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Voters fed up with Democratic failures

By
July 30, 2007

The new Democratic leadership of Congress rode into Washington last fall with a voter mandate for change.

Seven months later, many of those same voters want the Democrats tarred and feathered and rode out of town on a rail.

For seven months, the Democrats’ reign in the seat of power has been a study in frustration and a college course on failed expectations. Their razor-thin majority is not enough to override President George W. Bush’s veto pen and they have found themselves constantly beaten by a President with the lowest approval ratings in history.

Voters have little patience with politics as usual and they want change. So far, the Democrats have not delivered and time is running out.

Reports The Washington Post:

To Edwin Robinson, a Milwaukee casino pit boss and a lifelong Democrat, the new Democratic Congress that he cheered seven months ago is now a source of shame, as its leaders try to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq.

“Let’s not just pull out,” Robinson, 50, said. “That feels like being beat again.”

Terry Brickman, 43, a Republican-voting independent from suburban Detroit, was no less enthusiastic about the Democrats’ victory in November, and is no less disappointed today. By now, he figured, the new Congress would have forced President Bush to change course.

“Congress had the ability with their momentum coming in to really do some things, gain some respect or positive feelings from the American people, and that’s gone already,” said Brickman, a medical-device sales representative. “They failed.”

Brickman and Robinson, two respondents to the most recent Washington Post-ABC News poll, help explain why Congress moves toward its August recess this week with approval ratings at 37 percent, rivaling the president’s low ratings — and why it has become so difficult for the Democratic leadership to do anything about it. Polling data and follow-up interviews reveal that voters disapprove of the new Democratic majority, but the reasons range wildly.

Iraq is the dominant theme, but no clear consensus emerges about what Congress should do. About half of Americans in the Post-ABC poll said that Democrats have done too little to push Bush on his war policy. Others said in interviews that Congress has neglected domestic issues while focusing on Iraq.

In short, the divisions in the nation at large are well reflected in the paralysis on Capitol Hill.

“My feeling is they’re not really standing up for the other side of the story. They’re caving and not fighting hard enough for what American people really want,” said Jessica Lane, 28, a Democrat and registered nurse in Bremerton, Wash. “Maybe my hopes were just a little too high.”

Those sentiments have buoyed Republicans as they attack what they call a Democratic “Post Office Congress” — unable to accomplish much more than renaming federal buildings.

For Democratic Congress, Voters' Singular Disapproval Has Many SeedsTo Edwin Robinson, a Milwaukee casino pit boss and a lifelong Democrat, the new Democratic Congress that he cheered seven months ago is now a source of shame, as its leaders try to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq. [Washington Post Political News]

29 Responses to Voters fed up with Democratic failures

  1. allan hirsh

    July 30, 2007 at 1:07 pm

    mr. hirsh
    Recall all democrats. Recall all democrats. Did you hear me? Recall all Democrats! After all, it’s their fault. They want to end the war, just now as an op-ed in the NYTimes suggests the troops have reached an opportunity for “sustainable stability,” a new goal in lieu of “victory.” I also suggest you take away Republican money from the whims of Winsted, CT, hero Ralph Nader and let him fend for himself. Better yet, put the author of this article in charge.

  2. Helen Rainier

    July 30, 2007 at 1:45 pm

    It’s very interesting and puzzling to me to see the pundits, the MSM, and various others “blaming” the Democratic Party for the loggerjam that is now facing the Congress.

    The party power switched only 7 months ago. Prior to that time particularly since the nightmare of Bush for the past six years, it was the Republicans who went along with everything Bush said and did. Granted, some Democrats did support the president, but it is still the Republicans who are placing party loyalty above country loyalty.

    Is the question ever asked: Who do you hold responsible for the current condition of the country? Frame this question with two answers — either: Republican Party or Democratic Party. I would like to see the percentages if people are asked to answer in that fashion.

    The Democrats can introduce the legislation and push for votes on it; however, the Republicans need to get off their dead asses and start acting as though they represent We, the People, who pay their salaries, and not their yellow-bellied slimy Republican leaders (meaning their leadership and each and every one of Bush’s Criminal Mafia, starting with the “Decider.”

    I’m so sick of hearing this crap. The people who are placing the blame solely on the Democratic Party are simply refusing to or don’t understand how this works.

    I normally vote third party whenever and wherever I believe I can do so. However, for the past 20 years or so, my sense is the Republican Party is more concerned about corporatism and big business than they are about We, the People and the US Constitution.

