Why do voters blame the Republicans in Congress and not the Democrats for Congress' problems

If you look at these polls from the NY Times, congress has become increasingly unpopular over the last two years, but people are blaming the Republicans and not the Democrats. Weird, given that that was also the time over which the Democrats have controlled congress. Some how people need to educate voters that the Democrats have been in control of congress.

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Blogger jr said...

People overestimate the power of the presidency (although, I think the power of POTUS has grown immensely in the past century) and likely blame Bush. They really think the president can change things, hence Obama's "Change" message is so popular. *shaking head* (In this case, with a Democratic Congress and a potentially filibuster-proof Senate, he may be able to change a great deal...unfortunately.)

10/19/2008 12:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

just face it.. deregulation is over. Greed won out and is killing our country and mocking true conservatism.
The president has no power? Look how little power Bush had.. he basically did nothing to aid in our deficit right?.. start a war?.. continue the war.. get the world to hate us. You know you voted for him. Now admit you were wrong. If McCain wins and we are still fighting in Iraq in 4 years will you still deny that you were wrong. Don't blind yourself. The GOP needs new leadership and a return to core values. Don't pander to religious fanatics about rediculous issues like gay marraige.. stick to small federal government but drop the crap that you think wins votes. I want to be inspired but all I get from Republicans is scandal and half truths.. pandering.. people that seem as if they have no clue. The pendulum must swing back if we are to survive. Reagan is dead. Middle ground is needed.

10/19/2008 5:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It would not surprise me terribly that people don't realize that the Democrats have had a majority for 22 months (though a paper-thin one in the Senate), given how uninformed the general public seems to be regarding politics.

But, Lott, this is not news and not weird if you look around.

This opinion is similar to those I've heard from a number of others, including the talking heads on all the networks... To take one issue specifically, we know that the war in Iraq is viewed unfavorably by the majority of Americans, and so the Republicans, who have been such supporters of the war get dinged for that. Democrats, who at least gave lip service to opposing it, get dinged for not having done anything meaningful to end it.

The Pew poll shows that Republicans have a much dimmer view of their own party. My take on that would be that a lot of Republicans are disappointed with how their party has abandoned its conservative principles.

And jr, I'd say that given what Bush has done, it would be hard to overestimate the power of the presidency at this point. But that aside, all candidates claim that they will be the ones to change things, as if Congress has no roll in changing tax laws or trade agreements. Sure, a candidate will claim to want to work with the opposing party, but it's always "my plan" or "my policy."

10/19/2008 2:08 PM  
Blogger Mike Gallo said...

Well, of course that's what the media is for, to remind the public that the Demo... oh, wait. Nevermind.

Well, at least kids are being taught about this by their teachers, and they'll... oh, wait. Nevermind.


10/19/2008 4:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Granted, the pro-freedom policies usually get the bad rap and when the proverbial bovine fertiliser hit the fan, the blame is never put on the previous administration which set the condition for it to happen, but the people in place when the event happen. The population in general has a very poor long term memory.

On the other hand, there is this argument that can be brought up: why is it that disastrous policies implemented by previous administrations are very rarely removed, why is it that liberticidal policies are always racheted on the population, tightening the noose and impoverishment rackets?

It seems that the true rulers of congress, or Parliement in Canada, is truly iether the top civil servants or some influential lobby / high policy makers rather than the puny power-oriented elected officials.

I came to see the elected officials as mere puppets, manipulated by agenda-promotors working in the background, relentlessly.

What else can explain that unpopular policies, promised to be eradicated by some politician IF he gets elected, are in the end never removed, even if same politician do get elected?

There is an apparent contradiction which resists most conventional/ superficial analysis.

10/19/2008 6:00 PM  
Blogger The Right Guy said...

It must be a problem with perception. People must be hanging the blame for everything on Bush and the party he represents. I don't think we've seen such a pin cushion as a president since Herbert Hoover. Bush may believe that history will treat him more fairy than the current array of critics, but he has done nothing to change the public's perception, which at times seems more important than reality. Juxtapose this perception with that of Clinton, who is in many ways the antithesis of George W. Bush. Is it the men, their circumstances, or the MSM that reports and in many cases seems to shape public opinion? Probably all three. The only question I have is it that Bush doesn't care what people think, or that he does not believe he can change it? Whatever the case, he's allowed himself to be defined by forces outside his own.

10/19/2008 11:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's a link to a 1999 LA Times article describing some change stuff that went on during the Clinton Admin that directly promoted the mess we are now in. It's all there in black and white: Increased security bundling in '92 by Fanny and Freddy, Fanny and Freddy's relaxed loan requirements, and the push to strengthen the Community Reinvestment Act. What was Hillary doing during all this, serving tea maybe? Her selective amnesia is mind boggling.

10/20/2008 7:56 AM  
Blogger jr said...

For clarification, I wasn't saying POTUS is without power. The Bush administration did little or nothing to reverse a trend of presidents being quite powerful. In some of those cases (war being the preeminent one at the moment) the presidents power was increased because Congress abdicated it's responsibility.

So, yes, the presidency is quite a powerful position, but it still in subject to the checks and balances of Congress and the judiciary...at least when the other branches of government do their jobs. I get the feeling that somewhere, anti-Federalists from immediately following the Revolution are needling their Federalist counterparts saying, "I told you so."

10/20/2008 2:45 PM  

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