From CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Only one in ten Americans thinks Congress is doing a good job.
With numbers like these... it's hard to imagine how any of our lawmakers will get re-elected in November. But sadly many of them will.
According to a new Gallup poll, Congress gets a 10% approval rating, which ties its all-time low for the past 4 decades.
83% disapprove of Congress.
What's more, Congress' approval rating is down among all political groups... at 9% for Democrats, 11% for independents and 10% for Republicans.
While experts say it's hard to pinpoint exactly why Americans are so negative about Congress, the answer is probably "everything."
There's the economy... including the skyrocketing national debt, the rapidly approaching fiscal cliff, the soon-to-expire Bush tax cuts and unemployment topping 8% for the last 42 months in a row.
There is no longer any compromise in Congress. Hyper-partisanship means all Congress does is bicker while accomplishing nothing.
Currently Congress has decided to reward itself with another 5-week vacation, despite all of these problems they're refusing to address.
The country is on the road to ruin, and Congress bears much of the responsibility.
Yet chances are if you check back in after the election, many of these same lawmakers will be right back in Washington.
Why do we keep doing this to ourselves? The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome.
Here's my question to you: Why won't Americans vote Congress out of office?
Tune in to "The Situation Room" at 5 p.m. ET to see if Jack reads your answer on the air.
And we'd love to know where you're writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.
Because congress continues to buy their votes with no work welfare, medicaid, food stamps,endless unemployment benefits, farm aid, college aid, flood insurance, crop insurance, oil subsidies, obamacare, and bloated defense budgets. No one cares about the 16 trillion dollar debt as long as they get their taxpayer freebies.
we complain about chinese democracy, but we allow our politicians to set up districts in the ocean and on uninhabited areas just to stay in congress,congress is not representative of the people, reason why we can't vote them out. you can only vote out what you voted in.
I think it's because the districts are so gerrymandered plus the majority of voters in each district feel their representatives are doing their job and it's the other guys that need to go. I know the voters of my district did this in 2006. While I don't agree with all the votes my rep has made in the past 2 months, overall he's doing a good job. His opponent is a Tea Party favorite and an extreme right winger. It will be a mighty cold day in Hades for me to vote for anyone on the far right. I am grateful – Michele Bachmann does NOT represent my district.
Jack: We are stupid. Americans believe a member in Congress with seniority can do more for their district or state. We only want experienced people handling Congress. All these reasons are stupid. A person should have a job, because they accomplish some task or mission. Congress did not do much in the last 18 months except put out hot air. All incumbents in Congress should be fired, but especially the Tea Party No-No Party wing of the Republicans.
This country is filled with blind party loyalists who actually think these politicians care about them and not just getting re-elected. These blind party loyalists also think their congressmen are going great and everyone else has the bad ones. So nothing changes. Sure there are Tea Partiers coming in, but all they are is extreme right wing members of the current Republican party trying to do away with anything moderate.
Since the general consensus is that all politicians are the same, voting them out would be like trading a horse for a rabbit or, vice versa. Since the level of incompetence of those holding office is well known, why risk replacing them with others who may be even more so. The U. S. Congress is a classic example of the blind leading the blind.
Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona
First of all we only ever get to vote people into office. And if we could vote congress out who would represent us, the senate, Obama, Goldman Sachs?
Jack this question was made for me and its something I have said for decades and even on this fine blog MANY TIMES!!.And the answer is and has been for decades.The people in each district ALWAYS SAY!!! ITS NOT MY CONGRESSMAN its everyone else's.And until the American people wake up to the fact that YES IT IS YOUR CONGRESSMAN AND ALL THE REST, NOTHING AND I MEAN NOTHING WILL EVER CHANGE UNTILL ITS TO LATE.These self serving baffoons have served only one thing and nothing else........."themselves"" and re election.
Don't take my word for it.Add up the numbers yourself.You take a job for 169,000 a year and 20 years later you are a multi multi multi multi millionaire,nice work only working two days a week and three 30 day vacations and 8 long weekends.And everything is free,its on the house.
Sad answer Jack but EVERY word true.
The incumbent has inherent advantages in name recognition, influential friends, fund-raising, and the credibility associated with experience. It is hard to demonstrate that any challenger will be clearly better. Negative campaigning against the incumbent sounds like sour grapes unless the incumbent has taken an unpopular position. Hence, the general lack of political courage by elected officials. It is much easier to tell people what they want to hear.
Jack, Gerrymandering were you asleep when the locals rigged the system?
The reason we won't vote Congress out of office is because we don't want to go from bad to worse. We currently have an experienced business sector in this country that knows every way there is to swindle someone out of something. If we don't have experienced Elected Officials in office that are familiar with the antics of the business sector, we will be watching CEO's run the country from their living rooms in their mansions, rather than from the Oval Office or the Rose Garden.
Validation. A sense of personal validation is what drives most people to do the things they do. A vast majority of the folks in this country feel personally validated when they cast their vote. They think it is their patriotic duty. Validation. They think they are obligated. Validation. They think their vote counts. Validation. Fill in your own reasons. Validation. And then you got the automatic votes, from each parties base. More validation. And another big reason people keep voting them in, is they think their guy is the honorable one, and it is the politicians from the other party that are wrong. More validation, and bingo, you got yourself a self perpetuating political system. Doug, Pepperell, MA.
most people who vote don't even know who is in congress so they just vote the red or blue. eliminate the party by the person and maybe people will do a little research, from Utah (solid red state) so nothing else matters
Why won't Americans vote Congress out of office ? ( Love Your Question this time) LOL –
Answer : I've mentioned this in a lot of previous posts in your column. Without mentioning names, I used to live in a State where the overwhelming majority of the registered Voters continued to Vote for the same person, term after term after term. As a matter of fact, I voted for him, back in the 1970's. & 1980's. And people were voting for him in the 1960's also. Ever wonder why ? Our Senator brought more Federal Money into our state – than any other congressman or senator in the history of the U.S. He ended up attending Obama's inauguration in a wheelchair, then finally died. ( Yes, in Office) (after 90 terms) LOL – – – Guess what ? Now, since they can't get federal resources like they used to, they ( some in the state) are finally getting off of their behind , and are either looking for work, or ARE working. In the 50's / 60's / 70's / & midway thru the 80's, you can count it as a Blue State, with 5 electoral votes. NOW, they are solid Republican, (even though they elect a democrat governor, at times)
Short Answer, Jack : Earmarks / earmarks – earmarks. (or Favors) Shall I say more ?
according to google, he was the "king of pork – and proud of it"
Vote Democrat – 2012 (for the working middle class)
The media and both sides of the isle frame the conversation around blaming one side or the other as oppose to all people involved.
