives reflect our real interests, then looking at Congress is really like looking at us. And unfortunately, this year or so, that's really been the case.

It is we, the people, who need to get our act together. If we send people to Congress who really represent the interests of business, that's what they'll do in office. If we send people who are afraid to stand up alone and express difference, then we get lock-step party members who vote as leadership bids them. If we send un-self-disciplined maverics, we get what they offer. It is up to us and to no one else to select our "leadership." What we see is what we elected.

Posted by: Jazzman7 | March 17, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

It hard to love 500 representatives especially when each is trying to serve their constituents. It is still good system that is being changed by extremism on both sides of the aisle.

I don't believe the solution is to remove everyone, but to start electing people of moderate thinking who will fight for the interest of the country above local concerns.

Finally we have to let the majority reflect the will of the majority that elected them.
Let them know that if they don't get it right they will be replaced.

The actions of the Congress reflect a paranoia generated by the impatience of the electorate. We need to let them do their work rather then berate them every step of the way.

Posted by: enr1025 | March 17, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Americans hate congress? you're funnin me--right? Only because they have ignored the expressed will of the people of this nation on the health care reform bill; only because they have abandoned the Constitution and the laws it contains; only because they have elevated themselves to the level of "diety" and pronounced themselves superior in all respects to the great unwashed who sent them to Congress in the first place. They bow down and kiss the boots of Reid, Pelosi and Obama, and vote according to the wishes of the triumvirate. And they act as if they absolutely do not care what the American people think. People hating congress--that's putting it mildly.

Posted by: shep8851 | March 17, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Send the Democrats home!

Posted by: easttxisfreaky | March 17, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

"What we see is what we elected."

What we elected was what we were allowed to see. There wasn't a lot of campaign video out there showing the incumbent taking payola from corporate sponsors. There wasn't a lot of campaign video out there showing challengers who might resist that mode of operation.

Posted by: fzdybel | March 17, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

I will believe that America Hates Congress when more than half of Congress loses its incumbency in one election, and not before.

There is a big difference between hating CONGRESS, and hating all the idiots, (Not, certainly, that paragon of wisdom I have been voting for all my life) mountebanks, (but My two Senators are of Lincolnesque Honesty), and scurrilous dogs, (But my Party's Leader, and Whip, and other Party heads are of sterling reputation) that everyone else seems to stupid to vote out o0f office.

Throw the bounders out always assumes that you get to retain your particular bounders.

Else why is incumbency considered so hard to overthrow?

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Posted by: rritkonlyyou | March 17, 2010 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Come November the people will once again vote for the guy or gal holding the scissors at the ribbon cutting for the new bridge, road, factory, Mall, Hospital etc. Because at the end of the day no matter how much they hate the “Process” they “reward” the results

Posted by: notthatdum | March 18, 2010 12:52 AM | Report abuse

I don't think Americans really hate Congress, we just hate what Congress has become. Put Republicans back in charge? Yeah, let's go back to the way things were from 2000 - 2007 when they WERE in charge. Hello?

Posted by: RobertaHigginbotham | March 18, 2010 12:58 AM | Report abuse

Why is therm advertising on this blog?
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Posted by: mixedbreed | March 18, 2010 2:37 AM | Report abuse

What this country needs is a good, old-fashioned theocracy. All problems can be solved with constant prayer directed at God. Church elders will direct your grooming, attire, speech, thought, occupation, and compensation. Violation of religious rules shall be handled quickly in a Star Chamber. Serious infractions, like chewing gum in class, are dealt with ceremonially by way of a range of punishments ranging from severe flogging to torture unto death. We'll have a hereditary monarchy with single party rule. All positions of Authority are appointed by the Supreme Ruler, George W. Bush.

Posted by: BlueTwo1 | March 18, 2010 5:39 AM | Report abuse

Congress as an institution is fine. It is the batch of Congressmen and -women who are currently polluting the Capitol with the foul stench of their corruption and their terrible crimes against the Republic and the people.

