FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Americans are fed up with Congress. Really fed up.
A new Gallup poll shows anti-incumbent attitudes are the highest they've been in 19 years.
76% of voters say most members do not deserve re-election.
What's more, this anti-incumbent mood is seen across the political spectrum - among Democrats, Republicans and especially Independents.
Back in 2010, when Democrats lost 63 House seats to Republicans, voters were less negative than they are now.
So, that means our elected representatives ought to start packing, right? After all, another recent poll put their job approval rating at an anemic 9%.
Well... not so fast. As is historically the case, even though people think Congress is rotten, they don't necessarily feel the same way about their own representatives.
This Gallup poll shows 53% of those surveyed say their representative deserves to be re-elected. Who are these people?
Makes it kind of hard to shake things up in Washington if people don't see their own elected officials as part of the problem.
And that's the thing: Almost every single one of them is part of the problem and part of the dysfunctional mess our government has become.
Congress can't even be bothered to pass a budget anymore. They can't be bothered to make any serious cuts to our skyrocketing national debt. They can't be bothered to do much of anything when it comes to energy policy. The list goes on.
Instead they just kick the can down the road on real issues and focus on getting re-elected.
Unless we stop them.
Here’s my question to you: If Congress is so bad, why do more than half of Americans say their own member deserves to be re-elected?
Tune in to the Situation Room at 4pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.
And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.
Our local candidates typically run unopposed. Why don't better people run against these career pols? Follow the money, they are all in bed with each other. So to speak. Term limits time!
Carol in Northampton, Ma
because most Americans cannot see the Forrest for the trees,especially the working class republicans
Apparently the pollsters should rephrase the question – "Do you think that members of Congress from other states are bad?" I personally feel that until Congress can vote away their perks, nationalized health care, retirement system apart from Social Security and the freedom to make millions from insider trading, they should all be voted out – including members from my state. Hurricane, West Virginia
Because the redistricting voters lets Members of Congress pick their voters as much as it allows voters to pick their Members. We have met the enemy and it is us, Jack. Even this won't help the Tea Party hold some of the swing districts they won in 2010, especially when they can be challenged in court.
One could argue that this is the reason that the Founders wanted a Republic, not a Democracy, as voters and politicians in Democracies soon learn that they can both game the system by voting in those that promise rewards to that reward them. The country has been fighting the battle between those that desire a limited government, freedom and free markets, and those that desire large government and it's subsequent grip on liberty and markets since the countries inception. Unfortunately there appears to be too many people willing to put up with machinations of the politicians and State to actually elect more Founders, like Ron Paul...
Ron Paul in 2012...
My Representative is very good and reflects my position, however there are many representatives from my state that don't. On the other side of the aisle I have a Senator that has his own agenda and doesn't represent anyone but promotes his own agenda. Had he not run against a real Bozo he would be selling pencils. To offset this, I have another Senator that closely represents my interests. Political representation is a compromise.
\ Ash Fork, Az.
There are three reasons why many American say their member of Congress should be re-elected.
(1) Some of the members of Congress are supported by their constituents.
(2) Their member of Congress is the lessor of the evils.
(3) Leaders of the Congress leave a sour taste in every ones mouth and all members of Congress share the blame. [I.E. If it weren't for Boehner, McConnell, Cantor, and a few others, Congress' popularity would increase over night]
Most citizen's of the United States haven't seen a good congressman is so long they wouldn't know one if they saw one. Their choices are generally a choice between "Dumb" and "Dumber". Either of these choices once elected are oriented to the way Congress works within a couple of months and you end up with your stereotypical Congressman. This is a person that votes the way the leadership wants and regurgitates to the media that he voted the voice of his constituents.
Jack, I don't know if it is a Congress person or a Senator that is the problem for most people. I believe it has more to do with the leadership of both parties. The bombastic rhetoric, pompous behavior and willingness to let people suffer needlessly to achieve political goals than do things right for this nation. I happen to like both my Congress person and Senator that are up for reelection but will consider a viable independent candidate. Under no circumstances will I consider a far right, feed the rich starve the poor, finish killing off the middle class person, nor a soak the rich starve the poor, but give them inadequate health care person. We have too many real problems in this country to indulge any longer the kind of conduct taking place in Washington. Can't we amend the Constitution so we can have recall elections so we can get rid of the riffraff infecting politics?
Because the voters think that their own representatives are wonderful, but all the other representatives are a bunch of stiffs.
Because with a two party system, you get to choose between the do nothing incumbent or one of the crazies from the other party. That's it. It's no wonder half of Americans don't even bother to vote any more. And the ones who do aren't tap dancing while they pull the lever.
Jack: Fifty percent of the voters favor re-election of its members to Congress. Yes, and 50% of the voters do not favor re-election of its members to Congress, but 75% of the voters favor term limits for Cogress and federal judges. When you put a face to an office it is hard to not elect them. If voters looked at how Congress has wasted its time and tax dollars members of Congress would not have to worry about elections, but rather spending along time in prison or worse. Jack, there is evolution and revolution!!! Which one does America want.
Jack, my man represents our district well. His votes represent the will of the majority of his constituents and that's what it is all about. I have never known him to associate with the wingnuts and whacko Congressional Representatives who make the news often.
