If there’s one thing Democrats and Republicans can agree on, it’s that Congress has been absolutely terrible at doing their jobs lately. The reasoning for that varies greatly depending upon who you ask; naturally, Republicans blame Democrats and Democrats blame Republicans. And while it’s true that both parties share some of the blame, I put the blame for our completely ineffective and inept Congress mostly on Republicans – especially those in the House of Representatives.
After all, our government was shut down and we failed to pass comprehensive immigration reform because the House (under Republican leadership) decided to play petty partisan politics instead of simply doing its job.
But after Republicans won big victories during last November’s elections, all I heard from Sen. Mitch McConnell and Rep. John Boehner was how things were going to get better now that Republicans had full control of Congress. Clearly, they blamed Democrats controlling the Senate for the lack of bipartisanship and things getting accomplished the last few years.
Well, a funny thing has happened: Nothing has improved. If anything, Congress has been even less effective than before – something that most Americans didn’t even think was possible. Heck, the Department of Homeland Security nearly went unfunded and the Patriot Act was allowed to expire – all under Republican leadership.
Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t Republicans supposedly the party that’s big on “national security”? It’s interesting how two big aspects of our national security were either nearly defunded, or were flat-out allowed to expire (at least temporarily), all due to the incompetence of Republican leadership in Congress.
And according to a recent Gallup poll, it seems Americans have noticed that Republicans have been completely incompetent at running Congress. Currently, only 14 percent of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing. Again, a Congress under complete Republican control. So much for that whole “Democrats are the only problem” rhetoric.
But even going beyond just those basic numbers, Boehner’s unfavorable numbers hit an all-time high of 54 percent with his favorable number also at an all-time low of 23 percent.
What’s even more telling about Boehner’s numbers is that he scores a 42 percent unfavorable mark from Republicans.
In other words, people just don’t like him and certainly don’t consider him an effective leader. Though clearly the disdain he’s feeling from Republicans is due to the fact that they don’t think he’s been conservative enough. Which goes to show you just how ridiculous many conservative voters are. Boehner has been one of the most obstructive House Speakers in history, yet many conservatives don’t think he’s been obstructive enough.
At some point any Republican who doesn’t want to sell out to the radical right-wing base of their party is going to have to make up their minds and either join Democrats, join the ranks of the delusional tea party conservatives or end up being driven out of office by a candidate who will pander to the tea party. Because right now they’re on an island where both Democrats and large factions of their own party absolutely loathe them – though for clearly different reasons.
And while I’m absolutely certain they’ll deny it, these recent Gallup numbers essentially once and for all prove that Republicans are the biggest reason why Congress has been so awful the last few years.