There is also a general stigma around politicians as a whole and why not?! It seems you have to have large sums of money to have any real expectations of gaining a seat in office. As a result a VAST majority of politicians are out of touch since they all owe favors to their bank-rollers. They're one of the few groups of people that dictate how they are paid and the rules surrounding their tenure. Trying to get them through the initiative process is just as bad since on a state and national level you need money to fund people. Once it gets to vote there are billions of dollars thown at it by special interest. Bottom line get money out of politics.
The Tea Party is trying to fill Congress with those who love the Constitution. Out with the progressives who are ruining our country, turning the U.s into a 3rd world country.
The uncompromising do-nothing Republican led House is the cause of grid-lock & I for one do believe America WILL vote them out of Congress!!!
When it is time to vote on congress members you usually only have limited choices. With only those limited selections it is hard to pick someone you like or want. What we tend to do is rationalize our choice as the lesser of two evils when in reality they all stink. Sadly it happens time and time again. The key I think is to have a politician you trust and that just never happens in America. We always elect the politician with the most money and support because that is the one you constantly hear about even if what you hear are all lies.
It's like contemplating purchasing a new pair of shoes or trying a new restaurant, people are comfortable with what they have and are unwilling to try sometime new.
Short memories is the best answer. That combined with the thought that every Congressperson is bad except for the one in our home state. They come in every election cycle bragging about their accomplishments and what they have done for the home district and we act as though we don't realize that they are putting pork in the budget, handing out favors to campaign contributors, and living high off our tax dollars.
Mr. Cafferty, it'd be my pleasure to vote against Pelosi, Reid, Boxer, Feinstein, Hoyer, Wasserman-Schultz, Hank Johnson, Corinne Brown, etal... however, I don't live in their districts or states. Silly question.
Actually, in 2010, a lot of them did. And another whole lot of them who narrowlly escaped defeat seem to have heard their constituency. And the Tea Party, lke them or not, came to DC with a mission and actually stuck to their guns. It shows that the system can work if people put their minds to it. Maybe rattling the cages will get some better performance.
Senator Durbin of Illinois stays above the fray. Our other senator, Senator Kirk, is recuperating from a stroke. I have no problem with Senator Durbin, and nothing negative to say about Senator Kirk, because so far, he hasnt' done anything that irks my nerves.
As far as people like Michelle Bachmann, now that's one that SHOULD BE VOTED OUT OF OFFICE!!
The reason, Jack, is the money in politics. Without the money the negativity of a campaign would be considerably less. Canidates would be forced to tell the voter what they would do if elected in detail. You hear it all the time trust me vote for me. Lying is the last part of the answer. Ted Cruz is the Republican candidate in Texas and one of his issues in his campaign was to "Restore the Constitution". Kay Bailey Hutchinson was the previous Senator from Texas. Someone should ask her when America subplanted another document in place of the Constitution. That's an outright lie. So what document is the United States operating under. Maybe Sharia Law? When was the last beheading? The main premise of a Democracy is the informed electorate, but; if all we have are negative campaigns, evasive answers to the media and outright lies how do we have an informed electorate. So the election comes down to a choice of an incumbent candidate or an unknown name who will be indoctrinated into the political system within six months. The choice of course is the incumbent candidate.
We won't vote Congress out of office because we know that to do so will only increase unemployment lines. No way will anyone hire these goofballs.
That is the $1,000,000 question. Congress has done squat since before George W was out of office.
In florida we had an election yesterday and once again there were huge problems with the voting machines memory cards. You're talking twelve YEARS after the 2000 charade. I think at this point that both political parties have a "gentlemens agreement" not to fix the corruptible system so as not to lose any of the power that the entrenched have garnered. Every election they'll let a kucinich or a moderate republican go to give the illusion of real elections, but for the most part the scoundrels stay put to keep the never changing corrupt system in place. The only that that gets better is their bank accounts and portfolios.
Because the two party system only allows you to vote for the lame guy already in office or the enemy from the other team. We rarely get challengers to our kings of congress, harkin and grassley. No regular joe can get past the party machine to get on the ballot.
It's like eating peanuts or potato chips; once you start you can't stop. I don't have a clue as to why Americans are so dumb when it comes to this one; I always vote to replace them.
Laziness. To actually understand that sending the same person to Congress term after term has created the problem requires people to actually understand how Congress works and how their Representative or Senator has contributed to the problem. When the Congressman can point to the benefits that he brought to his district and the voter doesn't know that those benefits likely came at a cost to the rest of the country and we likely overpaid for what was delivered, then the voter is not going to do the smart thing and vote the Congressman out. My view: Vote them all out.
Jack I agree with you, this no nothing congress should be vote out specially John Boehner and his side kick Cantor and McConnell this guy do not care for the American people needs, all they want to is cut everything, from medicare and social security, medicate, but their are big on defiance, and unpaid wars and more tax cuts for the poor rich if Romney & Ryan get elected they will kill the middle class, my question is were will they get tax money to give tax cuts to the poor rich guys?
The biggest reason is that state redistricting is done in a partisan way that makes most districts safe for the incumbents. This is true of state legislature districts as well as House districts.
You CAN'T vote them out. You pretty much have to wait for them to retire, or quit.