Jack, there was no survey that went to every voter in America and asked that question, first of all. It's all on "statical averages". And as we see now in the 99% movement, those averages are completely out-the-window. I'm optimistic that this November that there will be a huge turnover of the "Tea-Kochplican's"..... I have complete confidence that they will be thrown out. Let's face the facts too, Jack. This past election was more about the Dem's not tending to business, like, getting the outsourced jobs back, stopping trade w/communist China, getting some accountability with the Wall st and Bank fraud(only Madoff in jail?, Really?). The 99% is fed up...so it's time for our hired help to act as Americans and not shills for the Koch brothers and FOX"News".
My rep is not a Washington insider and is not part of the 1%, but rather a high school teacher who ran for Congress and won against an insider after he was prevented from attending a Geo W Bush visit to my city in 2004. Rep Walz was one of the few sponsors of the Bill to stop Congressional Insiders Trading back in March of this year before the 60 minutes piece. He's been doing what he was elected to do in my opinion and deserves to continue his work for our district.
The simple answer is party loyalty. We don't like congress and would like to see a massive change. But the vast majority of us won't vote against a senator or congressperson of our own party. While we don't like congress we don't like candidates for the other party even more. That's the short answer for why we can't change congress.
Simple. Its always someone else's fault.
My representative certainly doesn't deserve to be re-elected. In fact, he needs to be kicked to the curb and sent a bill for all the damage he's done to our economy.
In our political system, you have only a choice of bad and worse. Last election I took a compatibility survey of the Presidential candidates. One got 10%, the other 49%. Now imagine if that were the only choices your marriage.
Jack I think it is because some people vote along party lines no matter who the candidate is. They would vote for a one eyed pig if it was running for reelection on their party ticket. I live in Lancaster County Pennsylvania and never remembered a Democrat getting elected to Congress. Members of Congress realize this and that is why we will not see the change people are looking for. We have ourselves to blame and not until we get more sense and start voting people out who've been in Congress for years, will we see this logjam broken.
We are divided by the Red and Blue states. It appears we have a cultural gap between the two. There is a marked difference in opinion on race, gender, religion, for instance. There are many, too many reasons the states are diametrically opposed, hence it is that Blue or Red state person that has to go, but my guy is OK..
This thing bodes very ill for our country.
Because their opponents are just like them. Should I vote for Mr.Hopeless or Mr. Worthless?
Ah, the hell with it! I'll just stay with Mr. Useless.
Because they are stupid..ignorant and lazy ..much easier to to follow their " bumper sticker mentality" than actually make the effort to do some critical thinking...here in Canada people "cross over" parties all the time and vote for who they think might do a better job...very few are dyed -in – the -wool -no- matter-what-voters ..in the US people will vote for "their" party no matter how disastrous it is to themselves.......
The reason why is because people are unhappy with the entire congress. As a group they are much easier to blame then as individuals because then people would have to articulate exactly what that one individual has done to make them unhappy. People always want to blame someone else for their own short comings. They need a scapegoat and something besides themselves to blame. The reality is that if people were not living beyond their means in the first place and had saved instead of spent then the economy would not be a problem at all to them. Congress did not create the bad economy, just some of the factors that contributed to it.
The last time I had to vote for who was going to represent me in Congress, I just couldn't do it. I wrote in, "None of the above". For next year's election, I expect I will do the same thing as there is no one (at this time anyway) I want to represent me. Especially as the person who is currently my representative in Congress (the one who I couldn’t bring myself to vote for (glad I didn’t)) made me feel like the child who is seen but not heard when I wrote to him about my concerns over healthcare reform and the economy.
Because more than half of all Americans think that government is a big give-away program and the more their representative is able to grab, the better. As long as our national VISA card had no spending limit, no one cared. Now that the limit has been reached, maybe more folks will vote for people who can actually do something instead of talking about it.
I believe it is because most "can't be bothered" to read where politicians stand on issues, all they hear is 10 second sound bites. I'd bet more people know about some TV "reality" person's life than the person who they will cast their ballot for.
Obviously more than half of all Americans are wrong.
It's always the other guys' faults – that's just human nature. For the record, my congressman needs to go. He's part of the crowd that would rather see us all unemployed just to put one man out of a job. The new American patriotism, I guess, party before country, greed before humanity. And you thought years ago it was getting ugly out here.
Because to admit their representative is a jerk would suggest they too are jerks for having voted for that person in the first place. It's as simple as that Jack - simple as that.
Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona
Why? Because about half of American voters are dumb, crazy, ignorant, and/or extremely gullible, that's why. When it comes to voting, they NEVER seem to learn from past mistakes, and obviously don't know the popular definition of insanity. (Doing the same thing over and over, but expecting a different result.)
It's not a very surprising fact to find. Think about the number of ways that we as Americans are divided. For example, Christians Vs. everyone else, Straight Vs. Gays, Southerners Vs. Northerners, City folks Vs. Rural folks, on and on..
For once, we could act as an Americans and that's when we will realize that my particular senator whom I support is acting against the national interest when he or she lobbies so high to keep certain things in favor for the constituents instead of looking at the national interest. If we can see past this, that's when our typical anger at the congress will be justified.
Because Americans are stupid. This is what Congress is hoping for: a voter with a short term memory so they can get re-elected.
