October 31st, 2007
08:26 AM ET
11 years ago

America v. Congress

CNN's Candy Crowley takes a look at Congress' low approval numbers.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Why do the vast majority of Americans hold Congress in so little regard? CNN's Candy Crowley takes a look.

Filed under: Congress
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. Chip Celina OH

    Some of the comments here are hilarious.

    The Democrats couldn't get anything done before because they were in the minority...now, they can't get it done because they're in the majority. Which is it?

    October 31, 2007 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    There are several members of congress who have done more for other countries such as Israel then for their own district. Sad

    October 31, 2007 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  3. Bob, San Francisco, CA

    Once again stupid people display their complete lack of reasoning skills by saying this is the Democrats fault entirely. No furhter explanation needed because you can't reason with thick-headed morons.
    Congress is at an all time low because of both parties and their stubborn refusal to work together. If you can't see that, then you have no reason participating in political discussions because you're a partisan dope (most people here).

    October 31, 2007 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  4. Joeley Reno, Nevada

    The obstructionist Repubs are the road block to productivity in Congress.

    If you want to get productive in Congress, throw the radical right wing Repubs out on their ears.

    Representing the people should be our representatives primary role. Instead they seem to be panderers to big oil and other billion/trillion dollar corporations with no regard for the average citizen.

    Penning good legislation and being reactive to the will of the people, that should be their jobs.

    Make your vote a referendum on your legislators job performance.

    The Democrats have my vote, at least the next one.

    October 31, 2007 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  5. Terry, El Paso, TX

    "Americans needs to brush up on their Locke, Jefferson, and Madison." – Sam, Barrington RI

    While Jefferson and Madison were certainly clever fellows, they never anticipated global corporations, computers, instantaneous global communications, weapons of mass destruction, drive-by shootings, industrial pollution, global warming, etc.

    The Constitution was the beginning of the United States, but our generation is not the prisoner of generations now dead. Supreme Courts have had to expand interpretations of the Constitution to accomodate events and institutions that the founding fathers never anticipated. Their fear was the establishment of an American monarchy, as dictatorships were then called, and they structured the Federal government with its balance of powers to prevent the coronation of an American king.

    My fear now is not an American Napoleon or Hitler; my fear is the Corporate State in which corporations will be the only citizens and human beings will be their chattel. The Federal Government is the only institution powerful enough to protect us from such a horrible world. No militia with muskets would be capable of saving us.

    The Federalist Papers can enlighten us, but what they wrote then does not limit us now. We are living way beyond their vision. They did not question slavery. They did not imagine equality of the races. They assumed that women would always be owned by their husbands. The could not imagine our world.

    So, we must stay true to the principle of government of, by, and for the people but the federal government imagined by Jefferson could not govern today.

    Also, while everyone knows exactly what the Constitution says, but we cannot agree on what it says. We are of conflicting opinions about what those paragraphs mean, and each of us is certain that our opinion is correct. For example, the second amendment obviously means that states and municipalities can maintain their own militias, and that the weaponry needed for those militias cannot be confiscated. It does not mean that it is the sacred right of every American to own AK47s, grenade launchers, or mustard gas canisters. However, many good people believe that I am wrong (though I am not).

    A fundamentalist once told me that the Bible means what it literally says, and that the sooner we all accepted the truth of the Bible, the happier we would be. I replied, "So, when Jesus said we must be born again, that was an obvious reference to reincarnation, right?"

    October 31, 2007 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  6. john williams san diego, ca.

    Congress most of the time is dysfunctional, but with those two liberal loonie majority leaders getting all that television face time, all of America can now see the problem that the democrats created..

    October 31, 2007 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  7. Kate, Aurora CO

    For me personally I feel duped and let down by this Congress. I was so excited when Democrats won control. I believed their promises of "change". There has been no change. They have done nothing but inspire me to vote for neither party this coming election.

    October 31, 2007 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  8. Terry, El Paso, TX

    It is pointless to debate about which party is good and which is bad. The are both good and bad. Each party owes its success to several constituencies. Republicans have become the prisoners of fundamentalists, corporations, Libertarians (all five of them), the defense industry, and agriculture. Democrats are held captive by minorities, labor, educators, gays and lesbians, and Liberals (there are a few of us left). Independents have no party and no one is interested in them, except for their votes.

    Each group can veto anything its party wants to do. No group can force anything into law, but each group can prevent any single bill from becoming law.

    Our Congress has no real interest in what becomes law, any more than the hardware store manager cares whether you buy a hammer or a saw as long as you give him some money for something. They want to keep their cool jobs where they have great salaries, great benefits, great perks, endless applause, and unlimited social status.

