Steve Benen cited a new poll this morning:
The latest Associated Press-GfK poll shows Congress’ approval rating dropping to just 12%. It’s the lowest ever recorded in an AP poll.
So the question is: who are the 12% who approve of this failed Republican Controlled Congress?
These are some seriously ill-informed people.
These are some seriously ill-informed people.
Or the dead can be polled.
I hate my iPad!
I just got off the phone with one of them, my stupid, ignorant, Rush loving brother in law. His final words,
“we need to get Dick Cheney back in there to straighten things out”!
Good question that, “who are the 12%”.
The only issue with getting a good answer is that most people don’t distinguish the Lords from the Surfs in the House nor the House from the Senate when speaking about “Congress”.
Tea baggers’ kinfolk make up 9.33 percent. Those folks back home have a whole passel of kin.
They think they’re getting some coupons and free samples now.
Wow! When you have lost over half of the bat shit crazy 27%ers then you know you have a big problem
I wouldn’t bet that those 12% are ‘uninformed.’ Some are, sure, but a bunch of them are certainly well-informed enough to know that:
THEM REPUBLICANS SURE ‘NUFF DONE PISSED OFF THE LIBRULZ.
That’s all they need to know.
Well, at least some of the people who disapprove of Congress disapprove because they think it’s filled with Big Government Tax and Spend Soshulists and patchouli-wearing vegan hippie lesbians.
Mind you, I could stand to have a few more vegan hippies in Congress, but then I’m not a Real Murkan.
They’re the five people who would show up at a Christine O’Donnell book signing.
That is a plural noun? Cool word!
What I want to know is, where are the other 15 percent?
Maybe they are upset that the GOP can’t get some real reactionary reform done?
12% is approaching the percentage of people who need their meds adjusted on any given day. Also, there is probably a surprising number of Americans who don’t know what Congress is. Really, I have met people like this.
It’s my own crazy creation Linda. Meschugnah is an adjective. But Yiddish does have some flexibility.
@gbear: Those five people may have thought they were seeing Rosie O’Donnell but were so clueless that they never figured out the truth.
@Faux News: Half of the 27% probably think the Democrats control both chambers.
I’m afraid those people make up more than 12% of the population.
So if the Repubs hold onto the House in ’12, does this mean that Boehner is toast?
In fairness, a lot of them were probably in the middle of a cheetos or deep fried oreo cookie binge and misunderstood the question to be something about socialism.
Yea, my guess is that some of them are tea partiers who wanted the Reps to STOP that damned commie/soshulist Obummer! And they’ve mostly done that.
I think some of them are just low/no info voters who always respect institutions and authority.
Hell Dubya and Nixon had higher approval ratings leaving office.
I’m piss drunk, but my best guess is that the 12% represent Packers fans.
@handy: He’s already toasted both literally and figuratively. Heheheh. Yikes, I made a bad pun, like there is any other kind.
But no, Handy, my guess is even if Reps retain control of Congress in 2012, Boehner will not be Speaker. Cantor will not allow it, and he’s been saving chits from the teapartiers to make sure it does not happen.
@jl: The other 15% are Teabaggers who think the Democrats still control Congress.
Cancer polls higher because it leads to many people getting an inheritance before it’s all spent on RVs and timeshares.
I hesitate to suggest to Congress anything it could learn from that fact, as I’m sure it would lead to Eric Cantor suggesting something abysmally stupid.
If David Broder were still with us, he’d pat us all on the head and offer assurances that the Teabagger Congress’s approval will bounce back in no time.
Please explain how this is a republican controlled congress. Last I checked, the Senate was controlled by dems and the House by repubs. Sounds split to me.
@Punchy: I’ll put that down to drunkenness rather than idiocy.
ETA: Your comment, that is.
@efgoldman: Yea, I know that. Everybody usually thinks Congress sucks and everyone except for their congressman needs to lose their jobs. And so we end up with very few incumbents got back to the private sector. I’ve seen several recent polls that 54-60% think their own Congress critter needs to lose his job! Now that is a sea change and could signal a new era of NancySmash!
