Much has been made of a recent study by the Pew Research Center that shows American’s trust in government is at a near-historic low. It’s become a major talking point of Sean Hannity, who uses the poll as proof that Americans dislike the Democrats’ agenda and want them out of power. This is, after all, Barack Obama’s White House and Congress belongs to both Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.
That’s not an entirely incorrect read on the poll, however I’d like to offer a different spin. Yes, I’m very dissatisfied with Congress right now, but not so much because of anything they’ve done. It’s what they’re not doing that bothers me and this video, from Huffington Post, appropriately points the finger at the elephant in the room. I can’t figure out how to embed it, so go watch this and come back. I’ll wait.
We’re more than one year into the Obama administration and 101 executive branch nominees are held up by secret “holds” put on them by Republicans. We’ve got the filibuster being threatened so frequently that most people just accept you need 60 votes – not merely 51 – to get anything done in the Senate. What was it I once learned in school about “majority rules”?
That’s why I’m dissatisfied with Congress. The whole sausage-making process feels like it’s grinding to a halt and the most basic pieces of legislation have become increasingly more partisan. I don’t want the Democrats out of Congress, I don’t want the Republicans out of Congress. What I want is for them to get more work done. This would be a great time to look at the filibuster and make some changes to it. I can’t imagine the founding fathers would be happy with a situation where the majority party could have as many as 59 seats and not be able to get anything accomplished.
And please don’t try to tell me that since Americans overwhelmingly opposed health care reform the Democrats should’ve just dropped it. Back in October some 60 percent of Americans, according to one poll, favored a “public option” as described by President Obama: Not a taxpayer subsidy, allowing people to buy in to Medicare-like coverage, forced to sustain itself on premiums. This was before the crazies took control of the message and public perception soured.
It’s also important to remember that the previous administration started a war in a foreign land that nearly 2/3 of Americans objected to. And what was the VP’s response? Observe:
So there you go, President Obama and the Democrats. You were voted in to office by a solid majority of Americans. Don’t get blown off course by the fluctuations in the public opinion polls…just like the Republicans don’t.