How Low Can They Go?

President Bush’s approval rating continues to sink, with now a mere 29% of Americans believing that his job performance is satisfactory.  Sixty-four percent of us, according to the pollsters, find his performance to be unsatisfactory.   I have no idea what the other seven percent think.

As dismal as the 29% approval rating is, its still well higher than Harry Truman’s all-time low of 22%.  But President Bush also has the dubious distinction of having once had the highest approval rating ever recorded–93%, shortly after 9-11.  No president in history has suffered such a dramatic reversal of public opinion.

It seems fairly well established that Mr. Bush will leave office as one of the most unpopular Presidents ever.  If the economy continues down its current path, by  January he could easily drop below the Truman nadir, thus securing the spot as both the most popular, and least popular, president ever.

One might expect this widespread public dissatisfaction with Mr. Bush to inure to the benefit of the Democrat-controlled Congress.  Well, not so fast, my friends.

In fact, Mr. Bush’s 29% approval rating is significantly higher than that of the Democrat Congress.  A mere 19% of Americans approve of the performance of Congress, while a whopping 74% disapprove.

This is all mildly interesting data, and useful ammunition for talking heads and partisan cheerleaders.  But what a sad commentary on the state of leadership in our country.  An overwhelming majority of us believe that both the President and the Congress are doing their jobs poorly.  Unfortunately for us, in this case we are correct.

And thus the pollsters also tell us that a full 84% of Americans believe the country is on the wrong track.  Only 14% believe we’re on the right track.  To put that remarkable statistic into perspective, that means that there are more Americans who believe Congress is doing a good job, than there are who believe the country is on the right track.

For those interested in such things, the polling data is collected here:

Let us resolve to refuse to submit to the rule of the incompetent and the corrupt.  We deserve better.

Grace and Peace

Shortly after I published this, Gallup released a stunning survey, depicted below.  As you can see, public confidence in Congress is lower than all the other institutions ranked, at just 12%; the lowest rating ever reported.  And isn’t it a bit scary to live in a Republic where the citizens have no confidence in their elected legislature (12%) or president (26%), but overwhelming confidence in the military (71%)?  Think about it.