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November 12, 2011 01:07 AM UTC

Bennet: Communism, IRS, Paris Hilton More Popular Than Congress

  • by: Colorado Pols

TUESDAY UPDATE: Bennet is getting a lot of national attention for this. From “The Fix“:

Colorado Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet, who has taken on the unpopularity of Congress as something of a pet cause, said this morning on MSNBC’s “Daily Rundown” that “for the last year or so this town has effectively come the land of flickering lights, where the standard for success is somehow you kept the lights on for the month where the rest of the world isn’t waiting for us to figure out how we’re going to meaningfully participate in the 21st century economy.”


Pretty scathing stuff earlier this week from Colorado’s junior Senator:

As the Colorado Independent’s Scot Kersgaard reports:

“I get the feeling that people don’t think people are watching.” Wrong, he said. They are watching and they aren’t liking what they see. “At a minimum they would like to see us prevent things from getting worse.”

Talking about the impasse over the debt ceiling, which resulted in a downgrade of America’s credit rating, he said, “There is not a mayor in Colorado who would threaten their town’s credit rating for politics, not a one, not a Democrat, not a Republican, not a Tea Party Republican, not a one.”

Sen. Michael Bennet’s chart of comparative approval ratings is really fascinating: The IRS has a 40% approval rating, BP (polled at the height of the Deepwater Horizon disaster) at 16%. We’re surprised to learn that socialite heiress Paris Hilton only has a 15% approval rating–but that’s still six percent higher than Congress. Congress’ record-low 9% approval puts them dead even with Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez, and two points lower than America “going communist.”

As you can see, bringing the government to a standstill over and over again to spite Barack Obama (current approval 47% and tracking upward) is working out really well.


24 thoughts on “Bennet: Communism, IRS, Paris Hilton More Popular Than Congress

  1. This has to be made clear: It’s the GOP-controlled Congress that has the low approval rating.  In fact, when the Dems controlled the House, the approval rating was around 40% (per Nancy Pelosi on The Daily Show this week).

    Wait.. Don’t the Dems control the Senate? (as GOoP will say)  NO.  Because the GOP has exercised unprecedented use of the filibuster, it has taken 60 votes to get anything passed.  In fact, just recently the Obama proposal for an infrastructure bank would have passed with at least 51 votes, but was filibustered.

    This is elementary stuff to the readers on this site, but not to the general public.  Typically poor Dem messaging fails to identify the GOP as the obstructionists.  Do a better job at that and we’ll have a chance to regain real control of the House and the Senate in 2012.

    1. is committed to a program of disaster capitalism, with the disaster being our economy.

      Imagine yourself as a native of Banda Aceh, Indonesia. You live in a small village on the coastline, where your tribal people have lived for hundreds of years. Along comes a tsunami, devastating your village, killing half your people, and chasing the survivors into the hills.

      When you come back, a few days later, you find surveyor stakes, and police officers. You tell the police officers that this is where your home was and you would like to rebuild. To your surprise, you are told that this land belongs to Mega Land Corp., LLC. A consortium of Indonesian and foreign companies which filed a legal claim on the land after the disaster, there being no record of any title in your name.

      This is disaster capitalism, in it’s purest form. Now imagine that our economy is that small village, and the recession is the tidal wave. Which earthquake caused the economic tsunami? Bushco, Inc. is as close as I can get to a single name.

      If they can wipe out the New Deal, they can write their on New Corporate Deal. Pretty simple, really.  

  2. “There is not a mayor in Colorado who would threaten their town’s credit rating for politics, not a one, not a Democrat, not a Republican, not a Tea Party Republican, not a one.”

    He said the dysfunction in Congress would never be tolerated anywhere else in government, at any level, from local dog-catchers, to utility boards, to Mayors, to City Councils, etc. “They would be run out of town”, he said. He’s exactly right.  

  3. As one of the Senators who could actually address the situation, instead he makes a political speech complaining about the problem to an empty chamber. This posing rather than doing is one of the big problems in D.C.