Besides banning lobbying and campaign contributions, one of the best things we could do to establish a clean, effective Congress would be to have a computer impartially create voting districts, without any partisan intervention.
Jack your own CNN polls yesterday showed Ryan more popular then Biden. Biden knows this too so it is no great surprise that he took the stage and came out with a statement like the one he did. This is what I call the "Sky is falling" tactic used by politicians when no one else is talking about them. If the media is not talking about a politician then he is becoming obsolete and that is a death sentence in politics. Unfortunately with the Sky is falling tactic it can back fire and eventually everyone will stop listening.
why would i want to do that? At least majority of congress wants back the constitutional role of moderning monetary policy, article l section 8 read it jack. thats more then i can say for the senate...
I can only speak for myself and I'll be racing to the polls to vote Charlie Bass out of the House of Representatives.
I think its because while they dislike what Congress is doing (or not doing), and they dislike them en masse, they think that "their " guy is okay. Their guy/gal is the only one working for their constituents because they see them at town halls, and at events. And they like how personable he/she is. They don't seem to realize that put them all together and that's what you get, and its time for a change.
Only thing I can figure out is they're exercising their right to make poor decisions. Eh?
I will certainly never again grant the honor and privilege of granting any of our current congressional members with my vote. To me, personally, as the person who elects these people to do a job, I expect PROGRESS. Now, as their proxy-employer, I have seen they are incapable as such, and, therefore all need to be removed (without retirement if at all possible), and sent back to their respective districts. This congress is the worst in our history and BOTH parties need to go.
There are two types of Americans : Those that know and those that think they know. "United we stand, divided we fall". This nation is very divided. How can a country be united by a press and a president that thinks they know. "The Truth shall set you free" We are losing our freedoms in this country and if the people don't see it, they certainly aren't going to vote Congress out even if it were possible. Jefferson noted " The case against democracy are the voters themselves".
It would take some mental effort. It would be like asking them to get off the couch and change the TV station if the remote control stopped working. It ain't gonna happen!!!
It is crazy that Congresses popularity is at 10 percent and are repeatedly reelected by an electorate who insanely vote for them, when both are doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Jack, well we would also have to vote Obama out of office seeing that his presidency has been so a total disaster. Hopefully by November, the American people will come to their senses and vote for the better and only choice of Romney and Ryan. The problem we have in Congress is Harry Reid who is totally inept and prevents any policies being passed in the Senate. Once he is gone I am sure you will see a difference for the better in Congress.
PS, could you just imagine trying to get term limits voted in by these two groups? They would fight it tooth and nail.
First, I'm not sure they will. I suspect quite a few of the amateurs elected in 2010 will be voted out when the new 2008 voters who stayed home come back out in November. The other is that political control over redistricting allows members to pick their voters rather than the other way around. Some states don't allow that anymore, and in those states you may see some new blood.
Because they fear the devil they don't know more than the devil they do know ... and incumbents have more money to sway opinions.
this what i have been saying for 20 years. vote them all out. set terms to 2. stop all the perks for congress. the problem the old way is keep your area happy and keep get back in. i live in WV had we had the same sen. for every he would come back at election and give this area a few perks and then disappear for 6 years. he was a true blue party man never going aginst the democrats. there are others in the goverment on the GOP side who due the same.
Their congressman fills their potholes. Voters are proprietary and parochial. Throw all the other bums out, though.
Carol In Massachusetts
Well, we did throw out some in 2010, but we ended up replacing them with some real crazies.
If you turn on the t.v. to see who's running, your options are a group of millionaires because advertising costs money. We have to change the campaign process to force these guys/gals to compete. Why do well at your job if you have no competition?
Jack it is simple most want to throw all the bums out but still like their bum. Can we say term limits.
I think all Republican/Teaparty should be out,they said the most important issue for them is to make sure Obama fails so they refused to work for the people who put them there,Biden was right & we love him(AfricanAmericans)
goodquestion put that on the november ballet and find out like a poll the truth is no one will run for the needs of us the average taxpayers we need 535 people between the house and the senate to help us att he rate we are going we are doomed
People usually do not pay as much attention to Congressional races, super pacs aren't paying for millions of ads, national network news doesn't cover most of them. But after the last two years of their playing their political games at the expense of our stability and future I think we will.
I'll bet that half or more of voters do not even know who their representative is, much less details of their voting record. Voters get in a dither over Presidential elections but barely know who is running for Congress, or when! So most vote the "party line" or for a name that sounds familiar. On occasion, for a new face that local media hypes. Ergo, much of the time they vote against their own interests, returning or sending folks to Washington about which they know little or nothing. Result is the Mexican Standoff we have in Congress today.
Martha, Rew, PA
If we vote Congress out of office does that mean we should have anarchy?
Why won't Americans vote Congress out of office?
Just wait until November Jack, you are going to see a HUGE change then.
Americans remember how in 2010 the Republicans promised JOBS if we voted them into office and we gave them a MAJORITY and not only did they NOT deliver on the JOBS, they couldn't even get more that 61 Bills passed.
Where as Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats got more than 2000 bills passed and they only had a SIMPLE Majority.
Americans are sick and tired to the GOP Party of NO.
We are going to vote in Democrats and Independents. We are going to vote OUT all those with an R next to their names.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH
1) With all of the Gerrymandering involved in congressional districting, most members of the house run unopposed.
2) Democrats and Republicans have set up the system to make it almost impossible for 3rd party and independent candidates to run. Even in the rare instances when they do run and win, they are then forced to caucus with one party or the other, thus insuring that the 2 party system remains status quo.
Until we break the 2 party system, or at least put it in serious jeopardy, they will continue to wage war at everyone's expense. Everything is black/white, good/evil, winner take all, with us or against us mentality because there is too much money involved for them to compromise. When the senate is split 30/30/20/10/10 and nobody even has 50 votes to do anything, things will change. When a massive wave of independents and 3rd party candidates take away the majority from both parties, things will change. Until then, things will just keep getting more and more partisan until the country falls apart. Both sides have already played chicken on defaulting the US credit and every issue in the past few years. They have already gotten away with it with no consequences to themselves. Why would they stop when they are getting rewarded with more and more money to be more and more extreme?