It just depends on how long that anti-incumbency feeling lasts, it is a damned long time tile Nov 2012. And where exactly that polling happened. But it was after the Reps voted to get rid of SS and Medicare etc. So I’m hoping it was mostly in red or purple areas and they want to get rid of their Republican Reps.
It’s the guy you just met who introduces you to his wife and sister when there’s only one woman there.
It is not beyond the realm of possibility that 12% of the population hates the US enough to want to see it fail and are well off enough that such failure won’t affect them in any material way.
Hell, I’m quite sure most Tea Partiers hate the US, and would be happy to see it fail if that means the people they hate suffer.
that 12% is either the very wealthy or the tea partiers who actually vote.
@Akadad: Isn’t it ironic? Don’t you think?
@CaseyL: That is a possibility. I think that it is also possible that a certain number of those people are trolling the poll.
It’s well-known that almost no matter what kind of poll-question you ask, you’ll never get an answer with less than 12-15% support (if it’s a yes/no question). Consider it an irreducible nucleus of crazies, curmudgeons, jokesters, people who misunderstood the question, and people who hit the wrong key on their phone.
The US Mentally Ill rise in support of Congress? At 12% we’re reaching the US population of sociopaths, schizophrenics, and the dysfunctional depressed.
I’ve always figured the 12% were the wealthy and a small number of partisan die-hards. No?
I’d bet it’s mostly not teabaggers, because from what I’ve seen, they’re just in a perpetual state of rage over everything-most of the Crazy 27% are probably in the “disapprove” category because the Kenyan Usurper hasn’t been impeached yet. I’d put it more on people who don’t really pay attention to policy details, who probably have had the same empty-suit rep for a couple decades now, and honestly don’t understand why those mean ol’ partisans can’t sit down and talk it out.
12% is the internet trolls who just want chaos for chaos sake?
James E. Powell
The 12% are the people who think that if it weren’t for Boehner, Cantor & Company, the good old US of A would already be the Soshulist Sharia States of America.
I sure as hell want my congresscritter asshole to not be reelected. But he surely will be.
It’s Oklahoma, Jake.
Coincidentally, the percentage of the Americans make six-figure incomes or more is about 12%. Extrapolated from this article showing that the top 10% average almost $114K.
Villago Delenda Est
Well, I know in my case, it’s true, but then again, my rep is Peter DeFazio.
Your mileage may vary, especially if the rep in question is some teabagger idiot.
@fleeting expletive: Boomer Sooner! Where in OK are you?
I’m in Memphis. But am an OU alum. Still have family in Podunk, East of Jesus, North of Bumfuck, OK.
@Villago Delenda Est: Mine is the odious Marsha Blackburn. In her defense, she was the first Republican woman Chris Mathews used to give a hard time too, till he met Michele Bachmann. Then she became his favorite punching bag.
I used to call Marsha the most odious, but then I met Steve King, Peter King, Louie Gohmert and Bachmann. So Marsha goes down to second seeding at best. So Marsha is just merely odious.
[email protected]Villago Delenda Est: DeFazio is my Representative. He’s not perfect but he’s great nonetheless. I got to meet him the other day at a private party. I think that he’s the “real deal”.
@James E. Powell:
I agree. The last 12% represents 4chan.
Dee, am also OU alumna. I’m in Norman, originally from Muskogee.
Yes, that Muskogee. I can recite extra verses to the song.
I can’t quite see myself moving elsewhere, really. I’m not built for northern winters, nor emigrating, since I’m an old and I haz fambly here. It really isn’t that bad around these parts. I live in a diverse neighborhood with Muslims and even Sikh folk. Even the bumperstickers aren’t that egregious apart from the occasional old Bush/Cheney ones. I rarely get into political conversations other than with likeminded lib/progs like myself, so I’m spared a lot of the supposed crazy.
Oddly, OU seems to be weed-free, as far as I can tell. T’wer’nt like that in 1968.
Maybe the 12% are people who really LOVE their individual congressperson. But I just can’t see that many people thinking that the Congress as a whole is in any way functional or acceptable,
I guess we just need a Supreme Leader – A Dictator. Since Congress just doesn’t work…
Be careful. We just might get it. The Germans once thought they had a workable democracy until it became inconvenient and they were faced with emergencies…
@RandyH: Perhaps many people are so tied up with trying to stay above water that they don’t think about Congress at all.