People often mistake me for a conservative because I'm always railing against public health-care. I am not. Unlike a conservative, my opposition to health-care is practical and not principles: I don't have a problem in concept with gov't health-care, I just can't believe that the same group of people who rape the tax-payers EVERY SINGLE YEAR by padding the massive defense budget and giving those defense contractor who "contribute" to their "campaigns" all sorts of sweet-heart deals, are going to behave ANY better with the massive health-care budget or with medical, insurance and pharmacuetical contractors.

If you want the government to do more, fine. I'm willing to have that discussion and I can even do so without calling you a 'communist traitor' or any of the other nonsense that is routinely hurled about but FIRST we need to deal with the greedy partisan SCUM, left and right, who have had our Congress hostage for thirty years and who think their position exists as an excuse to loot the public treasury. If you want government programs, fine, but FIRST let's make sure we have a government that is OPEN, HONEST and put the Republic ahead of personal and party interests.

It is the height of foolishness to give the spend-thrifts and demogogues who now sit on the hill an OUNCE more power or a DIME more money and expect them to behave any better with it then they have with ANYTHING else.

Posted by: andrew23boyle | March 18, 2010 5:49 AM | Report abuse

enr1025:
True True. The 80% of American that are int he middle are being held hostage by the extreme 10% on each side. Why? Because that's where the money is. Its hard to win elections unless you have good propaganda. Propaganda costs money and it is extremely difficult to gather enough funds with out getting it from that 10% on the right or the left. A wise person once said "If you take the king's money, you are the king's servant". John McCain is a perfect example. He spent his whole career in the center-right. He found out very quickly that you can't win the GOP nomination without backing from that most conservative 10%. He had to publicly betray what he had stood for just to get the nomination. I don't think he ever recovered from that. It is the travesty of American Politics.

We the people need to take back our country by being diligent as informed voters that hold their elected official accountable for their actions. This is the only way to break grip the extreme right and left have on our country. My suggestion for the first step. We finally force congress to enact term limits.

Posted by: akmzrazor | March 18, 2010 7:19 AM | Report abuse

VOTE THE BUMS OUT!!

Posted by: tjhall1 | March 18, 2010 7:41 AM | Report abuse

The case for term limits is overwhelming. At the very least they would ensure a fresh supply of venal trash on a regular basis. Ideally they would devalue the job and make the cost of buying a senator or rep less - someone only in place for twelve years is worth less than a 92 year old ex-KKK man who has been there since the year dot.

But we could still say that we have the finest senators money can buy.

Posted by: chiltonthomson | March 18, 2010 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Mostly every congressman has one thing in common. They are all Baby Boomers. When the Baby Boomers go the way of the dinosaur, we may get change in Washington. What a catastrophic generation. It is ironic that the parents of the Baby Boomers are considered the "Greatest Generation" but they spawned arguabley the "Worst Generation." Good riddance when they finally go.

Posted by: vincentpa | March 18, 2010 8:13 AM | Report abuse

There is no such thing as "the middle". We have single member districts, and that always entails the creation of two poles to which the public necessarily gravitates.

Even if you set up multi-layer primaries, the end result is still two poles ~ each with its own set of strong adherents.

People OUTSIDE that framework are properly called a "FRINGE".

Currently we have a vast number of people who want to be on the fringe of the current political milieu. They have several reasons for that ~ one of them is that Congress (and the legislature and the city council and the county commissioners) won't do what they want or that they do more than they want or is needed.

A lesson ~ just because the fringe doesn't adhere to one or the other pole (the major parties) doesn't mean they can't be organized in some manner.

The Democrats have their captive special interests, e.g. the NEA, Reform Judaism, La Raza, ABC/NBC/CBS/PBS/NPR/MSNBC/CNN, UAW/AFL/CIO, ACORN, and so on. Many of their members or employees (or audience) are also on the fringe, but they are kept in place by the insider, and tend to vote like the insiders, or regular Democrats.

Even doctrinaire Socialists are forced into the milieu of Democrat party politics because of the lock of the special interests in that party (and vice versa). They literally have no where to go to be heard.