Get rid of my guy? Never. He has been up there in Congress as long as I can remember. But he knows my name and answers my calls quickly. Why replace him with some up and comer?
Many reasons, Jack. Most of which are beyond their control. It takes money to be elected to Congress and it takes even more to get rid of them once in office. Our votes do not really elect a candidate to office as they are selected through special interest groups, Wall Street moguls, media advertising, phony and useless primaries and a corrupt and meaningless two party government that runs on propaganda and outright deceit. We have no real choice who sits in the White House or Congress and consequently, we have no choice in getting rid of them. Waiting 4 or 6 years to try to "vote" them out is as futile as it gets.
Instead of voting them out, we should pass a constitutional amendment that treats them the way politicians treats welfare recipients. In addition forcing them to take drug tests on a regular basis, they should be forced to actually work (pass bills, write budgets, vote on nominations for federal offices, etc.) within a reasonable period of time. If a bill is introduced in one house, both that house and the other should be required to vote on the bill within 60 days—0r, if a bill is introduced within 60 days of a term's end, by the end of that Congressional term. If legislation or a nomination is blocked or filibustered, it must be resolved within 60 days. Anyone who blocks or filibusters legislation or a nomination should not be paid, receive benefits or be allowed to receive political donations while that block is in affect. Once a Congress member initiates a 3rd block or filibuster, they should forfeit their pay and political donations for the rest of their legislative career. The Supreme Court has said that the act of making political donations—not the act of receiving them—is considered political speech. Therefore, the courts shouldn't have any problems with restrictions on receiving donations.
Part of the problem is that a majority of Americans probably can't name their congressman or senators. I would love to vote out all the obstructionist Republicans and a few "Democrats in Name Only" who have blocked every effort by Obama to get something done. The only way to solve this is with public funding of elections to get the money out of politics. There's something terribly wrong when someone spends several million dollars to win a job that pays $174,000 a year.
Most Americans won't do research on important political issues, totally misinformed – will vote based on what they
see and hear especially in cable networks – Fox, the spokespersons like Palin, Bachmann, Limbaugh, Arpaiao, Coulter,Trump spewing hate, twisted facts. Almost all members of Congress and Senate by right should be voted
out, they are just there to hang on to their positions with all the perks, obstructing the policies put forth by the President for
the good especially for the struggling Americans, no compassion at all and they call themselves Christians, So scary to think
this election can be bought by the elites – Adelson, Koch Brothers just like in the third world country.
We try to, but at times the selections of candidates is so bad and/or radical that we stay with what we know. Also, the influx of lobbyist and corporate money has made it impossible to boot. Thus causing the majority of voters to throw their hands up and not vote.
The voters have become stuck on stupid. Constantly, we are picking the lesser of two evils. We are a country of extremes. It is one way or the other. All anyone has to do is look at the Presidential Election. Can't get anymore extreme than that.
Because it's everyone else's Representative and Senators that are the problem, not there's.
Well Jack, It's probably "The devil you know etc.".
David, Las Vegas
The reason we won't vote out congress is because most Americans are too lazy to get up off of their asses to do anything about it. Besides, anyone who takes their place will just do the same thing. Unless we adopt laws to make lobbying and special interest donations illegal, NOTHING will change!
Why won't Americans vote Congress out? Alexis de Tocqueville answered that question in Democracy in America in 1831: "I know of no country in which there is so little independence of mind and real freedom of discussion as in America."
Americans aren't given any candidates worth voting in office. You vote one bad apple out and another one gets in. They make false promises of what they will do for the American people but once in office to hell with the American people. Their loyalty is the big donors who they sold their souls too.
I want to but it is a vicious circle. My senator (democrat) ran unopposed in the primary. Especially in today's atmosphere, I cannot bring myself to vote for a Republican. I have voted for the independent candidates previously, but I don't know if there even is one in this race. If I vote for an independent it means they have views similar to mine, which means I am just helping the Republican candidate. I am hoping that the younger generation can strengthen the independent candidates so they may actually win some races in the future.
We would if we could. But the Constitution says we got to have a Congress. We can vote off certain members of Congress, but look what replacement we got – more rich and ignorant people out of touch willing to say anything to get in. Now if we could change that ...
I try but I can only vote for one Representative and one Senator this year. The way the House Districts are drawn my Independent, anti-incumbent vote doesn't count for much. But you can bet the farm if I could, I'd vote for Hank the Cat for Senator this year. His ideas track with mine. Hank's latest slogan is one I whole-heartedly endorse: "Vote the Humans Out!" A room full of contrary cats surely can do better than the current Congress.
Because we are too stupid to breathe.
Probably because American people don't want to go through the LENGHTLY time it would take to TRY each one of them for TREASON!!!
unfortunately there are to many "safe seats" for BOTH parties in "gerrymandered" congressional districts. that's WHY congresspeople like Charlie Rangle and Sheila Jackson Lee for the Democrates and Virginia Foxx, Steve King and Darrell Issa for the Republicans can get away with outragous actions and pay NO consequences.
NO WAY those house seats EVER change to the other party.
Put a little pressure on us? We only have two choices! That's not enough to clean out the cesspool.
It's our political party system. The party's support their candidates with whatever it takes for them to win. The average citizen has no means with which to fight the party condidates or to gain recognition with no cash support.
Well, once again, Jack, you phrased the question wrong. The question should be, Why own't America vote the Republicans in Congress out for blocking all Jobs Legislation that would have improved the recovery?" That's the question, Jack!
We're too stupid Jack. Too stupid to put term limits on every single house and senate member, so everyone isn't constantly running for re-election. We would actually get something done. We would never have a lame duck Congress if every politician only got to run for re-election once, and then they can focus on governing the rest of the time.
