Remember when Nancy Pelosi took office as Speaker of the House? You would have thought she was taking the helm of Spiffy Maids rather than the hallowed halls of Congress. Her statements indicated she would clean up the mess in Washington, restore ethics and order beneath the Capitol dome, and still have time to pose for countless photo-ops with her grandchildren.
Well, here we are, six months into Congress' new term, and Americans are as upset as ever with the folks down in Washington. A new Gallup survey indicates that confidence in Congress is actually at an all-time low. That's right—despite the lofty claims of the Pelosi regime, the average American is not that impressed with the goings-on in the nation's capital.
A paltry 14 percent of Americans claim a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in Congress. Now, keep in mind that Gallup began taking the Congressional confidence rating way back in 1973. The rating, however, has not been this low since the early 1990s.
Let's put it this way—according to Gallup, Americans are more likely to express confidence in HMOs than in Congress. In other words, as much as Americans may complain about health insurance, they're complaining about Congress more.
In contrast, interestingly enough, Americans are expressing great confidence in the U.S. military. Despite the drumbeat of negative news coverage about the war against terror, a whopping 69 percent of Americans have a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in the military. In fact, of all the institutions cited in the Gallup survey, the military commanded the most respect.
Democrats promised a new era in leadership in Congress at the beginning of the year. But it's obvious that they've done little to excite the American public. Granted, Gallup pollsters say that the general mood in the country appears to be quite negative now—but still, you would think that Congress could generate more support.
Could it be that Americans are frustrated with Congress' feeble attempts to tackle our immigration crisis? Gallup reports that worries about immigration are on the rise, indicating that many Americans recognize the dangers that unchecked illegal immigration pose for our national security and our economy.
Also, despite some favorable reports from Wall Street, Americans remain troubled about the economy. Could it be that runaway Congressional spending and excessive tax burdens are having an impact on American consumers?
When the President's approval rating sinks, the American news media display all the signs of obsession, repeating the statistic over and over again. Yet, when public opinion of Congress takes a downturn, we barely hear one word from the big three network news anchors.
It's time for media pundits to recognize the fact that, as far as politics is concerned, Pennsylvania Avenue should be a two-way street. It's high time that the Speaker of the House is held accountable for Congress' actions—or inactions. Speaker Pelosi should be held to the same standard as the man who occupies the White House. And I'd hazard a guess that, if Gallup polled Americans on that point, the vast majority would agree.
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