The Republicans handle it differently, but sometimes they pick up the whole thing. Ronald Reagan in 1980 springs to mind. "W"s re-election, the Gingrich takeover of Congress in 1994.

The way to BREAK the gridlock is to BREAK the power of the special interests, as well as the Democrats, by instituting PARTY LIST VOTING.

That's the system they use in Israel. It enables them to overcome most of the special interests while allowing a generally "traditional center left" alignment to produce a list of test politicians who will keep Israel's defense needs paramount!

They may do other things, of course, but defense is number 1 with all of them ~ even if not with some of the unique special interests they have.

By eliminating the single-member district at the national level, you would never find a doufous like Obama showing up as Prime Minister ~ be more like a Mayor Daley from time to time, but not a backbencher with no experience.

This can be done through a couple of Constitutional amendments. I think passage could be accomplished before this Fall's elections.

There are other variations on this in use througout Europe. It brings the "special interests" out in the open, subverts the fringe, and gets experienced and knowledgeable politicians on board. If anything, most folks today are fed up with the hidden special interests, the feeling that nothing can be accomplished inside the parties, and that the idiots are in the elected offices screwing everything up.

Posted by: muawiyah | March 18, 2010 8:24 AM | Report abuse

I am not surprised at the poll results. I am not sure what they mean? I serve on a community board. Everyone has an opinion about how things should be done but there is a great deal of apathy about actually doing something. What is the percent of the population who will show up to vote in 2010? I think the current emphasis on media coverage of the processes by which our laws get made is more than most people can tolerate. The horse trading that has always been part of politics is being presented like it is something new. It is hard for people to understand that we have 535 constituencies that must be considered and the process of allowing this level of participation in policy development is hard to imagine. Oh, by the way people hate the media too. I especially detest the media's decisions about what is important for me to hear or read. Sex and bloodshed are not my greatest interests.

Posted by: cdierd1944 | March 18, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

The problems with Congress began in 1994 with the election of conservative members who gave us their Contract With America. What that document should have been called was a Contract on American -- a contract to "take out" the America we knew and loved.

The 1990s also saw the ascension to leadership of the Boomer Generation, that narcissistic generation concerned primarily with "I, me and mine." The Congress we see today and the extreme partisanship is the direct result of a generation that had no concept of the meaning of "the common good."

If this beloved nation of ours loses its luster, it will be the result of the move to establish a government that can "fit inside a bathtub" and with an obsession with the size of government rather than on the ability of government to serve its citizens in a meaningful way.

Until members of Congress regain the vision to lead the nation in a meaningful manner, we will continue to be angry.

Posted by: marmac5 | March 18, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

"America really hates Congress..."

Sure. But which Americans?

Those in Texas?

Or those in Tamaulipas?

Posted by: GaryEMasters | March 18, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

The quickest way to reform Congress is to make it illegal for anyone to actively seek office. Members of Congress would be drafted and it would be illegal to refuse to serve, just as it is with jury duty.

Four years from now Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and the rest of their poisonous ilk would be floundering in the private sector somewhere and Warren Buffet, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs would all be Senators.

Posted by: patrick3 | March 18, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Never in the History of Nations has a single Profession taken full control of a Government in such an absolute way-Attorneys control all three branches of our federal Government.
And we're asking for transparency in Congress ????
Not untill America rises in a National movement for term limits will we be able to take our country back. But first all incumbents need to be voted out, beginning with that obstructionist cartel of senile, arrogant old men and women in the Senate
Perpetual incumbency is the breeding ground of corruption. We have to start from scratch and clean house.

Posted by: lionelroger | March 18, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

What gives you the idea that we are unhappy with Congress' inaction? I, for one, just want them to STOP!

Posted by: disgusteddemocrat | March 18, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

The WSJ/NBC poll is a farce. Why hasn't anyone really analyzed it?