We have the same choices as a deathrow inmate, hanging,electrocution,firing squad and lethal injection. End result is the same.
I think we are just too stupid!
Because we are dumb .We vote according to party ,we are to busy trying to get live to worry about the issues and last but least were too concerned with programming llike American Idol and other crap.
The obstructionist in this Congress certainly deserve to be voted out. They've forgotten they work for "We the People", not Grover and the Koch brothers!
Because everyone thinks their reps and senators are wonderful and it's the other guy that needs to go. Boehner's constituents think Pelosi is the problem and Reid's constituents think McConnell is the problem. Much of the current deadlock, particularly in the House by the Tea Baggers and considering the states they come from, is the result of too many people listening to Rush and the "F" word news channel and being brainwashed into not listening to alternative news media or even thinking for themselves and most of it is in states with the lowest educational levels to start with. They sure do pick their audiences. A totally new Congress would also be a mess with no one to actually lead and compromise. Willie Brown pointed that out after California went to term limits and the first election after that was an enormous turnover for both parties that resulted in everyone not trusting anyone else or willing to work with anyone, even in their own party in many cases. It has take years for things to get back to abnormal there.
It probably has something to do with the devil you know Vs. the unknown one.
This is actually related to the real meaning of cognitive dissonance. Having voted for someone, it's very difficult for people to admit to themselves and othesr that they made a mistake, and shouldn't have voted that way.
American people are like frustrated sheep with blinders on, they are hypnotized by the congressman that is in their they believe all their smoke and mirror tactics and bringing home the bacon.
The problem is most Americans don't even know who their representatives even are. A lot of Americans hate Congress, but only a certain percentage go out to vote, and they normally vote for the same person, over and over. Lately, when we replace a Representative or Senator, we regret it in the end.
Simple, while most of us dislike Congress and other people's Congressmen, most of us like the Congressman that represents us. He or she is there because a majority of voters in his or her district agree with his or her position on the issues. It would be different if we could vote against Congressmen in other districts, but we cannot.
And replace the losers we know with losers we don't know?
Because most Americans believe the "Hype" put out by the candidates. Even the negative junk we were getting seems to work.
Most of the people that are voting should not be allowed to vote for this reason.
Have you seen the voter turn out numbers lately? People would rather NOT vote and gripe rather than get their collective carcasses out to the polls. Why don't we just let Obama and Romney debate for a couple of hours and flash 800#s on the screen for voters to call in. One vote per number. We can call it something like "Who Is Gonna Run Sucka?"
The present two-party system crafted by the Republicans and Democrats has all of us convinced of the following. Selection to important committees is largely based on tenure. That selection means money for your home district. Therefore you should re-elect your representative no matter what. And let's not mention how district boundary lines are drawn and re-drawn to insure re-election.
The Speaker used the image of chains when he spoke of "unshackling" Wall Street. Not everything is racist; as you mention the crowd was African American and had no problem understanding the image as applying to all Americans.
simple reason: either being stupid or brainwashed with the 24 hrs news cycle.
People think the problem with that will mean voting for the other party. The real problem is they are not voting in the primaries. I voted in the primaries yesterday. I live in the most densely populated part of the most densely populated city in the state. I was the only one there. I was voter number 171, and this was after 6pm. Mine was the only signature on those two pages of the open book. I saw today that statewide turnout was 9%. That is pathetic. The other problem? I had not heard of the other candidates. They receive no press at all. And yes, I voted for the incumbents. One I like very much, and one Michele Bachmann does not.
Fear of change and the unknown.
A lot of people feel that "My Reps o.k. - its the other Reps that need to be thrown out".
Jacki, I forgot to add that I do my part. I rarely vote for any incumbent unless by their voting record I can see that they are representing me and not Wall St and the lobbyists.
As long as these people are dragging piles of pork home to their home States, then all is well and they will be voted in again. It is all about greed Jack.
Let Americans vote on it in November and you may find out that we will vote them out.
The reason Americans wont vote congress out of office is because so few of them are up for re-election. If everyone had to run for re-election at the same time, I bet there would be a lot of changes in Congress. Big money thrown into the political races also had a lot to do with election outcomes.
If you are receiving free government hand outs, you will keep the people in office that keep on giving. To kill the golden goose would be suicide.
It's simple Jack...Sheep don't know that they can fire the Shepperd.
They will not vot congress out due th the fact is everyone is at fault but the one they voted for.
"No Way Jack",
Anyone with a brain can see, the conservative policies of: voter rights; planned parenthood; education; welfare; unemployment; imigration; jobs plans; ETC. ETC. are going to further disenfranchise the disenfranchised and put the proverbial chains back on... Hitler did this kind of stuff to the Jews, look what happened there...
You're right, Jack! Anyone who votes for a representative of any stripe that has taken money from a PAC, a corporation, or a 501(C) 3 should be disenfranchised. Then we could start over with a legislature that represents the people.
Because we have become a nation of wussies, afraid that the States will crumble if they do. I'm sure there are enough people who would be willing to take their places and start doing what Congress should be doing. I'm sure there will be fewer lawyers.
We're stupid, we thing that our congressman is honest and looks after our interest, dumb move, they only care about themselves and the lobbyist that stuff their pockets with money and it will continue to be that way until the average american is put back in chains as the VP said.
They did in 2010 for half of Congress in the House of Representatives... The 2012 election wlll further address the problem in the Senate who after 4 years doesn't understand their obligation with the President to have a balanced budget.. The effect of voting out the Congress wll be the only way to see a change in our counties future as well as a change at the top.. Otherwise the problem and deviceness will continue for 4 more years..
HillaryCare & gun control got dems thrown from the house of representives in 1994.
ObamaCare got dems kicked out of the house of representatives in 2010.
Notice how senate dems are very silent on ObamaCare & gun control going into 2012 elections. Dems won't show up and vote for loosers. However, the republicans will show up to vote out the loosers.