Of course anyone who thought about ’em at all would recognize them as a bunch not fit to run a PTA.
I hate the teatards as much as anyone, and I think that the low approval rating is a reflection of what’s going on in the house, but is it accurate to say “the republican-controlled congress”? Congress is both the senate and the house, right? Or am I wrong?
I think the 12 percenters are those who treats the polls as a joke and deliberately chooses the most ridiculous choices offered to them.
@Tom: good point, but the Senate is non functional by design
@Tom: Considering the number of ‘blue dog’ Democrats in the Senate, I’m not so sure that you’re right about that.
Is Holy Joe, for example, a Democrat? You decide. I think not.
Also, take my advice. Don’t hate “teatards”. It’s distracting.
@fleeting expletive: My mom’s family lives between Chickasha, Lindsey and Blanchard. We go back there at least every Thanksgiving, we used to go 3 or 4 times a year when my grandparents were still alive.
I always try to get back to Norman on that Friday after Thanksgiving, just to get my Greek House fix.Seriously the best Gyros of any city I’ve visited. And since my son turned 18, he likes going to Norman to play at RiverBend. He’ll be 21 this Oct., so he’ll start going to Tunica.
And the weed-free thing? Start hanging out with bartenders, musicians or waiters, they are attuned to the goings on of their cities. Ahem.
I was at OU 1980-85.
For all intents it is. Republicans have strong control of the House and the Senate, while technically majority democrat, has enough Republicans to filibuster anything and everything remotely progressive or even centrist. Nothing can pass Congress without a fairly conservative bent.
And Republicans sure seem to think their victory in the House is a mandate to get everything they want and repeal the 20th century, so quibbling over what they actually control seems pretty meaningless.
The way things are going in college football, it could be Stanford against Vandy in the BCS championship game. Those two, Northwestern, Rice, Duke, and the service academies seem to be the only schools not cheating.
Miami could be looking at the death penalty.
@Jamie: Hmm. I think that the Senate as it was created was supposed to function; I think that it was supposed to function slowly and deliberately. They’ve ground down to mostly dysfunctional over the years.
Currently the problem with the Senate seems to be the lack of a ‘real’ fillibuster – no one has to suffer to invoke it – and the rule requiring a super-majority to break one. If that’s Democracy, I’ll eat my hat.
As for the “12%”, there are all sorts of answers. Sampling error. Low information voters. People fucking with the poll. People pushing the wrong button. People who actually like their particular representative (a fairly high number in most cases) and therefore interpret the question as a referendum on that individual. The guarantee the cross section of that 12% isn’t homogenous.
But none of this is new, Congress has ALWAYS had shitty approval. I think they best they every got (outside of a post-911 style surge) was around 30% and its only ever gone down over the long term. Their approval tends to go up and down with the economy, just like the Presidents, but their ceiling is basically a President’s floor in terms of approval.
The really amazing thing is that this hasn’t really ever translated to the Supreme Court, which has usually gotten very high approval ratings (or “respect” ratings, which is often asked about institutions like that), though that might be changing.
By the way I meant to put a comma in my original post to make it clear that the Republicans don’t control the Senate in majority terms.
@Tom: Tom, I’d say that when most people say “Congress”, they actually mean House of Representatives. So you can say “The Republican controlled Congress” and be like 97% honest.
When we, or the pollsters say “Congress”, we may actually mean The House and The Senate. Most people hear it and think, The House. Because they are the House of Congress. (The Senate isn’t ‘the Senate of Congress.’)
And, almost every important bill must start in the House. The Senate cannot begin any bill that costs money. All the Senate can do is advise and consent for the President. Or they can bring up House spending bills and alter them. But the Senate cannot start bills. They can only finish them.
So methinks when folks start hating on “The Congress”, they are pissed at the House.
Remind me if I’m supposed to be upset at that development again.
Just makes me hate the little people more. Even with people widely pissed they will still vote most incumbents back into the fold.
I don’t see why there aren’t more un-aligned independents running for the House. At this point in our history, who wouldn’t vote for the “No wars, stop fucking with SS, max job stimulus” platform?