66% over 40.
90% non-hispanic.
75% white.
51% earn over $50k and 21% earn "over $100k" (by far the largest sample).
77% non union.
50% protestant and 76% Christian.
24% liberal, 72% moderate to very conservative
59% without a degree
60% white collar or retired, 18% blue collar
87% HAVE health care

So Rupert Murdoch's Wall Street Journal puts out a poll of older, white, protestant christian, undereducated, white-collar, non-union, conservative WSJ readers with health insurance, earning at least $50K to over $100k and the ratings for Obama and HCR are down.

What a huge surprise!

Posted by: joebanks | March 18, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

It is a representational body of lawyers, in other words...they are us.We don't like congress because as a nation, we have made or allowed some very foolish decisions to made. Two useless wars and the dismantling of the greatest economic engine in the recorded history of man will generate some low self esteem. I blame republicans, but I know the democrats stood up and said..."Good idea!!" so that's that. Are we going to be able to clean up OUR mess? I suppose it's possible but first we have to admit that America is a mess. The following would be helpful:

Constitutional amendment to grant the President a line item veto in which each line item can be overridden by a majority vote of the house.

Dump NAFTA, and tax Chinese goods sold here.

Tax penalty for overseas employees. Remember inflation is no longer an issue because we don't have any jobs, prices stay low, because supply is great and demand is low. The only way for corp. to increase their profits is to lower their costs, the only controllable cost is that of labor. So a little inflation might not always be so bad.

Posted by: bproulx45 | March 18, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Mostly every congressman has one thing in common. They are all Baby Boomers. When the Baby Boomers go the way of the dinosaur, we may get change in Washington. What a catastrophic generation. It is ironic that the parents of the Baby Boomers are considered the "Greatest Generation" but they spawned arguabley the "Worst Generation." Good riddance when they finally go.

Excellent point!!! My generation DOES love to fight and argue about pointless Bull s**t.

Posted by: bproulx45 | March 18, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Blocs of voters are angry at the Congress for different reasons.
The solution is not term limits, but to repeal limits on campaign contributions. Big money will then crowd out small money, and things will start to get done again. Some of those things will be things that progressives like. For example, the large corporations are not opposed to health care reform; it's the small businesses that are. The large corporations are not necessarily opposed to Federal regulations that make uniform rules across state lines and international borders; whereas small businesses just want fewer regulations regardless of the level of government.
The large corporations favor improving educational standards and making these standards uniform; it's the small businesses that oppose the Dept of Education and want more local controls and more private religious schools.

40 years ago, during the era of unlimited campaign contributions from a select group of citizens, we got the Civil Rights legislation, the EPA, and many progressive reforms which made life better in America. Now, with each contribution being limited to $2,000, the Congress can do nothing without offending someone. So, they do nothing, year after year, decade after decade.

Repeal the limits on campaign contributions and we will see better government in Washington.

Posted by: stillaliberal | March 18, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

I have an idea. Let's hold elections.

Posted by: cogito1 | March 18, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

"So Rupert Murdoch's Wall Street Journal puts out a poll of older, white, protestant christian, undereducated, white-collar, non-union, conservative WSJ readers with health insurance, earning at least $50K to over $100k and the ratings for Obama and HCR are down."

Exactly. A chorus of cranky old men shouting 'you congresspeople get offa my lawn!'

Posted by: drindl | March 18, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

I think that Pelosi and Reid cultivated much of the partisanship we see today with their anti-Bush crusade. Since the 1980's comparing Republicans to Hitler is par for the course for liberals. But their attacks while young Americans were fighting for us were a new low. And it wasn't for constitutional reasons (Gitmo) but just to get in a position to be a majority to pass major property siezures like healthcare. Republicans and most Americans are horrified at the angry left for selling out the troops in exchange for solidifying their position with a new entitlement program and resultant bureuacracy. Kill the bill.

Posted by: JohnnyGee | March 18, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

give the Republicans a filibuster breaking majority in the senate and a veto breaking vote in the house...

Posted by: DwightCollins | March 18, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

When "we the people" are fed-up with Congress, whether they are a Republican or Democratic majority, is not the problem structural in nature?