I find it funny that the republicans are calling the race card. Everything republicans do and say is thinly veiled in racism and targeted toward a certain segment of the population!
I guess you were asleep in 2010. That was the year when American's awoke to what Obama was trying to do and ousted Nancy Pelosi as speaker of the house and took away the Democrats majority in the senate. Obama had two full years to pass any bill he wanted. All he did was give 26 billion dollars to his union buddies, stole 716 billion from Medicare and increased the national debt by 1 trillion dollars. He has sent 2 budgets to congress without getting a single vote, not 1 democrat had the guts to go along with Obama. So we'll see who gets voted out in 2012.
Jack,I thank we have to wait for the fat lady to sing in Nov.the congress might have some changes in it.Boy, I hope the repubs. don't come down on me for the fat lady remark.
Talk about being in a rut. Guess we are like a herd of dairy cattle following the same path time and time again, and the government seems to be good at "milking" us, and apparently expects us to keep perpetuating the farce. Maybe fear of the unknown won't be as bad as the known. Let's throw the dice.
Since 2010, The House of Representatives has a Republican majority and, unfortunatly, the Tea Party is in control with Paul Ryan at the "head of the pack." I have tried to find a single constructive thing this group has done or supported and I can not. They are completely responsible for this country's reduction in our Credit Rating. John Boehner, the House leader, tried to move them away from this but he could not. Everything the President has tried to do to help the economy, return people to work and restore our country's ability to prosper, they have stopped with their "No" votes. If they are not there to govern in a way that benefits the country, why are they there? I had a survey call last night regarding the political parties and one of the questions asked was my approval or disapproval of The Tea Party. The disapporval button to push was "3".
I needed a button "300" to truly register my intense fury at this group who is so hurting our country. I pray each night that this group of Tea Party Republicans are voted out and sent home and former Republicans legislators in the manor of Bob Dole of Kansas, John Warner of Virginia and former President Ronald Reagan, men of intelligence and personal integrity, are again elected to office so this county has a chance to recover and prosper.
Never underestimate the gullibility of the voter, and the group that understands that better than any other is...elected officials and those who's job it is to get them elected. .
To paraphrase Joseph Goebbels..."If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it."
We have political ads filled with lies, the more money a party has, the more the lies are repeated.
Unfortunately what worked in Germany in 1932 appears to be working in the US in 2012.
There's an old joke that goes " How can you tell when a politician is lying?" Ans. His/her lips are moving.
For decades polticians and their surrogates have campained using rumor and accusation which add up to widespread perception. In politics perception is the only truth that counts.
Despite my politician's lies I believe he has my interests and needs at the top of his list of priories.
Actually, they do, on a fairly regular basis. Look at the 2010 Congressional elections. The problem is that the replacements are just as bad. The United States Congress simply doesn't function anymore. When the two parties detest each other and a minority can block the legislative efforts of the majority, what chance is there for progress? It reminds me of the old joke; if con is the opposite of pro, is Congress the opposite of progress?
Hello everyone. Easy question Jack. Winston Churchill said it best. “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”
However, also consider that the power, money and influence of some of these legacy politicians must be astonishing. It's in their best interest to keep their job. I have read that there has been actual legislation passed in some areas to specifically outlaw the possibility of a third party getting on any ballot. Apparently the dems and repubs can agree on some things after all. How's that debt committee coming along ? Or is that off limits till after November too ? This election is an excellent opportunity to get both sides to show their cards. Three months till the election is a lot of time. Tell us exactly what the plan is. If you have a plan. You guy's need an Eisenhower. He warned about the influence of money and corporations decades ago, but the average person of today would not fully understand either. There are big challenges coming up, but if any country can pull this off it's you folks. Have a great day.
It's possible to become comfortable in a zone of discomfort...
People in congress represent their states and districts. I have no problem with the representatives from my area. It's the other 98% that are the problem.
Bring Ted Turner back and fire all those that took a dive for the gop.
They do not understand how the government works, that all bills have to be introduced in the House of Representatives and than passed on the the Senate for approval, than signed by the President. The House is the most do-nothing Congress in history, hates the President and only cares about the rich and big business. But just like the Tea Party was a creation of the Koch Brothers and hired gun Dick Armey of Texas and promised jobs (delivered none), the American people keep allowing themselves to be played for suckers. I think we are doomed to failure.
In Minnesota, we do!! We voted out Oberstar because he choose to vote against the public option because of abortion.
1. Did anyone tell he that is something he will never have to worry about?
2. That was part of the democractic platform, and I was under the understanding he was their to represent us the people, not himself!!!
Unfortunate for us we ended up with Craveck for a term, but my piont is when congress and the senate start looking out for themselves, it is time for them to go!!!
It is admirable a goal to vote the bums out but the reality is there are ten bums in the wings to replace them !
I suspect it's because everyone has a higher opinion of their own Congressman than the rest of Congress because they can see the pork that the Congressman brings home. Pork in someone else's district is wasteful spending. Pork in your own district is only getting your fair share and going towards things that are needed.
Also, often not very much attention is paid to the party nomination process except by strong partisans, and so thnigs don't change since the incumbent has a network built up.
Congress just needs a bit of motivation to do a good job. Let them get paid like hedge fund managers as opposed to government employees. If the country ends up with a budget surplus, they get to split it – at a 15% tax rate. If there's a deficit, they and their staff do not get paid. Surely, that will solve all of our problems.
Jack, it is a shameful few of us that even vote. Many "citizens" don't even know who their Congressperson is let alone what legislation they are filibustering, or blocking, Until Americans take enough of an interest in America to find out what is going on, they'll continue to be duped by the Rush Limpboughs of this world. It's sad.
I try every election to vote for the politicians that are good for our Country.
I do not vote for t-party or republicans at all.
Maybe if everyone followed my way we would get rid of all the hate mongers in congress at least. Do you think?
Sad to have to report, Jack, that generally speaking, voters are stupid. It's the obvious explanation for putting these guys back into office term after term.