They reelect them for whatever the same reason was they elected them in the first place. San Francisco loves Nancy Pelosi and hates John Boehner. Cincinnati loves John Boehner and hates Nancy Pelosi. Whatever the reasons it will stay that way until we get term limits or they tick off their constituents which seldom happens. It will be interesting to see if the Tea Party candidates elected last time live up to what their districts wanted them to do. I hope not.
Majority of the voters are stupid. They don't vote for the truth or what is real. Most of the voters that are poor that do vote, vote Democratic because their parents voted Democratic all their lives now the kids follow suit. Poor Democrats and unintelligent voters vote Democratic blindly because the word is out that the Republicans are for the rich people. Good example is ACORN, vote for Obama, he will deliver you to the promise land. Now you have the intelligent Liberals that vote Democratic because they are permissive and were brainwashed by their professors in college. The normal people (middle class) with a logicam mind will mostly vote Republican.
The only way people will vote somebody out of office depends on a sigificant emotional event that will force them to change their vote. If you can have harmony in the press reporting the truth, you will have harmonius government in this country.
Today you turn channels, MSNBC, CBS, NBC, FOX and CNN and what do you get is a ridicule of the left or the right. How can you have so many intelligent reporters that none of them agree with each other. This divides the nation and people will protect their representative only by familiarity and not by substance.
The solution to all of this madness is term limits. We already have that for the presidency now we need to expand it to all the politicians.
Because in comparison to Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, or Barney Frank, most Americans congressmen do look good. I live in an Illinois suburban district and my Republican congressman is actually a reasonable person who appears to be working toward making the United States a better place for ALL citizens, not just the poor, or the Democratic. On the other hand, both Senators are mediocre, seeming to play party politics all too often without regard to any sense of fairness, appearing to operate on the assumption that because they have theirs, those that do and those that can, shouldn't, and only those that don't and can't, should. So only one out of three is worth reelecting.
I have no problem with Senator Dick Durbin. He's working for people, like me. However, I do have a problem with Senator Kirk. and if he runs for re-election, I will not vote for him. Didn't vote last time.
If I lived in Arkansas, I would not have voted for Blanch Lincoln. If I lived in Nebraska, I would have voted for Bob Nelson. It all depends on how they plan to increase my quality of life. That being saId, I'll be re-electing President Obama as well.
Recipe for a bad Congress:
For her/his re-election, the Congress person brings the bacon home to her/his district or state:
The military base that is not needed, slated for closure–is saved and even expanded.
The grant to build a dam (that may actually hurt states downstream) is given.
The bridge to "nowhere" is built on federal funds.
The contract to build ten thousand "$500 hammers" is awarded.
The "powers that be" in the local district and state are satisfied that they got their "fair share" of federal funds.
The local papers and speakers explain why the local district and state are grateful to their Congress person.
The local voters love their Congress person.
She/he gains more votes than in the previous election.
But, the result is that the "pork barrel" portion of the federal budget has no priorities and wastes that part of the federal funds.
We are our own "special interests!"
And, that is why we will re-elect these ______s.
And, that is why I am pessimistic.
because the half that say that voted for obummer. you can't fix stupid.
I am dumbfounded when it comes to how America votes. It is just like a woman who suffers greatly from a violent husband and hope that love will prevail. Unfortunately, love never prevails and the violence continues. Why keep on re-electing the same members of ‘do nothing congress’ and expect a different result. It starts by giving a pink sleep to those who behave and answer like children no matter what state or county they come from. Say ‘No’, like ‘No’ more too the entire ‘No’ members that are up for re-election. Make them have a prospect, even for a moment, of the pain of the 99 percent.
Because it is always the other guy's fault. They sure don't want to bear any responsibility for electing a someone who is considered "bad". Just another symptom of our society not taking responsibility for its actions.
Because we all like to blame the ‘other guy’ for what’s wrong with this country. It’s time people took a serious look in the mirror to see where the problems really are.
Jack, do you really ned to ask this question ??
Most people see problems and blemishes ONLY with their neighbors, never acknowledging their own faults, insecurities, and prejudices.
Holier than thou.
Simple ... because they voted for them.
Ignorance, greed and naivete.
I don't!!! I want that Joe Walsh guy out SOOOO bad. He only won because 300 people thought he was the rock star or just didn't like beans! (he defeated 3rd term Rep. Melisa Bean, a very thoughtful moderate Dem).
Jack, both parties, but especially the Republicans this election, have gerrymandered districts to their own advantage so much that districts often contain mostly partisan voters who want to just keep re-electing their same people all the time. Texas and and Nevada are good examples of egregious gerrymandering to dilute the growing Hispanic vote. There will be only about 20 congressional seats that will be truly competitive. That is a sad comment on America.
Number one you are talking to the wrong people, secondly it could be that they like the congress people in their own distrcit. Most important , wait until 2012 and see how much they are thought of. You make like them, but they cant work with others, causing statemate and hardship for all.
Polls are bogus, and thanks to gerry-mandering, incumbents can virtually assure they stay in office. This is part of why you see these protests in the streets. The old system is broken and must be changed.
Isn't that the result of absolute ideologies? It not me, it's the other person.
