Congress’ Problem: They’re Not Being Partisan Enough

Or at least that’s what über-hack Glenn Greenwald argues — apparently seriously. He argues that the reason why Congress’ approval ratings are so low isn’t that they’ve done absolutely nothing but spend the last 8 months raiding the Treasury for their own interests, it’s that they haven’t spend enough time in pointless partisan witchhunts against the Bush Administration.

Of course, for those of us who don’t quaff Democratic Kool-Aid like it was going out of style, there’s another more likely explanation for why Congress’ approval numbers are in the toilet. It’s the same reason why the last Congress had low approval ratings: people are sick and tired of a “leadership” that does nothing but lines its own pockets. The #1 issue in 2006 was not the war in Iraq. It was corruption and ethics in government. Next year’s elections seem poised to follow the same model. The Democratic Congress has proven itself no less corrupt than the one that preceded it, and in fact, has done a worse job with reform. The same tide that swept the GOP out of power in 2006 is bearing down on the Democrats, but they’re too busy trying to torpedo the Bush Administration to care or notice.

The reality is that it’s not a lack of partisan zeal that’s hurting Congress (except among ultrapartisan Democrats like Glenn Greenwald), but a culture of corruption and a lack of ethics — and the Democrats in Congress are more interested in chastising the President than it fixing their own problems. The question of Congress’ approval ratings isn’t whether they’ll get better, it’s a matter of how low they can go. If the Democrats follow the advice of their own vicious partisans, we may yet see a Congress with single-digit approval ratings.

UPDATE: Then again, it’s not as though the Republicans are doing much better. The only think that might save the Democrats is that the GOP continues to miss the boat itself — although that bodes poorly for the state of American politics as a whole.

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