Thursday, October 27, 2011

Congress' 9% Approval Rating Goes Beyond Mere Partisan Obstructionism


A few weeks ago when former Republican Congressman Ray LaHood, first elected to the Illinois House in 1982 and to the U.S. Congress in 1994, announced he would be retiring as Secretary of Transportation, he sounded bitter. And his bitterness was directed at his former GOP colleagues in the House.
Responding to a question about why it was so difficult to get big infrastructure projects built right now, LaHood told a transportation conference that "some people don't want Obama to be successful."

"A big percentage of the Republicans that were elected this time came here to do zero, and that's what they've done," he said. Those lawmakers, he said, have obstructed other people who are trying to get things done.

..."Here we are almost 12 months from the election and there are some people in Congress-- look there are probably 40 people, 40 Republicans, elected to the House to come here to do nothing," Lahood said. "That's why they felt they were elected."

LaHood was apparently referring to tea party-aligned Republicans who are reluctant to compromise on their goal of reducing the size and power of the federal government.

"When I was elected in `94 we had a very reform-minded class, 82 new people, but they came here to do something, to solve problems," he said. "Almost always in the past when people have run for Congress, they ran for Congress on the opportunity to help solve the problems of America."

LaHood has been meeting with GOP lawmakers, trying to generate support for Obama's $447 billion jobs package, which Senate Republicans killed in a Tuesday night vote. House Republicans have introduced their own jobs plan, which doesn't include any of Obama's proposals.

Despite what he calls GOP obstruction, LaHood predicted Congress will pass a major transportation spending bill before next year's election.

"They know people are hurting and they know their popularity in their districts is not too good right now," he said. "You can't put people back to work with the same old slogans about cutting taxes and tax breaks for small businesses. That only goes so far."

You think? This week, polling showed the lowest rating for Congress in history-- a 9% approval. Boehner, Cantor, Ryan and their corrupt cronies have managed to do what no other House leadership team has ever achieved-- a single-digit approval rating.

Vermont's independent senator, Bernie Sanders, seems to think the problem isn't just the Republicans-- it's the corrupted system itself. And that system may have sucked up every Republican member, but more than a few Democrats are equally guilty. Watch:

What can you say? There's a lot of wisdom in this online spoof circulating the net lately. In case you missed it...

A woman in a hot air balloon realized she was lost. She lowered her altitude and spotted a man in a boat below. She shouted to him,

"Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don't know where I am."

The man consulted his portable GPS and replied, "You're in a hot air balloon, approximately 30 feet above ground elevation of 2,346 feet above sea level. You are at 31 degrees, 14.97 minutes north latitude and 100 degrees, 49.09 minutes west longitude.

"She rolled her eyes and said, "You must be an Obama Democrat."

"I am,"replied the man. "How did you know?"

"Well," answered the balloonist, "everything you told me is technically correct. But I have no idea what to do with your information, and I'm still lost. Frankly, you've not been much help to me."

The man smiled and responded, "You must be a Republican."

"I am," replied the balloonist. "How did you know?"

"Well," said the man, "you don't know where you are or where you are going. You've risen to where you are due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise you have no idea how to keep, and you expect me to solve your problem. You're in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but somehow, now it's my fault."

Let's keep at least ONE Independent in the Senate. If you would like to, you can contribute to Bernie Sander's reelection campaign here.

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