As I watched the Republican presidential debate the other night I thought if any of these people were to be elected nothing would change as each one is stuck in the absolute ideology sickness. The business of the country would be bogged down in rhetoric, power lust, and greed, and it would be the "other guy" who is the problem. A tenant for a dysfunctional system is the more we try to change the more we remain the same.
Until we can find a third and fourth and even fifth parties, or if one of these parties grow up, where one is willing to take the best ideas from everyone and anyone and institute those best ideas will anything ever really change both structurally and culturally.
Good constituent services
North Attleboro Massachusetts
Seniority is a problem in congress. Bad HOuse leaders ,horrible senate leaders.The constituents think its more important to have a committee chairman than a moral leader .OUr country is imploding and powermongers undermine our community with special interest favors that are unsustainable
I was in Australia when GWB was reelected. People kelp asking me how a simpleton like him could ever be elected or reelected. I could only respond that there are a lot of people aren’t smart enough to know better. I think that’s your answer to your current question. Eve in Texas
people do not understand professional politicians only look out for their future and their pot of gold.
Those "Americans" who want to keep their own congress members are just as naive, or desperate, as those who support Gingrich. They're the ones who support their political party before they support their country. We're doomed by the morons. Rose in London, TX
Hi Jack, we the people are selfish. Some areas like my home state of Texas start brainwashing kids to think red but when a natural disaster happens they change their tune and want federal aid, and NOW. The American people talk alot, but don't vote, which makes us stupid to re-elect the same people that are the problem. We vote every 2 years and always vote against the incumbent, no matter what the party.
Jack, because we elected someone we believed in and we always believe that it's always someone elses fault.
This is why term limits need to be enacted. We have developed a "political elite" that now run the United States. Yes, there are change overs in people, but they seem to be more of the Representative Sr. to Representative Jr. variety. It's nearly impossible to get fresh blood into Congress because of the difficulty of mounting a challenge to a sitting politician. And then there's always the issue of it's never my Senators or Representative that are the problem. It's always the other guys' Senators and Representatives that create the problem.
It's not so much that congress is all bad there are a few who are holding the rest hostage. The extremest radical, have taken over congress and the majority are to weak or dependent on bribe money to speak up for "We the people " so we will have to vote them out one at a time. If your representative has stood before a mike and voted against your concerns...vote the parasite out..he is lining his own pocket. And most of all do not trust the media or a poll use your own judgement, cast your own vote when voting for your representative.
Two words: Self Interest. Job One for a member of congress is to get re-elected. To get relected, he or she must supply whatever pork-project to his constituents that is in their best interests. ... Self interest and human nature are synonymous, just as empathy and human nature often are. When empathy trumps self interest, the work will get done.
Jack I truly believe that most of the American public don't even know who or what their representatives have been doing in Washington. I swear all it takes to be elected is who can afford the most signs, in most cases, unless they happen to be on a special committee that gets a lot of press, once elected you never hear from them again, that is until their up for re-election, then their in your face every minute of the day telling you what they will do for you. Whats the definition of insanity? Oh yeah, doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
Dave from NH.
Ford owners love Fords and hate everything else. Chevy owners love Chevies and hate everything else. Voters love their Congressmen and hate everybody elses. What else is new Jack?
If we really knew the answer to this question then we would be able to elect someone who will be effective. But stupid is as stupid does.
"Could it be simply the old saying: 'Better the Devil you know?'
Everyone think that they congessman is right even thou he doesn't do anything for their district, and if they can't see that we are all in a world of trouble that mean we are dumb.
Don't know about that, I'm voting to replace the ones in my state.
Jack, its called the home field advantage, but in this case, its a disadvantage.
Congressmen return to their home states and tell their constituents what they want to hear, so of course they vote for them. Jim DeMint's constituents tell him to "keep fighting" – at least that is what Jim DeMint says they tell him. Jim DeMint is one of the gridlock kings in the Senate. How do we as citizens start a campaign for a term limits amendment to the Constituition?
Because at the end of the day, your Congressman if he's doing his legal duty brings back money and/or jobs for his /her District. The exception are those Tea Party members who vote consistently vote No on the issues before them. Maybe the voters will vote them out of office. One can hope.
Because most members of Congress won't ask their constituents to sacrifice anything. Two wars, a prescription drug benefit, Social Security, Medicare and Americans aren't even asked to pay for any of it.
"You have to be sure you can get out of one crisis, before creating another??"
Congress as a whole meaning when they get together is terrible. They seem to have a problem with getting on one accord because of who they're being influenced by (lobbyist and special interest groups) with the bucks instead of focusing on the concerns of the people. Those who thought the Republicans would do a better job were influenced by those same lobbyist and special interest with the bucks and as a result this is what we got ABSOLUTELY NOTHING BUT MORE CHAOS AND CONFUSION!
The people say they want change but when it all boils down they really do not want it & think that keeping the same old body who has been in office forever is the best because a newbie will change the plan. I want term limits and this would make changes come quicker. America is sinking into an abyss and if we do not change we will be no longer a great country.
It's much easier to have faith in local representatives, because Americans are generally optimistic about their potential influence in the government. For this reason, it doesn't really matter if they are all doing the same thing.
