Apparently it takes three MENSA-members from MSNBC (Mark Murray, Domenico Montanaro, and Brooke Brower) to pose (and lamely attempt to answer) the question: Is this the worst Congress ever?
I could have spared them the effort spent trying to figure out a way to get around the fact that this is indeed the worst Congress ever. And that is mostly due to the swamp-filling antics of Democrat heroes Princess Nancy Pelosi and Dingy Harry Reid.
Last summer, during the height of the debt-ceiling debate, congressional scholar Norm Ornstein wrote an article dubbing this Congress the “Worst. Congress. Ever.” And there’s now even more evidence to back up that assertion. According to Gallup, just 13% approve of Congress’ job (and that percentage is lower in other polls). As far as productivity goes, congressional lobbyist Billy Moore tells First Read that this Congress has enacted just 55 public laws so far this year (and 34 of them merely extended existing laws), compared with the average over the last 20 years of 148 public laws for a first full session. Moreover, back in the spring, Congress almost allowed the federal government to shut down. In the summer, Standard & Poor’s cited Congress’ brinksmanship over the debt ceiling as its rationale for downgrading U.S. debt. And now, unless a miracle occurs, it appears that the so-called Super Committee won’t be able to reach an agreement to strike a deal over how to cut $1.2 trillion or more in spending.
The blame game: Of course, everyone is trying to blame the other side for the Super Committee’s expected failure. Republicans — as well as GOP presidential contenders like Mitt Romney — are blaming President Obama for not doing more (even though House Speaker John Boehner and the GOP walked away from the president’s grand-bargain offer last summer). Democrats are blaming Republicans for not making a serious effort to place higher taxes and more tax revenue on the table. And Republicans are blaming Democrats for not making a serious effort to reform entitlement spending. But the institution of Congress needs to take a deep look into the mirror. Because of how it works — legislation has to pass both chambers to get to the president’s desk, and 60 votes are now needed to get almost anything through the Senate — both sides have to come together to get anything done. And right now, that’s not happening. Make no mistake: This likely will hurt ALL incumbents; Congress’ job rating will get lower (who knew that was possible?); and will make running against Washington all the more appealing.