They won't vote their own member of congress out most times because they like and know them. We also see the reaction from the media when the occasional incumbent does get voted out. Look at the hysteria we saw when Richard Lugar of Indiana lost recently to a primary challenger.
Because the people who are running against them are as corrupt and useless as the idiots who are trying to hold their seat in congress.
Americans won't vote Congress out of office for a number of reasons. The most prevalent being a simple inability to grasp the concepts that are being argued over, followed closely by willfull blindness so that they can still cling to stupid beliefs in the face of evidence that what they want to hear does not actually jive with reality. People are dumb, on the left, and especially on the right.
Short memory, stupidity and gulability from the american people...............
Americans will not vote Congress out of office because the 10% of the people polled who like the job Congress is doing are probably the only people who vote or the majority of people who vote. If everyone would vote we would have representatives that would listen to the voters instead of the lobby groups in Washington and we would probably have better government.
because we are stupid.........................
......because my guy/gal is not the problem Da.
It's quite simple, Jack. Because no smart person in their right mind would run for Congress. So we're all forced to vote for the least idiotic one on the ballot.
Jack? That is what is happening. Starting with the 2010 mid-term elections. After November we will see the White House, Senate and House be in Republican hands and then a lot of good will finally happen.
Simple Jack: Congress has a low approval rating at a national level but then local constituents buy into the smoke screens their reps feed them when they're home campaigning instead of working! I say vote them all out and start from scratch! Wake up America... It's "we the people", remember?
Its very simple Jack, We're all idiots!!!
The low approval of congress falls squarely on the shoulders of John Boehner. He has failed to teach his teapublicans the art of compromise. He has failed to put country before party. He has failed and congress has failed!!
Too hard to vote, Jack. Requires actual participation. Why don't we just let Obama and Romney debate for a couple of hours and flash 800#s on the screen for voters to call in. One vote per phone number. We can call it something like "Who's Gonna Run This Sucka?"
I vote for whomever is running against the incumbent every year. Now if we could get everyone else to, we could flush congress. Thats why i prefer term limits for all. One six year term for the President, one four year term for Senate and Congress.
I am doing what it takes to re-elect Scott Brown. He is one of the few who did exactly what he said in his campaign. He is as independant as he said he would be. What more can we ask?
People did do that! Perhaps you missed that little newly elected group called the Tea Party freshmen? First, you ridicule people for actually electing a different type of politician. Then you ridicule people for not doing so.
Hello Jack. Red states, Blue states, Battleground and swing states.You did this. You did that. It all reminds me of grade school and I have had enough.Like that movie years ago, I will vote, but I will write in "NONE OF THE ABOVE."
The nationwide attitude is "Throw The Bums Out"....but "Not MY Bum"....
The solution is term limits. If it is good enough for the Commander-In-Chief position, it's good enough for the freeloaders in Congress. Another way to rid ourselves of them is to institute mandatory random alcohol and drug testing for Members of Congress. That would clear out about 75% of them.
They aren't voted out of office because money buys votes, and the powers that be, don't want any changes. Only when the public gets together and demands term limits will anything be done. With the power of the Internet, maybe we should start now.
Many will be re-elected because they'll convince their voters that it was other congressmen who were at fault, not them.
Jack is called redistributing...those who have been elected positions have been very successful in keeping power. Thank god I got out of Miami!!!
It's simple. Most people disapprove of congressmen from other districts. They generally figure that their own representative bears no blame and is doing their job just fine. So, they'll continue to vote for their own congressman and wonder why the rest of the country doesn't change its tune. Example: I am in Tom Price's district. I think he's appalling, but the majority of people in this area seem to love him. It's very likely that he'll still be in office come November, despite his, as you put it, hyper-partisanship. That's why things won't change.
We repeatedly vote for our own congress members because we think they do a good job– it's the "other guy's" congressperson who is rotten to the core, not our own.
Most Americans have forgotten that politicians are a lot like diapers. They both need changing regularly - for the same reason!
It's impossible to vote them out because of our lack of caring on the part of the voter. The only remedy is term limits and since the fox is watching the hen house, that's never going to happen.
That poll should be taken separting the House from the Senate ! ! ! - The Democrats in the Senate are the side of Congress that has not acted . . . CNN should start making that clear ! ! ! !
All the constituants believe that their congressman is the only one that cares about their wants and needs. So they keep voting them in.
Everyone knows that Congress doesn't do anything. The problem is, everyone thinks their elected representatives are NOT the problem, and continue to vote them into office. Jack, the question ought to be: Why do members of Congress NOT have term limits? If the president has a two-term limit, do should representatives and senators.
They won't vote them out because of lack of alternatives. Maybe if we could vote out the seat in Congress itself!
We all know why they continue to get voted back in because there isn't anyone else to vote for that gives us those promises that "everything will get better". Basically, we have two choices and we usually pick the lesser of two evils. Our only option is to adhere to the policy of the People's Democratic Party of North Korea. We the People would never dare complain again.
Jack, how can they when the party in power keeps redistricting? Also, these Congressmen get into office and get rich. How then can a new candidate compete with an incumbent who can now take unlimited sums of money? And just who is in charge of reforming campaign laws? The same guys that have every reason not to. This is all about money, and the average American has no way to compete with that.
Well, asking the question is a start....maybe the Cafferty File will start a new movement. The Occupying Tea Party, or something like that, where there is at least one thing we can all agree on: every member of Congress must GO! A fresh start might do the nation some good.
Because there is a bigger thief opposing them.
Americans hold the power of change through vote. Yet majority of americans who vote are just out right naive of the problems, and where they stem from. Who knows Jack, maybe someday we'll all want the same thing.
Lake Elsinore, Ca
Jack, We've got to stop meeting like this. This is very simple. Americans don't care to solve the problem because arguing over politics gives them the vent they needs to salve the tough times they face having more of everything than most nation on this planet. Americans have never been so happy and miserable at the same time since the Civil War. Here's your solution. Create a third house of Congress, A House of Lords for corporations and the wealthy that they can choose their 50 representatives in a smoke filled room in Las Vegas every ten years and allow this Lord's House to break the ties between the House and the Senate so every bill passes.