My congressman doesn't deserve to be re-elected. I planned to vote agaianst him in 2010 but the GOP candidate was a right wing extremist with an unstable personality. So I voted for the lesser of two evils. Now it looks like the party of NO is going to nominate the same clown again. I'm sure this happens in many districts so people like myself end up voting for somoene who should have never been in Congress in the first place. As for the Senate, we here in NC have one good senator and one disaster. I voted against the latter in 2010 but he won re-election by pandering to the tea party. Maybe in some future election . . .oh, who am I kidding?
We don't like that congress never passes anything, but we feel our own congressman voted the right way.
WE NEED TO VOTE OUT ALL INCUMBANTS NOW.None of these people should ever be reelected.1 term and they are gone.That is the only way that a decent job will ever get done and that is even scary.Look at the debates,they have gotton to be a joke and circus.Jim Thomas Phx.Az.
Because they have been gerrymandered into safe districts rather than actual representation of sensible shapes that allow for real feedback to the Congress Critter. Of course that only happens if the people are paying attention and the media actually tells them the facts.
Jack: We have had this question before. Let me answer again. First, I am not among the 50% that want their congressional representatives re-elected. The member of Congress who represents me runs unopposed. Has held the seat since Jesus was a baby! I have never voted for John Cornyn or Mrs Hutchison for senator. Both have proved to be ineffective. TX is a red state and so my vote does not count.
The only way to change the system is to limit the terms of Congress. The President is only allowed 2 terms. Why is Congress allowed to just hold their seats for eternity? A constitutional amendment is desperately needed!
It's the two party system Jack! You hate the other team while being angry at your own. But you can't see any of your leaders kicked off the team while the other team keeps their dead beats! But Jack there is a cure! It starts with a few gallons of tar!
Because the voters either don't care or they are just too stupid. Elections are an auction up for sale to the highest bidder. This goes for the dems, pubs, and the great obama who is on the auction block for 1 billion dollars. Main street gets a few payroll tax crumbs, and the big banks, and wall street walk away with trillions.
Really ? only 76% ? WoW, Then most of everyone I've been talking to must be lying. I would say that number Has to be Much Higher. How about 85% ?? I may Live here in Houston, but I have a lot relatives in several other states.
""As is historically the case, even though people think Congress is rotten, they don't necessarily feel the same way about their own representatives"" – – – Sounds like you Just answered Your Own Question, Jack.
When I used to live in the welfare state – I remember when I Voted for that "good for nothing" "senile one" (who finally died in a wheelchair), while he was still in office, way back in the 1970's & 1980's.
Why ?? Because they promise Billions of Federal Dollars, to come to your state. Fix & Build Roads / Build new State Parks / Build new Libraries / promise to get enough federal money ( it's called "earmarks") to bring enough federal money to feed the deer for the next 2 or 3 years, at the state parks in their state, and the list goes ON.
Why do you think Mitch McConnell & Eric Cantor / Boehner / Grassley/ Orrin Hatch / and the rest of the dirt bags keep getting elected ? Same way the "senile one" did, for his tenure, for 75+ yrs.
Let me refresh your memory, Jack – Here's how they do it . They get their photos up on the Billboards in the cities that have the most population in their states, saying that they will build new schools, libraries / put a new road in, or a bridge, so the people in that city or town can cross over to the other side of town, in a matter of minutes, instead of going around town – and fighting traffic. I mean, the list goes on & on. They tie up the radio stations with ads / run T.V. ads / spend their resources for All the Newspaper advertisements, about 6 weeks before they run for office, Jack.
I think the people should have the right to know this, Jack. So if you don't print this, I can understand why.
Larry in Houston
I think one problem is, according to a Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, 37% of Americans do not identify with the two parties, consider themselves Independent, but tend to lean one way or the other on certain issues. There are two Independent members in the US Senate. There are none in the House; therefore, most Americans are not being represented in Washington. If we were smart, 2012 would be the "Year of the Independent." Unfortunately, The Market only allows room for one viable Independent every ten years or so.
I think America is startig to suffer from a case of dumb and dumber. In all seriousness gerry-mandering is the most likely reason, remember how even though Charlie Rangel is basically a slimeball under an ethics investigation, he got re-elected last november with over 75% of the vote? Another possible reason is that the question is probably misleading, as I imagined that the actual response would be to throw the liberal/conservative incumbents out, but keep the conservative/liberal incumbents in.
Jack If our President has taught us nothing else it’s how to blame others. It doesn’t matter which party you’re in it’s always the other party at fault and they are the ones that don’t deserve re-election. It’s always someone else’s fault and the saddest part is so many Americans drink the party Kool-Aid instead of looking at and understanding the issue. They would rather let their party do the thinking for them. "God Help Us All"
Because our voters are lame and let politics intimidate them.
Becuase when you come right down to it, overall the American people are stupid.
Los Angeles, CA
Because most voters are imbeciles. That's how congress members got their jobs in the first place. Stay smart. Don't vote.
Jack you Want to know why? I'll tell you why, because people are Bleeping Brain dead!!!! Nuff Said!
Because the focus of political discourse has shifted. We don't talk as much about issues as we do about individuals; the entire thing has become a popularity contest, and the only measure of victory is whether or not you get elected. It's turned into a popularity contest.
Is this like an oxymoron for morons?
