If a new NBC-Wall Street Journal poll just released Tuesday is to be believed, half of the country wants to get rid of every single member of congress. The poll, taken by telephone over the prior weekend, seems to show pretty clearly that not only are we disgusted with Congress; half of us will vote AGAINST the incumbent in the mid-term elections this fall.
If I were Russ Feingold or Tammy Baldwin, I would be afraid. Very afraid. Maybe there’s something to that political TV ad that shows a clip of an angry woman saying to Senator Feingold “you better get your resume ready.” Tammy Baldwin has been talking about health care reform for years, but she’s certainly not been a leader.
The poll was conducted by Democrat Peter Hart and Republican Bill McInturff, both with impeccable credentials as pollsters, and the message is pretty clear: Congress, you stink, and we’re fed up. The survey showed Congress with a 17% approval rating, and as the politicians prepare for the big vote on health care reform, an angry public is not likely to be happy no matter WHAT they do.
The poll shows Americans split evenly, 46% to 45%, on whether it’s better for Congress to pass the plan or leave the current system alone. Pollster Hart told CNBC that if he were advising Democrats, he’d say they have no choice but to vote for the plan because its failure would trigger a catastrophic loss of enthusiasm among Democratic voters in the mid-term elections.
Why are we so fed up with Congress? It doesn’t take a genius (or Karl Rove or James Carville) to figure out why. The two parties have done nothing but argue with each other and try and obstruct each other for the past several years. President Obama, whose approval rating in this new poll is 48%, has certainly not broken the gridlock and partisanship in Washington.
And every Republican politician keeps telling me the Democrats are trying to “ram this health care bill down my throat”, saying the vast majority of Americans are “opposed” to the bill. And the talking heads on TV and radio never ask “which poll says that?” Every poll I’ve seen conducted by a news organization (and not a political party) says Americans are pretty much evenly divided on health care reform.
I cannot imagine why anyone would be happy with the system the way it is, though.
Call me a disgusted American, but I’m sticking with what I posted months and months ago: they’re going to slap together some crap that doesn’t go anywhere near far enough, ladle in a healthy serving of pork, approve it, and call it “reform”.