    Senator Bennet, if you’re serious about fixing this mess, you can do so. But it requires that you are your colleagues step up and do some very hard things. Politically hard.

    First off you need to revise the rules of the Senate. That requires a simple majority vote so you can’t be stopped by the Republicans on this, only by your fellow Democrats. And the filibuster, unanimous consent, etc. are traditions not only from a time where they were workable, but they existed primarily to allow the South to stop civil rights legislation. Today they are merely an excuse for inaction.

    Second, you need to step up and address the horrible unemployment rate. Not make anguished speeches about how awful it is and how much you care. Every speech like that while there is no effective action contributes to your declining popularity.

    Third, you need to hold Wall St. accountable. The votes in the Senate, including your specific votes, to water down or eliminate the laws needed to regain control of our economy from Wall St, also contribute substantially to your declining popularity. Making speeches attacking Wall St while delivering what they ask not only doesn’t fool anyone, but actually hurts you worse than if you were just up front about being owned by the large banks.

    Finally Senator Bennet, only in Congress do you have a situation where each member, including you, steps up and complains about the actions of all of you – and thinks that means you’re not part of the problem. You’re like a rioter who in the midst of torching a building, turns to the news camera and talks about how awful it is that everyone is rioting.

    I do think you want to fix things there. But step one is to realize that you are part of the problem. Great speech but the person who needs to listen to it is you.

    1. What next?  That will clear the logjam of political appointees, but it won’t fix the logjam that exists between the House and Senate.

      Bennet is only part of the problem inasmuch as the Senate is the body holding anything up.  I frankly don’t see much of that any more, now that Republicans hold the House.

  4. It’s time we expand the number of seats in congress. Our representation has become so dilluted that we can no longer hold our congressmen accountable. It has become too expensive to run a campaign  because there are so many voters you have to try and reach. And of course the more expensive the campaign the bigger the influence corporate money plays. When was the last time we expanded congress, and how much has our population grown since then?

    1. I don’t know that increasing the number of Representatives will significantly decrease the campaign cash problem, but it will definitely increase accountability of individual Congressmen and create a more representative body of legislators who can more accurately represent their district.

      Congress has been legislatively capped since the early part of the last century.

    1. I didn’t get to see the “60 minutes” episode Sunday about congress and the money, though I heard about it.

      The situation sort of reminds me of the scene from the film, “The Magic Christian” (Peter Sellers and Ringo Starr) in which they dump money into a vat of the vilest solution they could conceive, and watched as people held their noses and waded out into it.

      All the while the audience is listening to Paul McCarneys’ tune “Come and Get It” (performed by Badfinger).

      It is a fitting allegory for the way Washington DC works. I have often said my experience in Washington has led me to believe that the overwhelming majority of decisions made there are made for the wrong reasons. The acquisition of funds being chief among them.  

      1. The 60 Minutes segment on Congressional Insider Trading was outrageous.  Yet another example of Congress’ common practice of exempting themselves from the very laws they impose upon the rest of the nation.

        I caught “The Magic Christian” a few decades ago.  No doubt, if the only way politicians would be assured of getting campaign funding was to jump in that disgusting vat of you-know-what, then only those willing to do it would run for Congress.

        Guess we should find a way to raise the standard of behaviour if we expect better of our politicians.

  5. David Gergen

    Rather, he is deeply troubled by what he calls “dependence corruption” — the degree to which politicians have become dependent on money from lobbyists in order to pay for their campaigns, and the ways in which that dependence has increasingly distorted public policy in ways that do serious harm to the country, while also (and just as perniciously) undermining public trust.

    He also thinks it explains why the parties appear to have grown closer in economic ideology — where the concentrated corporate lobbying money is — while growing more polarized in social ideology, for which more extreme viewpoints yield a bigger haul. He is quick to note that this corruption is “not the product of evil” — it leads to “great harm,” but is the result of “no bin Laden.”

    How much did Senator Bennet raise from Wall St?

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