Well Jack they are brain dead and tend to vote based on inflammatory issues, they get distracted by things like abortion and vote for creeps who do not have their[the voters] best interests at heart. And once they are in they stay in with corporate funded propaganda and advertising and they do the bidding of their real masters. Everybody in both houses should be voted out over the next three elections and we should then install term limits on these pigs. There really is no other solution to this dirt running rampant in DC.
Jack, isn't it obvious? The people who complain about our lame-duck politicians are the very same as to Christians, preaching a up a storm, while hiding things in the closet. Henceforth - Hypocrites, two-faced, 180 spinners. 1 of the 3 mentioned are people who are either of those - One of the three.
Because the focus of political discourse has shifted. We don't talk as much about issues as we do about individuals; the entire thing has become a popularity contest, and the only measure of victory is whether or not you get elected.
Until we stop the politicians in Washington from creating and gerrymandering congressional districts, there's only going to be a handful of competitive seats. Right now – Primary Elections decide 3/4 of Congressional seats and nobody bothers to vote in primaries. If we want to change Congress, we need to start voting in Primaries.
Frank in Boston
Gerrymandering. Those in power control the layout of the electoral districts, making it nearly impossible for incumbents to be ousted.
Jack, my congressman is not worth re-electing. When an average citizen goes to his office, he is not available, and has been seen far too many times running out the back door to avoid his constituents. He is owned lock stock and barrel, and if you are not one of the cronies, you are not worth his time.
one word – gerrymandering
Gerrymandered districts means congressmen choose their voters instead of the voters choosing them.
People don't pay any attention to their Senators or Congressmen. The presidential race is enough of a circus to keep them entertained and when they get to the polls they simply flip the switch that has a name that seems familiar for congress.
My 93 year old grandfather will swear on his life that Senator Grassely from Iowa is a great senator, but he's never once told my why.
Only 2 words: term limits. That would end all of this. Just like the President and Governors etc.
I don't know about those polls, but I'm voting my congressman Bill Posey out of office. I been so sick of the stagnant behavior i can't imagine Americans at least not knowing that thier (most likely) republican congressman deserves to stay. they are obviously no good yes men to the republican agenda of saying no to ANYTHING Barack Obama asks for or supports.
It is a typical denial/NIMBY mentality...MY politician (and me by association) are the only ones that are doing everything right to fix things, everyone else is the problem. Typical finger pointing.
Because that's what marks a 'good' congressman. The ability to pander with pork and politics is what everyone in congress seems to be good at, while none of them appear capable of leading or reasoning with one another like adults.
Because the problem with most voters, as with most of America, is they are uneducated and lack the motivation to become educated. They are seeing all of the horrible decisions that threaten America's economic foundation, strips us of our freedoms for the sake of "security", and destroys social programs that help animals, deserving people including children, and the environment, but they REFUSE to take two seconds to see how THEIR representative advocated/opposed such bills. They are seeing Congress as one big entity and not multiple individuals with apathetic and warped views of America and its people.
It’s called blind allegiance. These idiots would rather cut off their noses to spite their faces. It’s like a parent saying not my kid when the school calls home about the child’s poor behavior. The problem is always with the next person.
it's Like a firing squad, there is supposedly one gun with a blank. This way no one feels responsible for the resulting death because they could have had the blank
My Congressman works for the tea party. He is running unopposed. Guess I will vote for me again!
Jack, people don't want to put the blame on their own representatives because they voted those people into office. It's like telling the world that we're idiots who can't make the right choice when it comes to who governs us. Which, let's face facts, we are. What I want in 2012 is a way to not be forced to make an idiotic choice when it comes to my elected officials. I'd love to see Congress run the way juries are handled, with ordinary citizens pressed into service for a single term on a lottery basis. If you don't have to worry about keeping the job, maybe you'll actually try to DO the job.
Its called PORK!!!!
Because next to out-of-control greed, sheer ignorance is one of America's biggest problems.
I live in Arlington, VA just across the river from DC. Our congressman, Jim Moran, fights for money for transporation and benefits for current and retired federal workers. All politics is local. Whatever the rest of the country thinks about his liberal positions doesn't change the fact that he fights for his constituents. He doesnt just run his mouth about the democratic agenda.
It's simple. The people who are happy with their representatives are the same ones that voted them in. And more than anything, people hate to be proven wrong. So, people are going to support whoever they voted for regardless of what they do.
You asked, if Congress is so bad, why do more than half of Americans say their own member deserves to be re-elected?
Because Caffrety those are the people whom instead of voting for freedom and liberty they would rather vote themselves more money and keep putting politicians in there who will give it to them.
Its simple really, when you actually think about it. It is what is so broken with all The Houses on The Hill, well that, The Spoils System and Public Unions.
Freedom means freedom FROM government and the essence of that freedom is the proper LIMITATION of government not the EXCESS of it.
Don’t be scared, be prepared vote for freedom and liberty in 2012!
And ask yourself which candidate actually believes in freedom and liberty and just like that you too will be voting for Ron Paul.
The people in this country are brain dead, that's why this country is the way it is. They keep voting these crooks in office, so who's to blame. Our elected officials, or the idiots who keep putting them in office?
