Friday, June 22, 2007

The 'Why Are We No Longer Surprised?' News Department, Part 2

A headline this week following the release of a new Newsweek poll showing President Bush's approval rating at 26 percent:
Least Popular President Since Nixon


Dan Paden said...

Be fair, gents (and ladies?) and note also Congress' approval and Harry Reid's, both of which, last I heard, are even lower.

'Course, even I actually disapprove of much of King George's work. But still...

Anonymous said...

Josh Marshall:

There's a context that goes missing from most reports about congressional progress, or lack thereof: Senate Republicans are blocking everything that moves.

For the last several years, Republicans, with a 55-seat majority, cried like young children if Dems even considered a procedural hurdle. They said voters would punish obstructionists. They said it was borderline unconstitutional. They said to stand in the way of majority rule was to undermine a basic principle of our democratic system.

And wouldn't you know it; the shameless hypocrites didn't mean a word of it. As Roll Call reported this week, 239 separate bills have passed the House, only to find Senate Republicans "objecting to just about every major piece of legislation" that Harry Reid has tried to bring to the floor, whether it enjoys bi-partisan support or not.

Indeed, Senate Republicans -- the ones accusing Dems of being a "do-nothing Congress" -- are proud of their efforts. Senate Minority Whip Trent Lott boasted, "The strategy of being obstructionist can work or fail. So far it's working for us."

Voters are understandably frustrated about the lack of legislative achievements thus far, but the explanation is surprisingly straightforward: Republicans won't allow up-or-down votes on anything of significance.