Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Do we really like “harebrained” ex-guv more than nation likes Congress?

It seems we do like Rod Blagojevich more than Congress, if one wants to believe the train of thought offered up by a pair of polls.
Who do we like more? Rod ...

One of those polls is the one the Chicago Tribune came up with that had the former Illinois governor with a 13 percent approval rating in those weeks just before he became an indicted public official on the verge of being impeached.

THAT “13 PERCENT” figure is just so ridiculously low that it added to the comic relief we all got from the Blagojevich image. We could laugh at him for his ridiculous hair, his nasally voice and his over-the-top manlove for Elvis Presley.

So how can we not think equally absurd thoughts about our members of Congress, who were the focus of a new poll released this week by the Gallup Organization?

11 percent.

That’s how many of the people surveyed by Gallup approve of the job that Congress is doing – the same Congress that includes the House of Representatives that as I write this commentary is preparing to take a knee-jerk “no” vote to the payroll tax cut extension.

ALL BECAUSE THEY want to show they can, as an act of defiance to President Barack Obama. In fact, it seems that too much of the activity actually done by Congress these days is because they want to one-up the president, or don’t want to do anything that he could receive positive credit for.

It would seem that the members of Congress who rejected a two-month extension did so because they want some havoc to occur – because they want to believe the public will “blame” Obama.
... or Congress?

They try treating him like the invisible friend every young child tries to blame whenever things go wrong. Which is probably an appropriate comparison, because this kind of behavior is childish.

And it is the reason why people don’t think much of Congress these days. The Gallup Organization went so far as to say that this 11 percent figure is the lowest ever for Congress, and that the 17 percent that Congress averaged for the year 2011 is also a record-low.

FOR WHAT IT is worth, Gallup on Monday also gave Obama a 42 percent approval rating, and another poll put together for the Washington Post and ABC News had Obama at 49 percent approval – a significant increase from recent months and his highest level since March.

Could it really be that when Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich goes around saying he would ignore the Supreme Court of the United States if it rules in cases in ways that go contrary to his ideological leanings and would also try to abolish courts and impeach judges who follow the law instead of his partisanship, all he does is makes Obama look rational and sane by comparison?

This coming at a time when another Gallup poll shows the Gingrich phenomenon fading, and he is merely tied with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in voter support for the GOP presidential nomination.

So we have the concept of “President Newt” and Congress on the decline and Obama on the rise, although we should all admit that Obama’s backing isn’t that high. It’s just a matter of the American people seeing that maybe these GOP operatives this time around are going to find someone whom we will despise more than the apathy of Obama on certain issues.

THINK ABOUT IT. All those ideologues in Congress who think the “American people” are preparing to “gang up” on Obama and dump him come Nov. 6 should consider that many of us “like” Obama more than we do them.

But it still makes me laugh that Congress has dropped lower than Blagojevich in terms of public perception. Because we all saw on Monday just how low the Blagojevich image has sunk.

His attorneys made an attempt to base a motion requesting a new trial on the fact that the forewoman of his jury is committing disparaging acts when she makes public appearances.

That caused U.S. District Judge James Zagel to not only reject the motion, but to dismiss it as “harebrained” and say they owed the jury forewoman an apology. And most people who commented about the issue on various Internet sites couldn’t help themselves.

WAY TOO MANY insisted that Zagel really meant “hairbrained” – with reference to the Blagojevich “doo” that will have one heck of a time surviving the barbers at whatever prison facility the former Illinois governor winds up being sent to.

Now, in the public’s mind, we have someone we think even less of than Milorod.

Our Congress has sunk too low. Although I still believe that many people approve of their own member of Congress. It’s your member who they think is causing all the problems.

But I wonder if any of the congress members will take this thought into consideration. Blagojevich has become a national punch line.

AT THE RATE they’re going, Congress may soon be even bigger fodder for the late night shows and parodies. And they won’t be able to blame Blagojevich for this fact – because it has been nearly a decade since he served a six-year stint in those “hallowed halls” on Capitol Hill.

The current Congress has achieved this “low” all by themselves.


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