Sounds like a version of the old addage "Not In My Backyard", in the sense that we need to clean house, but not my guy. Our representative is one of the good guys. People like to think that their decision, to elect a certain rep, was the right choice, but everyone else screwed up. We need a complete overhaul in Washington, don't pull any punches, get all the bums out. Start fresh, a whole new Congress can't do any worse than what we have now!
Because we Americans are players in the "Game of Politics" Jack! The question really should be Why, are we always dealt a losing hand in "the game"?! Is it because the Politicans constantly change the "house rules" in the middle of the game?
Maybe the lack of function is in the people. A Congressman is reelected but giving the people what they want. We the people are no better at controlling our desires. As the National Debt rose so did personal debt. We have set our goals above our reach. We must reign in the heights of our desires or surely the fragile wax that holds our wings upon us will melt. It does seem our wings are already coming apart.
Our Representatives/Senators like to play the blame game. Have you ever contacted them to voice a concern? They reply by agreeing with your discontent and reiterate that they too have a problem with the issue and that is what they are working to change in Washington. It is never your representative that is the problem.... in their minds, and if they convince you, well then. Let play a little blame game now, if they are allowed to proceed as usual, WE are to blame!
Truly, this is a disturbing question but one that must be asked. Perhaps ithe situation obeys the principal that a known corruption is better than an unknown corruption (my paraphrase) and therefore keep your friends close and your enemies closer (I belilve Mr. Clinton, Bill not Bubba used this quote). Again, truly disturbing because I feel we no longer have a society or culture, it is polycultural and.......divided.
Its pretty simple math Jack, given the mix of voters in each district, less than half of them voted for the party representative that did not get in so the other "more than half" of them are happy as their party representative is in. Since it's always the other parties fault.....it just math which does not excuse their members lack of earning their pay cheque. Until they get paid part-time as they don't do any work they wont start to realize what it means to earn a living. Pay for performance like they want to do for teachers will change their representatives effort. If they do nothing they don't get paid
Because, Jack, their own "representative" (whether Congressman or women, or Senator) is "representative" of the majority feelings and mentalities in the District which elected him/her. However, I have to say Jack that I strongly disagree with your notion of blaming all of them~! Some are sincere and sensible. Most of those unwilling to compromise have been on the far right and/or the far left. Those in middle have been right (as in correct) but left ~> as in left out!!! (...never to be considered in this contemporary dogfight). P.S. I never signed a pledge regarding how I should think, feel or VOTE!!! Does that give you a clue as to whom I am really referring to??? Richard in Costa Rica
It because we only hae two choices: dumb and dumber. If there is republican in office, you can vote to re-elect that person or you can vote for the democrat. They are both the same. They care more about thier political party then about doing the right thing.
Congress has lied to the American people so much, I believe even the American people are confused and don't know who to believe. We seem to all be content as people with the job our congress does but when something comes along that effects us all personally. Then their all to blame except of course for the one in our state who has the most controll of the political conversation directed toward us.
It's red state/blue state. Red state people want to keep their Republican reps and oust the Democrats, blue state people want to keep their Democrats and can the Republican congressmen.
The disapproval numbers reflect just how deep the divide is amoung Americans and not disapproval of Congress as a whole. People want the other guys out, not their own Representatives. No one is interested in what is best for the country anymore. They just want to win and are willing to do anything to make us hate and blame someone else with whom they disagree or dislike.
It means that basically we are "stoooopid......All a politician has to do to get, and stay elected in Louisiana is wrap themselves in the flag,say they are a family man who loves Jesus, and obama is a scary socialist who is gonna take their guns away, and your a hero...... only dying of old age will remove you.......
Jack, it's the old "My congressman is a genius and yours is an idiot" syndrome! Most people simply don't want to admit that THEY voted for an incompetent boob for Congress.
To say that your own member of Congress does not deserve to be reelected, also means we have to admit our own problems. It doesn’t matter if your democrat or republican, most individuals can never admit the mistakes they have made. Not Obama, not Gingrich, and not congress. Congress is the worst one of all.
Its because there's no such thing as self accountability in this country, for example George W. Bushs policies and ineptitude ruined this country for 8 years, but he handed it off just before it all hit the fan and it became blame Obama time, it makes me sick, I'm moving to Canada...SOON!
Our voters are so stupid. We should have to qualify to vote. I know thats illegal, but how do these people get re-elected. Stupid is as stupid does.
I see it as these people in congress add all little tidbits into the budget called (earmarks) then they say look what i did for you.
everyone can see how much they have damaged the economy. They don't care either. I am a no one, but i voice my opinion and i am a voter. If congress would pull it together for the united states we would not be where we currently are. If i was in a voluntary position in any organization and i did not do what was expected of me i would be terminated, push out, been told to leave. why can't the president make them work together and stop inflating their budget with all the excess spending? I am not and will not vote for any current congressman in office now, for any reason. They all need to lose their current salary until a fair and equal budget is accepted and passed.
This is symptomatic of the current culture in America “It’s always somebody else’s fault”. If we want real change, they we need to look in the mirror and admit, “I am part of the problem”. Then ask, “Do I have the courage to demand a change”.
We as Americans talk a lot about courage, but I see no evidence of it, certainly not in our elected officials. We are like sheep being led to the slaughter, we cannot see beyond the other sheep’s backside.