I wish two things could be changed:

1) Adoption of federally funded elections and do away with the need for Congress to operate like a brothel. As it is now, the system rewards the richest, or those who have sold out the most. As it is now, moneyed interests have the ear of our elected representatives first, and our needs as constituents come afterwards, if at all.

2) Redraw electoral boundaries so they don't look like they were created by the die-hards from both parties! Districts should require candidates to address as broad a spectrum of the nation's populace as possible. As it is, we send too many ideologues to Congress who have nothing to lose and who don't need to work with the other side.

But these things won't happen because too many in Congress are beneficiaries of the system as it is, and "we the people" can't manage to do anything about it.

Posted by: Nrth_Of_The_Border | March 18, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

There is no one to blame but ourselves, the voters. Congress is not populated by self voted people. We put them in Congress we have to live with the consequences. Stop whining ! Want a solution, look in the mirror and grow a pair.

Posted by: lcruz1 | March 18, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: JohnnyGee

I think that Pelosi and Reid cultivated much of the partisanship we see today with their anti-Bush crusade.

(The election of 2008 was the only anti-Bush crusade I recall. [crusade, good choice of words]).

Since the 1980's comparing Republicans to Hitler is par for the course for liberals.

(I don't recall any democrats calling George Bush a Hitler, but I can point to thousands of tea-baggers and their disgraceful, disrespectful signs.)

But their attacks while young Americans were fighting for us were a new low.

(Who attacked our soldiers? Do you mean attacks on the President while our soldiers are fighting? In which case, what are you tea baggers doing now?)

And it wasn't for constitutional reasons (Gitmo) but just to get in a position to be a majority to pass major property siezures like healthcare.

(What? What wasn't for constitutional reasons? Property siezures? What property siezures? If you're going to spout insane paranoid fantasies, you're going to have to be more specific and factual.)

Republicans and most Americans (mutually exclusive) are horrified at the angry left (as opposed to the calm, right wing tea baggers and town hall hecklers) for selling out the troops (you mean by sending more troops to the real war, not the political, chase-the-bad-guy-to-wag-the-dog Iraq war) in exchange for solidifying their position with a new entitlement program and resultant bureuacracy (oh yeah, this health care reform stuff has been an easy trip to political points. Obama really knows how to pitch the softballs).

Kill the bill.

(You really are delusional. But you do provide a concise picture of neocon, tea-bagger drivel. Thanks for the peek into the make-believe world of republican, Bush-loving, torture loving, constitution shredding idiots).

Posted by: joebanks | March 18, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

"give the Republicans a filibuster breaking majority in the senate and a veto breaking vote in the house...


Posted by: DwightCollins | March 18, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse "

Americans may be stupid, but they're not that stupid. Not even close.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | March 18, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Americans hate Congress? Actually, Americans hate each other. They hate the idea that they have to compromise, that they can't get everything they want. It's hilarious. Their "representative" votes one way. They continue to re-elect him. Well, apparently a majority in that district or state likes the way he votes, otherwise they'd vote him out of office. But another district or state hates the way he votes. Too bad; that's why you have your own representative. So we get stalemate, zero progress, and more and more expensive campaigns. To what end? So we can keep re-electing our own representatives, and hating the other districts' or states' representatives.

Until the nation as a whole matures and realizes we can't be infantile, screaming, demanding people all the time, this is what we've got.

It used to be that like it or not, you put up with what the majority wanted. Not anymore. We've devolved to the status of three-year-olds. If I can't have what I want, I'm going to keep everybody else from getting what they want, just to vent my bile.

Posted by: gasmonkey | March 18, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

FYI, even that same, horribly slanted WSJ poll can't skew everything and has to say this about Obama:

31% are very positive, 50% fall between very positive and somewhat positive and 61% fall between somewhat positive and neutral.

Don't view Obama through the same lens as Congress.

Posted by: joebanks | March 18, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Put new people in the capital building and nothing will change. It's not the individuals but rather the system. You can call it corruption or corporate/special interests, take your pick. There's much too much money in political leveraging and lobbying and way too much influence by special interests. Until we enact legitimate campaign finance reform and lobbying controls nothing will change in Congress.