Because they are a machine. They do thier jobs like clockwork. They obviously agonize over their decisions. They don’t employ “magical” thinking. They’re all intelligent and have a wide range of views. They argue in private. And, until recently, they keep their mouths shut.
Congress = Random, loud, many times stupid, authoritarianism.
SCotUS = Directed, quiet, intelligent, authoritarianism.
@Linda, I grew up hearing “meshugoyim,” but I’ve switched to the Hebrew “meshuga’im” because the coincidence of the word “goyim” in the former makes people think I’m harshing on teh Gentiles.
Actually, a lot of independents are against isolationism and spending. Even in the middle of the Great Depression, with unprecedented hunger and unemployment, people were against the stimulus.
My surname, thanks to my whacked-out genealogy, is quite goyish. There are French Jews however.
Well I sure as hell would raise some serious hell if I found my local PTA was dominated by people like I see in Congress. “THESE PEOPLE are deciding how my child should be educated? No thank you, I’ll look for alternatives for my kid’s education or move to a better school district.”
Sheesh. Just imagine Eric Cantor deciding what your kids should learn in school, or how they should behave. Disgusting.
Krugman’s pointed that out before, and it’s both comforting and disappointing, in different ways, to learn that American suspicion of government is just kind of an ingrained thing as much as it is modern Fox/Koch propaganda, and people who think the government can do good were just always going to have to work with that.
@Spaghetti Lee: I think it’s because on the surface macro deficit spending is counter intuitive. In order to get out of debt, you first have to take on greater debt.
Targeted, specific, and smaller spending is easier to grasp. So for example, if you ask people if they’re willing to go into debt to construct a bridge, most people will say yes. Even then, they still could reject the project if they experience sticker shock.
It’s a difficult course to negotiate in the abstract, much less when opponents and yellow journalists are engaging in demagoguery, lies, and scare tactics.
If only it WERE an ingrained suspicion of government. I don’t see any of this knee-jerk suspicion when it comes to the national security state – somehow, it’s only when the government’s trying to help people that folks suddenly start freaking out.
Odie Hugh Manatee
Five percent are the ones at the top who are benefiting from this Republican congress. The remaining seven percent are the mentally insane.
It’s all they got left.
That’s because of racism. People think if it’s only being done to brown people (the other), then it’s okay.
I must’ve forgotten that in those couple of instances where it’s done to white people (e.g. Waco and Ruby Ridge), the backlash culminated in Oklahoma City.
@Jenny: It’s the religious right, which is indirectly related to racism, but not the driving force. The left seems fixated on racial issues and sees everything through this prism. But that’s misleading. It’s all about Jesus and has been for decades.
Rachel Maddow did a great piece about this with the authors of a new book called “American Grace”. In it the authors found that the Tea Party was made up of people who prior to Obama’s election were church going republicans. That’s the key. All the stuff about Obama being a Kenyan/Muslim/Usurper isn’t primarily about racism, there is racism there but it’s not the primary driver of the visceral hate these folks have for Obama.
They hate him because he’s not one of them. Indeed, he has contempt for the religious right, and they know it. They also know that the country is largely moving away from them. People aren’t going to start having less sex anytime soon. Gays aren’t going to get back in the closet. There will be more and more mosques built in the US. The country will contain an increasing percentage of folks who reject their belief system. This is why they disguise their agenda with talk of big government and the deficit. Their real fear is that their religion is losing it’s influence and it’s driving them crazy. The racism is there also, but it’s mostly a sideshow.
Not necessarily. They may just really hate this country and hope to see it destroyed — therefore, they think Congress is doing a good job.
I’ve always thought religion was overrated as a factor, in fact. You’re right that it’s not all about race either – I’d simply put it into the murky category of “identity,” which is the driving force all around. Racists, fundamentalists, nationalists, nativists (often very much overlapping categories) all just kind of melt together into one big “I’m scared of all the different-looking, different-sounding, different-worshipping people in this country.”
ETA: if memory serves, the religious right was sort of a safehaven for unrepentant segregationists in the first place. So even saying that it’s about religion, as you pointed out, brings it back to race.
Pat In Massachusetts
They obviously all live in Eric Cantor’s district.