    As a result, the goal of Congress has become not to offend a constituent by doing something for another constituent.

    October 31, 2007 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  9. Scott, Cincinnati OH

    Congress is held in low marks because they have done very little. Many of us realize that while the Democrates have the majority it's not veto proof, therefore we will give them a veto proof majority in 2008 when Hillary is ellected President.

    October 31, 2007 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  10. Brad Johnson

    In the words of Thomas Jefferson:
    "If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their money, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them (around the banks), will deprive the people of their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered." – Thomas Jefferson

    October 31, 2007 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  11. Fred Mannheim

    I hold congress in disregard because the Republicans are Hypocritical,corrupt and warmongering, while the Democrats are lack Spine and are shirkers. Neither listens to it's citizens and both are violating our Constitution. What we need are alternatives. I want more political parties to exist.

    October 31, 2007 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  12. Robert Downey

    Things will never change unless people wake up to the idea that there is nothing bipartisan about the system. Both groups have members wich are affiliated with the Bilderberg Group, the CFR and the Trilateral Commision. All of which are private think tanks for the Corporate Elites and Banking Cabal. Their only concern is spreading their wonderful feudal system through their Corporate Fascist model.

    October 31, 2007 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  13. dukesjames griffin ga.

    this is simple; the american expects his or her elected official to fight on his or her behalf to fight for them not fight against them on the behalf of others for some purpose having nothing to do with the people that a certain elected official is to serve thus congress is offal.

    October 31, 2007 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  14. Trollmaster, CA

    Why is the right wing gloating about how bad Congress is? It's not like the answer is to vote Repubilcans back in power so they can squander our borrowed tax dollars even more, and allow corruption to go ignored and unchecked, like they did from 2000-2006.

    November 1, 2007 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  15. Ann ME

    To ask the question bespeaks the answer.

    November 1, 2007 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  16. Jim Topeka, Kansas

    For Congress to function and do the job that they have to do as outlined the Constitution, they much have bipartisan conversations. It is extremely unfortunate that some members on Congress profess greater loyalty to their party than they do their nation.

    Congress is not subservient to the executive branch of government. They are not required to do what the President tells them to do, he is head of the executive branch of government not the legislative.

    Congress's failures are based upon a few individuals that think if they keep Congress tied up with the Democrates in simple majority the American voters will place them back in power.

    We need a Congress that is willing to talk to each other, we need a President who is willing to work with a receptive Congress. But most important we need a Congress that will do their job and correct the President when he forgets who put him in office and that he is not an absolute ruler that can dictate to the Congress of the United States what they are going to do.

    November 1, 2007 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  17. Brad, Davenport, Iowa

    There is a way to show these officials that we, as Americans, are fed up with the scandals, attacks on our constitution and lackluster performance of our leaders. Vote Independent, vote libertarian, vote for a candidate that you believe in with your heart, not what your neighbor or media suggest. Stand up and be counted, (except in Florida). Write letters, make phone calls, don't be afraid to voice your opinion to every sitting politician no matter what state they represent. Let them know we are here and we are not going away, nor are we going to be quiet. The media cannot ignore the sheer volume of our collective voices. I personally write at least three emails a week to ALL of our elected officials. I blog, I scream, I believe.

    November 1, 2007 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  18. Bob, Roxboro, NC

    The reason we American people feel such contempt for Congress and the Government as a whole is simple. They simply do not embrace many of the issues which affect our lives positively. Constant pandering to PACs and Lobbyists, too much concern over the welfare of foreign countries, too little responsiveness to the dialog of their constituents. I write my representative and Senators often. When I do get a response, it comes back as either a boast that he / she has worked so so hard to carry my position forward,,, or,, a thinly veiled offer to shut up and let him take care of what's best for me. What am I supposed to find so endearing about this cadre of out of touch autocrats?

    November 1, 2007 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  19. Sarah, Kansas City, MO

    There is not a veto proof majority of democrats in congress (both houses). That is the reason nothing is getting done. All the republicans have to do is threaten a filibuster and that prevents anything from getting to a vote. This is a little nugget the media does not tell you when discussing why congress can't seem to get anything done.

    How about the dems tell the president that any discussion of war funding will be put off until he signs the SCHIP bill? All this talk about war funding is supporting the troops is BS. The best support the troops can get now is to fund them coming home.

    This country's statis in the world is quickly sliding down hill along with the economy, thanks to the president and a congress that puts its pettiness ahead of the country's best interests.

    November 1, 2007 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
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