Social legislation is always hard to pass. It exposes all the warts. Our health care bill is social legislation because it insures those that cannot gain access to it. Yes, we have to pay for others to have health care and I am more than willing to donate a miniscule part of my income to do it for my less fortunate fellow citizens. It saddens me to think that America would deny 30M plus individuals access to something most of us take for granted. Healthier people represent cost savings in the long run, so it is also financially prudent to have comprehensive care. I think above all our safety and health should be guaranteed. We have a wonderful country but our values have become skewed and we are much too self absorbed. That's the ugliness we are experiencing in Congress.

Posted by: citizen4truth1 | March 18, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Disaffection with Congress is more than understandable. Our representatives appear unable to put the interests of the Nation ahead of transient individual or party political advantage. It's a simple test and Congress has roundly failed. The squalid pandering to parochial interests is universal and disheartening.

While none are blameless in placing party interests above the common good, the current Republican Senate is blazing new ground in negative government and political hypocrisy. Along with imposing a servile and unquestioning obedience on his fellow Senators, Sen. McConnell has managed to outlaw even the tiniest spark of statesmanship from the entire group. None dare to be guilty of reasonable compromise. The party of Lincoln indeed.

Posted by: pohare1 | March 18, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Disaffection with Congress is more than understandable. Our representatives appear unable to put the interests of the Nation ahead of transient individual or party political advantage. It's a simple test and Congress has roundly failed. The squalid pandering to parochial interests is universal and disheartening.

While none are blameless in placing party interests above the common good, the current Republican Senate is blazing new ground in negative government and political hypocrisy. Along with imposing a servile and unquestioning obedience on his fellow Senators, Sen. McConnell has managed to outlaw even the tiniest spark of statesmanship from the entire group. None dare to be guilty of reasonable compromise. The party of Lincoln indeed.

Posted by: pohare1 | March 18, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

The news analysts that say the problem in Washington is the people who decide who to send to Washington. While that is certainly part of the problem, it is equally certain that that is far from the total problem. I suppose we could play the chicken-egg game for a few years, pretending we are looking for a magical solution, but that would produce little more than further division. It is important that the electorate understand that it is part of the problem, but how did it become so? I suggest that the performance of those elected is extremely difficult to predict. All too often the promises made during an election campaign begin to fade immediately upon reaching Washington. Given this phenomenon, in my mind, a heavier burden falls on those elected than on those electing. On the other hand, the burden for assurance of responsible performance shifts, over time, from the elected to the electorate. Part of the current problem, as I see it, is an absence of honesty and integrity on the pert of the elected. This results from the gradual separation between politician and electorate, and often becomes a situation where the words of a politician do not match the deeds. A major cause of that occurrence is the result of three things. They are 1. the shift of a politician's perspective that the longer he or she is in Washington, the more they know what is good for their constituents and so their communication fades; 2. the growing influence over the actions of the Congress by special interests (read money); 3. the increasing trend toward focusing on reelection rather than on the work that needs to be done. These are among the needed changes that have brought to the fore the issues of campaign financing, Special Interests influence overshadowing that of constituents, difficulty with truth and honesty, absolute partisanship, and failure to perform. There are a variety of ways to try to fix the situation, but, unfortunately, they all require the involvement of Congress. Things like limits on campaign financing, transparency of performance, term limits and more and better interaction between the levels of State and Federal government, restrictions on single party legislation, and a reemergence of volunteer Boards and committees functioning at the State level all represent positive steps toward reducing the elected - electorate disconnect. These do not represent all the problems or all the answers, but they do provide some honest suggestions for initiating meaningful change.

Posted by: 1mountaindoc | March 18, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Congress deserves to be hated.

They work for us and yet have total disregard for our majority wishes.

Posted by: mlemac | March 18, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

I ask the Canadian government to send me their immagration package.
I believe politicians are set on a self destructive course which will be impossible
to stop.
As a people we came so far to fail as a society.

Posted by: MichaelLittleBig | March 18, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

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