    As such, I will, over the next few elections will continue to vote with the Democratic Party and against the Republicans. IMHO, they are treasonous cowards and f**king traitors to the Constitution and We, the People.

    Our best chance to salvage this country lies in making sure the Democratic Party is in control, and to never trust the Republican Party again. Once we have restored the US Constitution we can start looking again at adding to the choices we taxpayers and voters have.

  3. mary cali

    July 30, 2007 at 3:54 pm

    People need to grow up and while they are at it learn something about their government. The slim majority that Ds hold in Congress is a reason not an excuse for their inability to move agressively on different issues. The frustrations with congress are an indicator of an impatient, instant gratification and uninformed society.

    I doubt that there is anyone who thinks Bush/Cheney have committed impeachable offenses or wants us out of Iraq more than I do. However, the D leaders have to act responsibly and to act percipitously on either of those two issues would not be responsible.
    To those who say just cut the funding, that is so simplistic as to be stupid. There are many ramifications to that including the very difficult process of extracting the number of troops and equipment safely out of country not to mention what we leave behind in Iraq.

    Calling for firing them all is also ridiculous and a nonsolution. It isn’t going to happen and would be very unwise if it did. It would mean a Congress full of novices who don’t know where to find the bathroom let alone anything else about how congress and the government is supposed to work. Congress like all institutions needs some members to have institutional memories of how the organization works and to mentor newcomers.

    Ds and those who want change need to stop whining and go to work to get more Ds elected in 2008 to have a veto proof Congress in case we get another R president who thinks? like George Bush.

  4. Ardie

    July 30, 2007 at 4:21 pm

    The only thing the House can do–and the rest of the rants are without merit–is cut off the funding for the war. Not to do so was a political act on the part of the Democrats. It was probably wrong. But the American people can’t blame the Democrats if they cut off the funding for Iraq–they have to support the Congress in this act. You can’t have it both ways. There is NO painless solution to this war.

    As regards the Senate, the issue is not 51 votes. The issue is the filibuster which prevents the vote from coming to the floor. It takes 60 votes, or the same, 60% of the Senate to stop a filibuster. Without the supermajority the debate can go on ad infinitum.

  5. Roadapple00

    July 30, 2007 at 4:54 pm

    As I have said before, the Dems may have control, but the don’t have the horses to over ride the dreaded VETO. It is not the Dems fault. If people wanted the Dems to have full control, then all Reps that were up for re-election should have been put on the street.

  6. DejaVuAllOver

    July 30, 2007 at 8:24 pm

    I couldn’t agree more. Nancy Pelosi is pathetic. If Bill Clinton deserved to be impeached for lying about oral sex, Bush and Cheney deserve firing-squads at Guantanamo for being traitors to our troops and our citizens. So what does Pelosi do? She takes impeachment OFF THE TABLE! While I’m well aware that impeachment probably won’t happen with the current numbers, Bushco’s crimes are a disgrace to decency, truth, justice, honor and morality. So PLEASE, Nancy and playmates, AT LEAST have the common sense and courage to stand up to this filth in the WH, with WORDS, deeds, meetings, fillibusters, editorials and anything else you can muster.
    By the way, a few Dems are honorable. Reid, Kucinich and that guy from Vermont are doing a great job!

  7. SEAL

    July 30, 2007 at 9:14 pm

    Any polls taken or articles reporting them by the MSM are going to be designed to give the appearance that this is a democrat failure. Unfortunately, most of the progressives I have monitored are buying it. Their sites go on and on about the “whimpy” democrats. I see some of that here, also.

    Very few seem to have the focus on the real issue. Every member of congress not calling for impeachment is guilty of failing to do the job they swore to do. There is no question as to whether Bush has committed an impeachable offense. There are several and a matter of public record. In the case of illegal wire tapping, Bush has admitted it. Every congressmen, therefore, has a duty to impeach him. By not doing so, they become complicit in Bush’s crimes.

    It’s just that simple and all the other rhetoric is a waste of time. Anyone contacting their congress critter should make this point. It is the only one they cannot rebute with an excuse. They have no choice in the matter. They swore to uphold and defend the constitution. They must do that.

  8. long_rider

    July 30, 2007 at 9:43 pm

    When the Democrats took control of congress they should have tried to impeach cheney right away.

    Pelosi had no right to take impeachment off of the table, she either failed to sence the desires of the people, or chose to ignore the desires of the people.

