We recently wrote about the monetary advantages of incumbent politicians. However, there are a couple of things those politicos should be aware of as they prepare for the 2012 elections:
No. 1: A recent Gallup poll puts Congress' approval rating at 17 percent. While it is true Democrats control the Senate, the GOP controls the House of Representatives - it is safe to assume the public despises both equally;
No. 2: Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush opined this week that Ronald Reagan would not be welcomed into today's Republican Party. Why? Because, according to Bush, "Back to my dad's time and Ronald Reagan's time - they got a lot of stuff done with a lot of bipartisan support."
Well, by golly, that's not how we do things now. No, today we handle things through sniping and gridlock.
As for No. 1, congressional approval by the public, The Washington Post pointed out a few things that are more (or as) popular than our representatives, including:
a. Caning. Yes, the punishment where people are whipped with canes, was supported by 36 percent of Americans when they were last asked about it in 1994.
b. Animal cloning. In 2001, 37 percent of Americans said such cloning should be legal.
c. Human cloning. In 2002, 17 percent of Americans backed experiments on human cloning.
d. Barry Bonds. In the middle of the investigation of Bonds' steroid use in 2008, 25 percent of the American public had a favorable view of him.
e. Tiger Woods. At the height of his serial adultery scandal in 2009, 33 percent still liked Tiger.
The good news for members of Congress? They are viewed more favorably by the American public than Paris Hilton (15 percent), BP's handling of the oil spill (16 percent) and John Edwards (3 percent). Boy, they clobbered John Edwards - imagine that!
If we were running for re-election, we'd be worried that more than twice as many people are comfortable with caning than with your average incumbent.
And we'd be glad the pollsters didn't ask if the public believes in caning incumbents.
* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.