A Corrupt Congress? Americans Think So.

Gallup: “Most Americans appear to have little faith in most lawmakers to do the right thing. Majorities believe that most members of Congress are ‘out of touch with average Americans’ (79%), ‘focused on the needs of special interests’ rather than the needs of their constituents (69%) and corrupt (52%). Americans are less critical of their own representatives, but substantial percentages say their own member of Congress is out of touch (48%), focused on special interests (47%) and corrupt (32%).”

Americans' Views on Their Member and Most Members of Congress, September 2015

“Majorities of Americans view most members of Congress as corrupt, beholden to special interests and out of touch. This is not new and perhaps not even surprising, given the low esteem in which Americans hold the institution. But this cynicism is beginning to influence Americans’ views of their own federal representatives, not just the national legislature. Record or near-record numbers of U.S. adults say their local representative is out of touch and focused on serving special interests rather than their constituents.”

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  • Calbengoshi

    As long as there continues to be a major disconnect between what voters think of their own member of Congress and what those same voters think of the rest of Congress, nothing is likely to get any better.

    • Suppose there’s no disconnect. Suppose we think our own constituent as slimy as the rest. What recourse do we have in a 2 party system? My representative might be a sleaze ball, but s/he’s a smart sleazeball. Your choice of representative is a sleazeball and an idiot.

      Jerrymandering + First Past the Post + Electoral college = archaic, if not complete shit aspects of our democracy.

      • Calbengoshi

        Even in our 2-party system, a member of Congress viewed as a “sleaze ball” by a majority of voters in his/her district is not likely to be reelected. For that matter, if he/she is viewed as a “sleaze ball” by a majority of the voters from his/her own party, there is likely to be a successful primary challenge.

  • Michael Blaine

    Seems to me the Hastert Rule is a major culprit in the dysfunction of Congress because the rule prohibits even voting on a bill in the House, unless there are enough Republican votes to pass it. This is absurd. If 180 or so Republicans would vote for a bill plus enough enough Democrats to pass it (or vice versa) then a vote ought to be required. As long as the Hastert rule is in place, the tyranny of the political extremists (left or right) will undermine the functioning of government and the confidence of the American people in the government. Doing away with the rule would insure bipartisan legislation and that is the only way the country’s democratic system can work.

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