Thursday, October 23, 2008

Not my Congress

For months now we've been inundated by the news networks with grim statistics for Congress and America's approval of their job performance.  Night after night anchors and pundits, usually in an attempt to make Bush's abysmal approval ratings look a little better, made mention that Congress' approval rating was even lower.  How could this be?  Doesn't Congress enjoy a near 90% re-election rate?  Well, it's the nature of the question.

Think about it in terms the current President can understand.  If I ask you, after watching a news report about a school shooting, teenage girls showing explicit photos of theselves on mySpace or kids caught vandalizing street signs, "are American children out of control?" chances are you'll answer yes.  If I then ask you if your children are out of control, you'll more likely to answer no.  Why?  Because the first question lets you express your opinions about other people's children and not your own.  You have no responsibility for them, you did not raise them.  Similarly when you ask about Congress as a whole, you didn't elect most Congressmen, just your own.  Sharing opinion polls on Congress, without showing a poll next to it asking those same respondents about their own representatives is pointless because it does not show any useful information.

As Campebell Brown showed tonight when asked if Congressmen should be re-elected this year over 50% answered no.  When asked if their own Congressman should be re-elected the answer was more than 50%...YES!  So showing some statistics that Congress' approval rating is down around 11% does not in any way suggest that much will change in Washington.  For this reason Campbell gets another big props from PutridPundits.

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