Does the terms denial and agenda come to mind – it's the old pyramid in it's finest form – in this case, it's the smarts one at the top, which by definition are fewer and the dumb ones on the bottom of the pyramid – it's a simple number's game – that's what the democrats depend on i.e. promise the "have nots" what they haven't earned. I could be wrong, but I doubt it and I voted for Obama.
Their representative no doubt has run various positive advertisements, and after all, he had to be better than the other guy, since that guy lost, right?
Of course, at this point, I'm pretty convinced that congress is a failure and cannot be fixed without some major change. Instant run off voting, done carefully, would help, as it would encourage third parties.
One more radical idea I read in a book perhaps ten years ago, and that is to make our representatives, well, representative. You could do this by making serving in congress sort of like jury duty, with the exception of requiring a minimum college education so you get people that have a hope of truly understanding the issues. Representatives could be chosen for 2 years, with 1/4 replaced every 6 months, while senators could be chosen for 4 years, with 1/4rd replaced every year. I'd highly recommend at least a quarter of those selected be people with applied problem solving skills such as engineers. After all, politics is about managing scarce resources. That can be done so much better, by just approaching it like any other engineering task.
Both of my senators are Republican...need I say more?
People continue to vote for a worthless Congress because, stupidity aside, they don't get it politically...it's all about them....NOT US!
It is because there is no self accountability in this country, were quicker to point the finger at the closest guy instead of manning up and admitting fault, look at the economy, Bush ruined it-handed it off as it collapsed-and boom BLAME OBAMA! OBAMA RUINED EVERYTHING...give me a break! America can get off this crazy train if we all had a little more self accountability
The State political machines are very good at controlling what they think their constituents want to hear and when. Maryland is a prime example of that. I cant tell you what our State Senators Barbara Milulski or Ben Cardin even do because they are never in the news, yet, somehow, they continue to get re-elected, always have the biggest re-election financial war chest and miraculously start to re-appear in the news right around election time. Its even worse in Maryland because the Governor -Martin OMalley is also part of the Democratic machine and just resorted to gerry mandering to try and take a long time Republican seat held by Roscoe Bartlett. He who has the most money wins, builds the best machine and gets the most votes.
People are selfich and don't want to give up the senority their own congressional people have accumulated. It all boils down to Pork. If American citizens want this mess straightened out then they are going to have to do the right thing and send all of these gridlock politicans packing and elect a new crop . Put people in office who are willing to do what is best for our whole Country not only the wealthy.
Following what your specific representative is doing requires time and effort. There is not much coverage on the local level beyond the newspapers here and that is slim. So unless your representative is involved in some huge scandal then you hear very little about what they are doing and unfortunately do not go and find out. Guess most people feel "no news is good news" when it comes to their own representatives in DC. and that is a shame. Until we the people take the time to get involved nothing is going to change. I am an avid CNN follower and I would never know about my specific representative from CNN unless he is involved in a national issue (which he and most are not). If it were not for CSPAN we would not know how he votes. Not many people are into following to that detail, I wish they were.
Because some of the voters are blinded by the ideology of the person that is in that particular office. They have this fairytale idea that if they keep voting this person in that actually does nothing things will change when in fact they never do. All one has to do is look at jobs being lost, local taxes going up because federal cuts to the state, cuts in education, police and firefighters.
Many don't want to admit the truth that their representative is no good. That is why we need federally mandated term limits of two terms each just as the President does to stop this "do nothing" crowd. It would also put a crimp in the lobbyist problem too.
This is an educational Issue. Many, many Americans are defenseless against Political "Marketeering," just as we are subject to sophisticated commercial marketing techniques. What else explains why the vast majority of national-office elections are won by those candidates with the largest campaign budgets?
The educational issue? Inability to engage in critical thinking.
Jack, of course they don't think their representative/senator in Congress has done a bad job, for no one wants to take responsibility
Royal Oak, MI
Like everything else in this country it is always the fault or the obligation of the other person. What can you expect from people who believe we need to save the world but leave up other peoples children to fight our wars.
Because their great at feeding the public what they want to the ears, but they feed what they really want to Washington and we as people do not have a say in what is snuck through the doors of Washington. After all they still need our vote what better way then to tell us or convince us of the things we want and need, only to sneak something different through the doors of Washington.
Local press and media should put the heat on the politicans that are out to serve themself. Inform the electorate they might not relect them.
Because the majority class is filled to the brim with ignorant people and those that are truly in power go through great lengths to keep them that way. Everyday there's a study that the "other" people who comprise this society score lower on some silly test or get some disease more than the majority and that soothes their ego to the point of complacency. Hence, my congressmen or children would never do what your evil congressman or children would do.
Why Congress has a two year term? Because the founding fathers knew they would get corrupted. As to the Senate, just throw 'em all out. I can say that, because California has two of the worst...
Because they drink their own representative's kool-aid and thus don't realize that they are just as screwed up as yours and mine are.
Our congressman is Joe Walsh and I did not vote for him and will not vote for him again.
By the way he's the dead beat Dad Congressman for your information.
Jack Cafferty sounds off hourly on the Situation Room on the stories crossing his radar. Now, you can check in with Jack online to see what he's thinking and weigh in with your own comments online and on TV.
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