Disappointed Americans see increased bickering in Congress

April 8, 2009

Following the election of Barack Obama as president last year, many Americans figured Democrats and Republicans in Congress would start working together more to solve the nation’s problems.
Yet less than three months into Obama’s presidency, they have concluded that lawmakers are actually bickering more than usual.
That’s the findings of a new poll released on Wednesday by Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.
The survey, conducted March 31 to April 6 of 1,506 adults, also found that the public has more confidence in Obama’s handling of the economy than they do in either Democratic or Republican congressional leaders.
Seventy percent of respondents said they have a “great deal/fair amount” of confidence that Obama will do the “right thing” on the economy.
By contrast, 55 percent said they have such confidence in Democratic congressional leaders and just 38 percent said they have that level of confidence in Republicans leaders.
Republicans opposed Obama’s $787 billion economic stimulus plan and his $3.5 trillion budget plan, both of which won passage thanks to the president’s fellow Democrats who control Congress.
In January, shortly before Obama took office, 50 percent of respondents in a Pew poll said they expected Democrats and Republicans to work together more while just 39 percent said they expected them to bicker more.
But the new poll found just 25 percent said they believe lawmakers are working together more. Fifty-three percent said Democrats and Republicans seem to be bickering and opposing each other more than usual.

Photo credit: Reuters/Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Pool (Obama addresses joint session of Congress on February 24, 2009)


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Quote:”But the new poll found just 25 percent said they believe lawmakers are working together more. Fifty-three percent said Democrats and Republicans seem to be bickering and opposing each other more than usual.”

Interesting, depends on which poll or live vote you are looking at. Have you seen these MSNBC vote results:

Live Vote
If you were grading Barack Obama on his performance as president, what would he get? * 1889915 responses
He gets an A
He gets a B
He gets a C
He gets a D
He gets an F

Bickering in congress? That is what is is for. Somebody has to keep Socialism at bay.

Posted by Billy | Report as abusive

Keep socialism at bay? TARP was forced down the throats of all the banks by Bush and now Obama won’t let them give the money back. A successful take over of the banks by the Executive branch courtesy of Congress. Geitner is asking for legislation to usurp the power of boards of directors and determine what business’ stay open and what contracts will be honored. Now Obama wants to extend TARP control to insurance companies.

I am certainly not a fan of any of these industries as their conduct has been harmful to the economy. However the same can be said for the federal government. Congress continues to abdicate it’s authority to the Executive branch. With so much power being vested in the Executive branch over the past eight years socialism hardly seems an accurate label. Fascism and an Imperial Presidency come to mind. This is just a nice way of saying “elected dictator” or “despot”.

Wake up America. This nation fought a war for independence from a similar rule by committee, the King and his Ministers. We now have replaced the Royalty with Oligarchs.

Posted by Anubis | Report as abusive

Bipartisanship is overrated and we need more debate and public discourse. The problem is they use the media sound bites and open hearings more as a forum for publicity with their constituents instead of having meaningful and thoughtful discussions on the issues. Why is everyone so worried about them appearing to work together so much? Many in Congress have genuine philosophical disagreement which should lead to healthy arguments. The main problem in Congress today is the Democratic leadership fails to provide enough time for members to review proposed bills, let alone allow open debate. After all, it’s just a few trillion more in debt with mounting interest payments eating into the future of Social Security, Medicare, Defense, etc. With all the problems facing the country today I’m sure we can find more to worry about than some bickering and hurt feelings in Congress.

Posted by Tom | Report as abusive

Hey Billy, do you understand the difference between a vote and a survey? The former is of those motivated to vote; the latter is a statistically significant random sampling. Which do you think will really give a more accurate answer? Another example of conservative scientific illiteracy. So from the random sampling it looks more like the American people think the GOP is just being its typical obstructionist self. No surprise there.

Posted by borisjimbo | Report as abusive

borisjimbo, I certainly understand the difference between a poll and a vote. That is the reason I said “live vote”. But you can’t vote more than once under youremail address and there are over 1.75 million votes. A goodly number, when a poll usually has a survey of 1,000 members. Do you understand the difference?? Where I come from, the results are not correct. More like 55% for an “F”. Not very scientific, but neither is a poll. Just check the results of exit polls in previous elections. Billy

Posted by Billy | Report as abusive

borisjimbo: Wrap you mind around this stamement from a national newpaper:
“Polarization in American politics has its own disturbing momentum, aided by some strident Republican voices. But that does not require a president to make it worse. And it is a sad, unnecessary shame that Barack Obama, the candidate of unity, has so quickly become another source of division.”

The article says Obama is the worst president in past history to have polarized the “American people” as you call them. When he had the chance for “change” it was just more of the same.

Posted by Billy | Report as abusive

Newt Gingrich’s protege, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA), has a new strategy to work with the Democratic majority in solving the nation’s problems: ambushing unsuspecting Democratic freshmen on the House floor.

Cantor has put together a team to create embarrassing, YouTube-worthy moments for vulnerable Democratic freshmen.

Cantor’s floor staff has created a photo album to help identify the 42 most vulnerable Democrats. The aides then send daily e-mails to alert lawmakers when these targeted members are speaking on the floor. They even draft quick scripts to help focus the questioning.

The tactic seems to be working. Democrats have begun pulling their vulnerable members from the floor as soon as the attacks begin. And even if the targeted Democrat doesn’t take the bait, video of the episode inevitably finds its way to the Web as evidence of either ineptitude or cowardice.

It’s unclear how Cantor’s strategy fits in with House Republicans’ vow to offer “better solutions” in 2009.

Posted by getplaning | Report as abusive

Our children will be paying for this “change” in a decade or so. The baby-boomers will be baby-busted, and cry for us to fix it. We will borrow more money from China to bail out our delusional, entitled parents, and let our children eat the bill. Are we trying to forcefully create a second “Greatest Generation”? Elect a rock-star as president, and dance around for a while. The day-after hangover will come after those in power now are dead and gone.


Posted by Patrick | Report as abusive