Thursday, September 21, 2006

The Right To Whine and The Devil You Know

This morning, a New York Times headline says, “Only 25% in Poll Approve of the Congress”. The poll was the latest Times and CBS poll which began last Friday and finished up Tuesday night. The poll was nationwide. It included 1131 adults of whom 1007 said they were registered to vote. It was conducted by phone. In this poll, Bush’s job approval rating was at 37% and 77% of those polled (including 65% of Republicans) said most members of Congress hadn’t done a good enough job to be re-elected. The results of the poll sound like good news for the Democrats, right? Not so fast. The problem is human nature. In America, we have the right to loudly piss and moan, complain, whine and rail against everything from politics to the sit-coms on television. And we take that right seriously. But for most of us, our complaints don’t translate into action. We don’t even write letters to our representatives in Congress. And when it gets to the point that we go to the polls to vote, statistics report that we tend to pull the lever of the name we recognize. Even though that name is the person we think is a doofus and we’ve been calling the candidate’s political party the worst names we can think of for four years…or in the case of Senators, six years. The old axiom that the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know, plays out in most elections. Those who were polled said that Democrats were more likely to tell the truth than Republicans regarding the war in Iraq and terrorism. Fifty-nine percent said Bush was hiding something when he talked about progress in Iraq. And twenty-five percent said he mostly lied about the war. The Democrats didn’t fare that well either when the subject of hiding and lying came up. Seventy-one percent said Democrats in Congress were hiding something and 13 percent said Democrats were mostly lying. The last paragraph of the NYT article quoted Robert Allen, a Democrat from Ventura, Calif. Allen said, “We’re in a stalemate right now. They’re not getting hardly anything done. It’s time to elect a whole new bunch so they can do something.” That’s true. And nearly everyone with an opinion seems to agree. But when we stand in the voting booth, will we act on the conviction that the idiots should be thrown out? Probably not.

No comments: