Congress Less Popular Than Lice, Colonscopies, and Genghis Khan, Poll Finds


It's almost enough to make you feel sorry for Congress. Almost. Public Policy Polling (PPP) has released the results of a poll pitting Congress against various unlikeables, including lice, brussel sprouts, colonoscopies, NFL replacement refs, traffic jams, the country of France, and the band Nickelback.

Each one of these things outpolled Congress — many of them by a dozen points or more. Still, it's not entirely bad news for federal legislators. The survey also finds that there are some things people hate more than Congress, including the Kardashians, John Edwards, Fidel Castro, North Korea, and Communism. And, uh, gonorrhea. 

The survey is as much troll as poll, and PPP is clearly having some fun at the expense of the nation's legislative class. But it also serves to highlight the public's real dissatisfaction with present-day politics: For many Americans, Congress serves as an all purpose stand-in for the political process, for the way Washington does (or doesn't do) business, and for the overall operations of the federal government. And it's pretty clear that almost no one is particularly pleased with the way things are going. 

Some liberals have taken this mood as a sign that the public is dissatisfied with Republican opposition to President Obama's agenda, hence the widespread talk of GOP obstructionism. But it's not clear that a more compliant Congress would produce a happier public. Public approval of Congress spiked briefly around the time President Obama took office and, aside from a few brief blips, has declined fairly steadily ever since. The drop started right as President Obama was sworn in and continued through the first two years of his first term, when Democrats controlled both the House and the Senate and racked up an impressive list of big-ticket legislative victories for the president. Yes, the GOP put up a fight during those years, but it's hard to argue that the 111th Congress wasn't bogged down by obstruction and opposition. It was, by most any useful measure, an enormously productive Congress. Yet congressional approval ratings didn't exactly soar then either. 

And then there's the recent election. One way to look at it is as a victory for President Obama and Democrats. That's not wrong, exactly, but you could just as easy describe it as a win for gridlock: A public that's deeply divided over how Washington should govern expressed those divisions by voting more or less for the status quo, despite its equally deep dislike of how Washington is being run. Which offers a hint as to why PPP was able to produce the sort of poll results it did: There's no public consensus about what, if anything, federal legislators should do, or should have done. And as a result, everyone's unhappy enough with Congress as it is that they'll tell pollsters they like it less than being stuck in a traffic jam, listening to Nickelback, and/or scratching the lice out of their heads. 

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  1. The only thing worse than a legislature that doesn’t accomplish anything is a legislature that does.

  2. lice, brussel sprouts, colonoscopies, NFL replacement refs, traffic jams, the country of France, and the band Nickelback.

    Well, at least I more popular than Congress. Talk about your Pyhrric victories. Also, Canuckistan deserves total annihilation for Nickleback.

    some things people hate more than Congress, including the Kardashians, John Edwards, Fidel Castro, North Korea, and Communism. And, uh, gonorrhea.

    One of these I can fix, however.-)

    1. Doc, can you really “fix” the Kardashians??!! Oh, shit, you bolded one of the other ones.

      1. I believe gonorrhea is what the Kardashians need fixing.

      2. Doc, can you really “fix” the Kardashians??!!

        I’m sure he could perform a tubal ligation on them.

    2. Well as long as that Rocephin keeps working. When the resistant version finally takes over, look out.

  3. Less popular than Nickleback?!?!?!?


    1. Well the ‘back could totally sell out Madison Square Garden in like five minutes… so they got that going for them.

  4. That’s not wrong, exactly, but you could just as easy describe it as a win for gridlock…

    Not if our current Speaker of the House had his way.

  5. It is worth noting that John Edwards was once a member of Congress and therefore, by extension, pretty much a barometer for Congressional approval as well.

    And I won’t be surprised if we end up with a Kardashian congressperson as well.

    1. The HuffPo commenters were pretty thrilled with the possibility of Ashley Judd running for Senate the other day.

      1. Even better, she wants to run against Rand Paul. It shows how serious liberals are about war and civil liberties that they would target him.

        I hope she does. Her Hollywood ass would get crushed in Kentucky. With his approval ratings the only way Paul doesn’t retain his seat is if he wins a promotion to the White House. (Highly unlikely but a much better chance than his father ever had).

  6. “Some liberals have taken this mood as a sign that the public is dissatisfied with Republican opposition to President Obama’s agenda, hence the widespread talk of GOP obstructionism”

    Yeah, well, they’re idiots.

    1. The thing is, each individual congressman only needs to worry about the mood in his or her own district. Some districts are stupider than others, and that’s reflected in the representation, to be sure, but the overall congressional rating probably doesn’t mean dick to them until it begins to color their re-election prospects back home.

    2. Liberals would love nothing better than a rubber stamp legislature for the great leader.

  7. Anyone who doesn’t like Brussels sprouts has obviously never tried them chopped in half and fried in plenty of bacon grease.

    1. Or simmered in cream.

      1. Yeah? Never tried that. But I like the crunchiness, which is why boiling in water is such a waste.

      2. You know what you should make, if you weren’t so stupid? Creamed spinach with plenty of butter. Go ahead and throw some feta on that shit too. It’s awesome.