Americans as a whole are growing to understand what it is congress does, and this will be the first election where we will vote according to facts...en mass. In past elections, knowledge of what congress does and the true power they hold was not common knowledge. Thanks to the debt ceiling debates, the target was painted. We will not see these same congressman back in those seats.
Oh, yea. Also we don't live in a democracy, as our owners would have you believe. We live in a two party republic where everybody is already paid for, and we're all on the butt end of it. When we bring in instant runoff voting, then there may actually one day be hope for change in this country.
I live in Michigan and I went to the last primary totally committed to voting against any incumbents on the ballot. However, I found that the only one up for reelection was running UNOPPOSED. That's why. Nobody else is running.
Because the partison bickering runs so deep, we are all so delusional, everyone thinks it is them who does nothing, not us. It is them not us who is wrong!
Many people think every Congressman is corrupt except their own. Stockholm syndrome at its finest.
My view is fire them all but the roadblocks are there. In a two party system you only get two choices and it is often pick the best from two evils. So we get just more of the same. It is also the head in the sand view from the public. Nobody wants to hear that we have to raise some taxes and cut spending. Who will get voted in on that? So we end up with more of the same. Take a snapshot of Greece. We will be there in the future.
There are only three reasons. One is that the opposition party doesn't put up anyone any better. Two: The voters don't pay any attention to who they're voting for. And three: They vote for the party and not the man.
When it comes to voting, American philosophy is "Better to vote with the evil that you know than the one you don't." It's quite sad, but it will only continue unless we break out of the two party system and the career politicians.
Jack, I don't know what you're so upset about. Of course the people will not vote Congress out. We can no longer call our country a democracy or a free market system or any of the other myths our political discourse tries to sell us on. We are clearly living in a system controlled by special interests and big money. Those who wield power have achieved their ultimate purpose. They have created a compromised and divisive political system and an apathetic and inactive populace – whatever you want to call what we have it is no longer what the guys who wrote the Constitution had in mind. Welcome to the 21st century.
The answer is simple, no one believes that their own representative is the bad one. Somewhere along the way, we stopped second guessing our lawmakers and instead chose to believe that they really are concerned with our interests.
The answer, at least in part, has to do with redistricting. Those in power, be they Democrat or Republican, redraw the district lines in their states to maximize the voting power of their bases and minimize the voting power of groups that skew toward the opposition. The end result is that all elections become primary elections, because the winner of the incumbent party will have the deck stacked in its favor. Because most primary voters are the base and the fringe, fiery rhetoric and uncompromising absolutism reigns supreme, drowning out civil discourse and compromise.
The problem is the GOP refuses to compromise, then complains about Democrats being unable to get anything done. How many Republican filibusters have we seen the past 3.5 years? Maybe if the GOP stopped obstructing and started offering constructive proposals, rather than only wanting tax cuts for the wealthy and cutting social services for the poor, we might get somewhere. But that would mean they would have to cross their wealthy donors and their campaign contributions would dry up. And nobody on the GOP ever definitively put an end to the birther nonsense, fueling the racist hatred against this black man with a weird foreign-sounding man who of course is a Muslim who hates America. There's no reasoning with lunatics and we on the Democratic side have been the grownup in a room full of insane willful children.
Congress has developed a culture that renders them incapable of compromise. Any candidate losing office will be replaced by one who will quickly get absorbed into the same culture. Unless we replace them all at once we will keep this slow pace of recovery regardless of who wins the November elections. Insanity. Like you said.
And vote in who?!? The normal person can't afford to run against these do-nothing politicians...COULD YOU?
Most people do not understand how congress works.
They forgot to read that chapter in school. Also some just refuse to get involved.
It is just like unions only a few attend the meetings and the one's that don't spend
all day complaining about everything that happens. They fail to realize they are part of the problem
We the People may be frustrated with our current lawmakers; however, we often accept what we have, blindly. All too often we are forced to choose the "Lesser of Two Evils." If ballots offered a "none of the above" option, I'm sure that would take an overwhelming majority of the votes. True we can write it in, but we are lazy and blindly follow a single 'party,' blaming and cursing others while maintaining a closed mind. We need to go back to the days of Real People being elected to office, as opposed to accepting career politicians.
People don't vote their representative/senator out of office because they're not dissatisfied with him/her. They are dissatisfied with all of the other representatives/senators. They are also afraid of losing what the seniority of their rep/senator gives them.
Jack it's simple really. Most people do not even know their own Representative, so why would they want to vote them out?
We began voting congress out of office in 2010. It was done by The Tea Party (a movement of the silent majority that is no longer silent). The reasons it hasn't happened sooner and to a great extent are a) The politicians buy votes. About half Americans don't pay taxes and are on government welfare. Add to that special interest groups like big business and unions, b) Our schools are filled with liberal teachers who encourage this corrupt and irresponsible government, and c) The mainstream media doesn't tell the people the truth because they, like the educationals system is filled with liberals.
Americans wont vote there hated congressmen out of office because they can't. The laws, like in my homestate CA, prevent more than 1 person from either party from running. So you can either betray your party, which is more important in America than ever, or you can vote for the same incumbent Rep. Dumbhead the winning party shoves in there for 20 straight elections. Its like living in a one party communist system. An election in for Nancy Pelosi in San Francisco is more lopsided than election in Russia because there can only be 1 democratic challenger when the political parties control all the election rules!
The problem isn't really with congress; it's the American people that are this divided. We don't vote for the entire congress, we vote only for our representative. If you polled Americans about their own representative's performance, and then added up the positives and negatives, you'd get a very different result. Yeah, sure, we could do with filibuster reform and a better performance from our media, but if we keep blaming the problem on everyone else's votes, we'll never solve the problem.
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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