Polls Show American People Disgusted by Intransigence in Congress

Two public opinion surveys released today are raising eyebrows among political analysts, as they show the sharp disapproval the American people feel toward the hardline elements in Congress that nearly drove the nation into default. A CNN/ORC poll found that 77% of those polled believe members of Congress involved in the debt negotiations behaved like “spoiled children”.

CNN also found:

The overall approval rating for Congress, now at 14 percent, is at an all-time low. Sixty-eight percent of respondents disapprove of how the Republican leaders in Congress handled the debt ceiling, 63 percent disapprove of Democratic leadership and 53 percent disapprove of President Obama’s role in the agreement.

A poll from the Washington Post and the Pew Research Center found a uniformly negative response from the public to how Congress managed the negotiation process. Among the most prominent words chosen were: “ridiculous”, “disgusting”, “stupid”, “childish”, “terrible”, “frustrating”, “scary”, “outrageous”, “chaos”, “disgrace” and “pathetic”.

Specifically, out of 1,001 respondents, the following numbers of people put the following descriptions at the top of the list:

  1. Ridiculous — 66
  2. Disgust/disgusting/disgusted — 42
  3. Stupid/stupidity — 36
  4. Frustrating/frustrated — 26
  5. Poor/poorly — 25
  6. Terrible — 25
  7. Disappointing/disappointment/disappointed — 24
  8. Childish — 23
  9. Joke — 22
  10. Mess/messy — 22

Rep. Charlie Rangel suggested today to MSNBC’s Martin Bashir that the Tea Party freshmen, many of them anti-tax radicals who vowed to drive the nation to default, come what may, have behaved like a “suicide cult”—Rangel provided the word “cult”, while Bashir inferred “suicide cult” from his analysis.

It is unclear how the ongoing debt and deficit reduction negotiations will play out, but it is certain that much of this public disgust and ire will be felt by members of Congress visiting their home districts throughout the August recess. This week may involve negotiations between the executive branch and ratings agencies and major banks, to ensure the US does not see its credit rating downgraded, while the new program of cuts is negotiated.