        Brussels sprouts I do the PS way, except sometimes I will shred ’em, and mix in chunks of the bacon I just fried to get the grease. Mmm… delicious saturated fat.

    2. Everyone knows frying things in bacon grease makes things better. If you have to do that to make it even palatable, don’t bother. Just eat bacon instead.

      1. Well said, Bones. Seriously, you don’t put ketchup or even A-1 on a good steak; because it’s a good steak. Brussels sprouts have to be loaded up with cream, butter, grease, cheese, any assortment of other toppings or spices in order to be tolerable.

        1. You pretty much have to do that with any vegetable, other than the exceptions of carrots.

          1. Artichokes beg to differ.

          2. Yeah, all asparagus needs is a little salt & pepper, if anything.

        2. Seriously, you have no idea what you are talking about. They aren’t loaded up on grease, merely cooked in a healthy fat for texture and as a way to eat a healthy veg and a healthy fat. And prepared this way they are far from being merely ‘tolerable’.

          Any more impugning of this noble vegetable and I will have my seconds call on your seconds.

        3. Steak already has its own delicious fat contained within. Not a fair comparison.

    3. If you have to overload it with that much “other flavor”, it’s a pretty shitty product/vegetable.

      1. Not true, not true at all. The density of Brussels sprouts makes a perfect food for frying in a healthy oil like lard with an awesomely crunchy result. Bacon grease is the best, but any saturated fat will do. I’ll take fried sprouts any day over some wimpy veg like peas. Have you ever fucking fried peas? How about salad? Are you down for fried lettuce?

        No sir, the Brussels sprout makes a unique canvass upon which the bacon grease can spread its wings onto my sophisticated palate.

  8. It’s a real headscratcher.

  9. Stated v. revealed preferences.

    People may say they hate these things, but they keep watching Kardashian shows, reading Kardashian news articles, and buying Kardashian products. They keep buying tickets to Nickleback shows, and downloading their albums.

    And they keep reelecting their fucking congresspeople.

    1. And I keep getting gonorrhea, no matter how much I claim to dislike it.

      1. I think you can get that just by talking to Episiarch, so there’s your trouble, JJ.

        1. He emits a miasma of STDs. He actually validates medieval theories of disease transmission.

          1. Who do you think started The Plague?! That myth about those fleas? Balderdash!

            1. I read a book by some actual, honest-to-god serious epidemiologists who postulated what they called a “verticle theory” of transmission specifically as regards Black Plague.

              By which they mean they think routinely passing asterioids cause it, hence it popping into existence now and then, raging for a few decades, then going away again.

              I don’t remember everything about the book b/c it was so stupid, but it’s worth reading for a chuckle.

              1. Oh sorry, turns out they were astronomists, not epidemiologists.


                1. I was about to say, though I question the methods and models of epidemiologists many times, they aren’t that stupid (though Warty might beg to differ.-D

      2. Because you keep liking Kardashians, no matter how much you say you hate them.

        1. Because you keep liking licking Kardashians, no matter how much you say you hate them.

      3. Your antibiotics are on the way, Jimbo. Gorilla-cillin* should work nicely.

        *Yes, there is such a thing as “gorilla-cillin.

        1. I don’t want any of your make-believe, non-FDA-approved Slavic drugs, comrade. Taking that crap is what makes those people so susceptible to totalitarianism!!!

          1. Well! In that case, Jimbo, I guess it will be just the usual fun drugs then. Also, wear a condom.-D

            By the way, I found out the hard way that “tovarishh” is not a good thing to say to someone here, even jokingly, unless you know them very well, and nearly got a punch in my face for my trouble. It’s like me saying, “You my nigga,” to a black person without “N-Word” privileges.

            1. Sorry, I could have told you that, but never thought of it.

              And, uh, if you haven’t figured this one out yet, don’t go around wearing a lot of light blue.

              1. Yeah, my scrubs are either white or green. My custom light blue ones are never to be worn. And dammit I make them look sexy!

                Blue and yellow combo is acceptable, however, especially with footballers.

    2. The hate for Congress is a cheap and easy way for the ill-informed to pretend to be cynical and cool.

      There are a lot of reasons to hate Congress, but I guarantee that those aren’t the reasons the public at large uses.

      1. Oh I’m sure a bunch of them hate congress for not “getting anything done”. They want it to be a rubber-stamp, and are angry that they can’t elect a king every four years.

        “Do-nothing congress” is an insult that most of these people would use to describe the legislature they claim to hate, but I would love nothing better than to actually have a congress that did nothing.

        1. You’re pretty much on target sadly. As usual the cynical (from a libertarian perspective) view is the correct one.

        2. They want it to be a rubber-stamp, and are angry that they can’t elect a king every four years.

          There really should be an open season on any creature dumber than a cow.

    3. So people actually like Honey Boo Boo?

  10. “Those clowns in congress did it again!”
    “What a bunch of clowns!”

    1. How does it keep up with the news like that?

  11. But I like _MY_ congressperson, it’s all the others that are the problem. /typical voter

  12. Dude that jsut looks like crazy fun to me man!


  13. Its very hard to get rid of head lices. I tried many things on my head including egg and oils. but, after sometime they grow up and. Finally, I bought a book named as “lice treatment” and it works for me.

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