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Helen, I agree with every one of your points.  What I'm getting that is: Congress is now not just rolling over on policy but allowing the executive to chip away at its prerogatives.  If it won't stand up to him on THAT then its very relevance is open to question.  I'd have thought members would fight for it tooth and nail, but maybe I'm wrong.  It's hard to believe though.
by danps (dan at pruningshears (dot) us) on Sat Jul 5th, 2008 at 02:50:15 PM EST
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I agree, but hasn't Congress'relevance been in question for some time.  Only the Congress has lower approval ratings than Bush.

I can swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell. _ Blood Sweat & Tears
by Gringo (stargazing camel at aoldotcom) on Sat Jul 5th, 2008 at 02:55:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Congress's relevance has been in question, but I wouldn't point to the fact that it has lower approvals than Bush.  In fact, I believe the approvals change a fair bit once you start asking about each party is Congress, but even that is silly.  (The Democrats aren't Republicans, at least in name, so they'll have higher approvals in Congress.)  I believe Congress typically has lower approvals than the president, just as the Supreme Court typically has higher approvals than the president.  It's more of a difference in how the public has historically perceived the three branches.

Also, the president can control his own message.  It's clean.  Thumbs up or thumbs down.  Congress, obviously by its nature, can't, so it's muddy, and "muddy" is usually "bad" for approvals.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Jul 5th, 2008 at 03:07:41 PM EST
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An 18% approval level for an institution of elected officials is low by anyone's standards.  The congress we have today, regardless of party affiliations, is a useless hulk, period. If just plainly ineffective, and I certainly don't have a quick solution.

I can swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell. _ Blood Sweat & Tears
by Gringo (stargazing camel at aoldotcom) on Sat Jul 5th, 2008 at 09:37:55 PM EST
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