Congress

Good News/Bad News on Congressional Approval Ratings

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For those libertarians, like myself, who think general public disdain for government is a good thing, bittersweet news from USA Today: Public approval of Congress is at the highest point in a year. The good news is: it's still at only 40 percent. And:

The survey shows Bush's approval ratings remain in the mid-30 percent range, that a striking 39% strongly disapproves his handling of foreign policy and the war on terror, and that the public has scant hopes that the president and Congress can work together to solve the country's problems.

As Roland Burton Hedley Jr. often said, that "remains to be seen."

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  1. 39% strongly disapproves his handling of foreign policy and the war on terror

    Aaargh, I hate poll questions that conflate two very different kinds of disapproval. There are people who don’t like our being in Iraq at all, and there are people who think we should have been “surging” in Iraq years ago and don’t like the way we seem to be dawdling about Iran. To lump pacifists and isolationists with the fight harder crowd is rather misleading.

  2. The downside is, both parties think the best way to fix the approval ratings is to spend more money and pass more laws.

  3. I’m not sure what you’re trying to say, TallDave.

  4. PSF,

    Yes, I completly agree. There are those of us who believe we should be fighting with “gloves off” and there are those, including most of the Reason staff, it seems, that believe that “torture” includes speaking in an ill tone to your captor.

    Seems Reason missed a rare-but-good Kos article about fairbanksing at the New York Times.

  5. Guy Montag, I pray you’re using the collective ‘we’ instead of the royal.

    But just in case, there are subtler ways to combat terrorism than steamrolling into some random MiddleEast country and Americanizing it.

    And just for the record, when we jump-start somebody’s nuts with a car battery, we lose the moral high ground.

  6. “…and that the public has scant hopes that the president and Congress can work together to solve the country’s problems.”

    I might have written, “…and that the public remains optimistic that the president and Congress will ultimately do nothing.”

  7. But just in case, there are subtler ways to combat terrorism than steamrolling into some random MiddleEast country and Americanizing it.

    No country that we are in now was chosen at random. Unless you think there was one that did not “deserve” our visit for: shooting at out military planes for over 10 years? or housing and feeding the 9/11 plotters for years? (those are two different countries).

    Anyway, the “we” was as written, not what you haulted yourself from fairbanksing.

  8. My approval rating is pretty got dam low.

  9. And just for the record, when we jump-start somebody’s nuts with a car battery, we lose the moral high ground.

    Maybe. But we might also gain important information. 🙂 Especially if you let Jack Bauer at them.

    And not a car battery. A generator. The human body is more vulnerable to AC voltage at about 50-100 Hz. Remember that next time you torture someone, kids.

  10. But just in case, there are subtler ways to combat terrorism than steamrolling into some random MiddleEast country and Americanizing it.

    Good thing we didn’t just choose some Middle Eastern country at random, then. It would be pretty silly to be sitting in Jordan right now.

  11. “…and that the public has scant hopes that the president and Congress can work together to solve the country’s problems.”

    We have problems?

  12. “housing and feeding the 9/11 plotters for years?”

    Good Lord, you mean we have to invade Germany all over again?

  13. If it’s any consolation, libertarians, Congress’s approval rating is only rising because it is actively opposing and restraining the initiatives of the executive branch.

  14. Papaya and Guy are right about disapproval lumping together a sliver of deadenders with the anti-war majority.

    From a March 2007 CNN poll:

    “Fifty-four percent of Americans said the Bush administration deliberately misled Americans about whether Iraq had weapons of mass destruction before the U.S.-led invasion.

    Nearly six in 10 of those polled want to see U.S. troops leave Iraq either immediately or within a year. In addition, more people would prefer Congress to run U.S. policy in Iraq than President Bush.

    The CNN poll was conducted Friday through Sunday by Opinion Research Corp. Pollsters interviewed 1,027 adults for the survey, which had a sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

    Though support for Bush’s decision to dispatch additional troops to Iraq grew to 37 percent — up 5 percent from a mid-January poll — 52 percent said Congress should block funding for the new deployment. Forty-three percent opposed such a move.”

    How many of the “nearly six in ten” Americans that want us out of Iraq within a year are dead-enders? I’m going to guess “none.”

  15. From a March 2007 CNN poll

    NONE OF THOSE POLLED HANG OUT AT A CERTAIN SPORTS BAR. Details as events unfold.

  16. and that the public has scant hopes that the president and Congress can work together to solve the country’s problems.

    Which is why they voted for gridlock.

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