Patterico's Pontifications


Senate Approval Ratings may be an All-Time Low, at Home and Abroad

Filed under: Government,War — DRJ @ 1:27 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

As usual, there’s good news and bad news from Iraq – but this time there’s a twist and it involves the U.S. Senate.

Last week, the Senate overwhelmingly passed a non-binding resolution sponsored by Sens. Biden and Brownback “that essentially calls for breaking Iraq into three sections: Kurd, Sunni, and Shia.”

Now the AP reports some good news on the military front but bad reviews from Iraqi politicians for the Senate’s non-binding resolution:

“U.S. and Iraqi forces killed more than 60 insurgent and militia fighters in intense battles over the weekend, with most of the casualties believed to have been al-Qaida fighters, officials said Sunday.

The U.S. Embassy, meanwhile, joined a broad swath of Iraqi politicians – both Shiite and Sunni – in criticizing a nonbinding Senate resolution seen here as a recipe for splitting the country along sectarian and ethnic lines.”

Recall that in late August 2007, Gallup reported that Congress’ approval rating was at 18%, the lowest “since Gallup first tracked public opinion of Congress with this measure in 1974″:

“Just 18% of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing, while 76% disapprove, according to the August 13-16, 2007, Gallup Poll.

That 18% job approval rating matches the low recorded in March 1992, when a check-bouncing scandal was one of several scandals besetting Congress, leading many states to pass term limits measures for U.S. representatives (which the Supreme Court later declared unconstitutional). Congress had a similarly low 19% approval rating during the energy crisis in the summer of 1979.”

I don’t know if this non-binding resolution will help or hurt the Senate’s approval ratings but it clearly didn’t boost the impression of the U.S. Senate among Iraqis. Maybe Americans have more in common with Iraqis than some think.


22 Responses to “Senate Approval Ratings may be an All-Time Low, at Home and Abroad”

  1. Funny how Democrats disapprove of the Congress almost as much as the Republicans.

    Russell (a32796)

  2. I think Democrats are upset that Congress hasn’t cut off funds for Bush’s social experiment in Iraq yet, Russell.

    alphie (99bc18)

  3. Alphie,

    Do you think even Southern Democrats are against the war?

    DRJ (ec59b5)

  4. But then again the Democrats were upset when the Communists in Moscow lost the Cold War.

    Thomas Jackson (bf83e0)

  5. DRJ,

    This recent poll shows only 6% of Democrats approve of Bush’s handling of the Iraq War:

    Its a safe bet that not many “Southern” Democrats support it.

    alphie (99bc18)

  6. The Gallup poll results don’t match up with the CBS poll results you linked.

    DRJ (ec59b5)

  7. Huh?

    64% of Americans think we’re gonna lose the Iraq war, DRJ?

    How does that “not match up” with the CBS poll?

    I didn’t see any mention of Republicans or Democrats in your poll.

    alphie (99bc18)

  8. My point was that the polls are inconsistent on this issue, depending on when they are taken and who takes them.

    DRJ (ec59b5)

  9. And yet you linked to a poll. DRJ?

    alphie (99bc18)

  10. Alphie,

    I linked without a proper explanation of what I was thinking. It’s Sunday afternoon and I guess I’m too relaxed from a long, good weekend.

    DRJ (ec59b5)

  11. This recent poll shows only 6% of Democrats approve of Bush’s handling of the Iraq War:

    Is Bush the Congress? I had no idea that a poll about Bush would measure attitudes toward Congress. I guess Congress’ ratings are really going to suck if one of the Democrats gets elected.

    Pablo (99243e)

  12. DRJ –

    Intersting poll. I agree with the summary that says Congress tends to get low ratings generally, often along the same trajectory as the Pres.

    I think they also make an interesting point that since these numbers are pretty similar to those at about the time of the 2006 switchover, it could reflect the evaporation of the goodwill that built up from the switch.

    Did you notice the rating dropped by 9 points between July and August? Wonder what that was … Larry Craig? Getting too close a look at Senators in the debates? (Your guess goes here.)

    Itsme (d95f64)

  13. Funny how Democrats disapprove of the Congress almost as much as the Republicans.

    My guess is that the pandering to the moveon types that started as soon as this congress was sworn in has backfired miserably. Democrats are no more inclined to favor that nonsense than republicans.

    Just Passing Through (ff997a)

  14. Itsme #12,

    I’m not sure what caused the July slump but I would bet on immigration reform.

    DRJ (ec59b5)

  15. Leaving aside the US polls, I think the Iraqi poll needs to be taken with a shaker full of salt. First off, it’s a consensus of opinion among Iraqi POLITICIANS. I don’t know about you, but I think a consensus of opinion on almost any subject among US politicians (for instance, the House of Representatives) doesn’t represent my opinion by a long shot. What the Iraqi PEOPLE actually think may be totally different. After all, the politicians have a stake in keeping Iraq united–it means a much larger pool for them to suck money out of.
    Second, did you notice that it cites “both Sunni and Shia” politicians. No mention of the Kurds, as if their opinion (which, to tbe best of my knowledge, is in favor of partitioning Iraq–or at least partitioning their portion of Iraq off from the rest) doesn’t count. Which is rather like someone ignoring those people who support Bush’s policies on the grounds that anything contrary to the consensus against Bush’s policies can be ignored.

    kishnevi (50a711)

  16. Kishnevi,

    Everything you say may be true but how many times have Sunnis and Shias agreed on anything without outside pressure? Maybe this is the start of something good.

    DRJ (ec59b5)

  17. This is a good example of something that the Senate should have kept its nose out of. That they passed the resolution has only negative consequences, nothing good can or will come of it.

    This is dangerous narcissism.

    SPQR (6c18fd)

  18. Thanks Nancy!

    Thanks Harry!

    People just love the endless hearings and lack of actual meaningful legislation. Keep it up.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  19. DRJ–Agreeing to stick together in the hope of being able to stick it to the other better and longer is not something that calls for optimism.

    The politicians want as big a pot as they can get, because the bigger the pot, the more money they can grab. In that Iraqi politicians are exactly like American politicians. Also, each group wants to be able to dominate the other, and that can only happen in an unpartitioned Iraq.

    Those are not good reasons for staying together.

    kishnevi (3ea74f)

  20. Kurd, Sunni, and Shia provinces will work, but splitting them up just make them targets for “incorporation” by neighboring regional powers.

    It wouldn’t be that long before Turkey invaded an independent Kurdish state, for example.

    And if you think Iran is causing trouble now …

    I won’t be voting for Brownback anytime in the future.

    LarryD (feb78b)

  21. On what planet was Brownback considered a major candidate?

    Techie (c003f1)

  22. DRJ #14:

    I’m not sure what caused the July slump but I would bet on immigration reform.

    And I’d bet you’d win that bet. Good catch!

    Itsme (81b460)

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