Consider the 30% factor- 30% of a population will poll as believing about anything you can think of- UFOs, garden fairies, angels, Ron Paul ramming his position on abortion down 300M throats isn’t utterly inconsistent with the concept of Libertarianism… whatever. So I’d go with 18%+ of the anti-congress block is probably dead but feels so strongly they came back to life to answer and it’s skewed the figures.
The 12 percent is apparently made up of the US Congress themselves.
Our elected congresspersons just don’t seem to comprehend, or else they just don’t care, that the vast majority of their own country hates their collective guts. They refuse to recognize the possibility that their pursuit to cut spending, cut taxes for the rich, cut regulations, cut Social Security and Medicare (they’re not even hiding that agenda anymore), and to basically destroy government are all pissing off the citizenry to no end.
And why should they care? We elect Congresscritters who hide within a complex and expensive campaigning process that regular people can’t afford to enter, electing them to districts that have been gerrymandered into “safe” districts for candidates or for one party (example: there’s a majority of registered Democrats in Florida, but thanks to gerrymandering there’s an overwhelming majority of Republicans in Congress and the state legislature, non-reflective of the population at large), and with ongoing campaign drives funded by large corporations and third parties who essentially use campaign funds as legalized bribes.
Makes you wanna form a third party to fight all this corruption, but the sad irony there is that in our First-Past-The-Post election system, all a third party does is split the votes and allows a candidate that a majority DIDN’T vote for to win. /headdesk
One of the five people there asked her to sign his book on demonology instead of her book. Hilarious.
That’s not what the PTA does, it’s what the school board does – and if you check your school board, you’ll likely find it just as disfunctional as the Congress, complete with loons trying to throw out the textbooks because they don’t fit their ideology. Heck, a lot of Congresscritters get their start in the school board, before moving on to where the real graft is available.
Asked and answered….
I wonder if at least part of the 12% are folks old enough to remember when the term “Congress” referred to a pleasurable activity that could turn you into a parent if you weren’t careful.
phone rings, old geezer answers:
“Eh, what didja say sonny? [turns up hearing aid] Congress? Do I like Congress? Well shoot, who doesn’t? I used to love me some congress. Used to have congress just about every Friday night, in the back of my dad’s brand new ’57 Chevy. Met my first wife that way. Mmmmmm, they don’t build cars like that anymore. Come to think of it, they don’t build wimen like that anymore, neither. Yep, I like congress.”
How on earth did nobody mention this??
A whole bunch of people just off load their own personal anxieties and doubts onto “gov’mnt”
I think that its sad and reflects the general successs that the right has had in maligning the role and effectiveness of government.
I think we need to firmly but consistently debunk such talk, even when we casually knock some of the republican highjinks — we must avoid impugning government. Its not government — its THEM who do not want fairness, justice or accountability and being and showing incompetence and dysfuctionality serves their purpose.
You are unconsciously playing right into the Republican meme which states that government is bad and its easy to come up with countless examples of that bad than any good. If you value progressivism, you need to think about what you write and think a little more.
Just saying — its not just you of course.
You got that right… only when government tries to even out the risk or increase access to a service or benefit that suddenly its too horrible to exist.
Honestly, we must be stupid. No democrat or progressive should “hate” government. Hate the people in it right now, or some of those people’s decisions, but government as a tool for justice and access is critical to our society. We just have to put the right people in it and discredit the destroyers.
@Faux News: Word.
The House is Republican controlled. The Senate is Democrat controlled. How does this make congress Republican controlled? The problem is that the Dems still control the Senate. If the Republicans had both houses, we would be much better off. You will see that after 2012.
just a reminder… Senate + House = Congress.
Let me know if you have any other civics questions.
The Congress is Republican controlled because of framing. All issues begin at the Republican ideal and while any negotiations leftward are greeted with cries of “socialism!”, any negotiations rightward are treated as reasonable. The media is largely responsible for this, mostly by treating fact-spouting liberal arguments with the same weight as emotion-laden right-wing anecdotal “evidence”, and avoiding left-leaning points of view when asking questions or reaching conclusions. They also have a tendency to treat “slippery-slope” speculation as if it were documentable fact, because the could-be extremes are always more headline worthy than boring, old middle-of-the-road truth.