    We had hoped to turn loose the linons, instead, we let the kitty cats roam the halls, looking for free milk to lap up.

    When one is fighting men who lie, cheat, and ignore the laws of the land, one has to go after them with all guns blazing, and take no prisioners.

    Get Pelosi out of there and put a person in office who knows how to fight, and is not scared of anyone. We need leadership, not political whimps.

  9. Klaus Hergeschimmer

    July 30, 2007 at 10:28 pm

    Nancette Pelosi is indeed a ‘Whimp-o-crat’. To the folks who think Congress simply not giving Bush a spending bill last May is simplistic and not in touch with the real world: there is no law that says Congress has to send that bill. If the Dems had done that, the troops would not be cut off in the middle of a fire-fight without bullets or whatever fear tactic the
    the Right Wing Echo Machine scared the Panty-waist-Crats with.

    The question arises, what would have happened if Dems had simply not sent BushCo a spending bill unless it had
    mandatory withdrawl dates? Would Bush not lift his finger and sacrifice the troops by not doing a thing for them unless Dems gave him a unconditional spending bill?

    I don’t think so. The Chiefs of staff at the Pentagon would not idly stand by if BushCo simply did not do anything at all.

    The onus would be on Bush, not the Democrats.

    Whether you agree or not, I have largely not heard anyone say: what if the Democrats had not swayed last May and simply not sent him a bill or sent the same one over and over with a mandatory withdrawl date in it?

    What scenario would play out?

    If Bush ignored Congress like he does with his signing
    statments, what then.

    I know I’m going to take some Hornet stings for what I’m saying, but how about some scenarios
    on these questions posed here.

  10. Dayahka

    July 31, 2007 at 1:51 am

    Pelosi should be replaced as speaker. She is a total waste. She came in with high rhetoric, but quickly showed herself as cozy with corruption and more interested in perks of office (sort of a female version of George Bush) and having her own airplane than with doing any real business. A total waste. The most forgetable and useless speaker in House history. On the Senate side, Reid is another total waste.

    The election gave people hope. The reality after the election is that it didn’t make a bit of difference. After George Bush, the Republican Party should be defunct; after Pelosi and Reid, the Democratic Party should be extinct.

  11. Carl Nemo

    July 31, 2007 at 3:15 am

    For “We the People” to simply be fed-up gives them some type of “negative credibility” which is undeserved!

    The Gentlemens Club of 100 and our newly emergent Congressional “Politburo” of 435 are lower than whale excrement in my opinion. They are hopelessly partisan, corrupt, intransigent and belong to their corporatist masters, lock, stock and barrel! I first mis-typed and spelled lock as “lick”;ie., somehow I must feel subconsciously that “lick” is more appropriate…:))

    Nemo **==

  12. SEAL

    July 31, 2007 at 4:59 am

    Klaus, your wrong. I did lay out the senario of what would happen if the Democrats refused to send Bush a bill without withdrawal dates. You are correct that the military would self preserve regardless of what the president did or did not do. If they knew the funds were cut off they would move on their procedures for a safe withdrawal. And it would not be anything like Vietnam.

  13. Klaus Hergeschimmer

    July 31, 2007 at 7:03 am

    Thanks Seal, sometimes I miss out on comments on the postings pages.

  14. mary cali

    July 31, 2007 at 8:50 am

    First let me state that I wholeheartedly agree that if any administration deserves impeachment it is this one. Having said that, impeachment for this administration is complicated by the fact that there is no purpose to impeaching Bush without impeaching Cheney. Impeaching and removing both the President and the VP is new ground that the US has never covered and would suck the oxygen out of the air. If successful, the Speaker of the House, Pelosi, becomes President.

    Imagine the angst such a process would engender. It would look like a power grab. There well could be a groundswell of support for the Pres and VP.
    To have that going on while we are trying to find a way out of Iraq is perilous, particularly for Ds. I certainly can understand the D leadership’s reluctance to initiate impeachment proceedings, particularly as they are very unlikely to lead to removal as the Rs have the votes to block that.

    Impeaching Bush and Cheney would galvanize the Rs and make working together to change direction in Iraq more difficult. Nothing should take priority over that effort. Someone said that impeachment is a political process and those are some of the political realities that confront D leaders who have the responsibility of governing. They see the bigger picture better than we who rant in the blogosphere. I am willing to let them take the lead in this matter, although they should explain their reasoning better. Moving to censure the administration would be a possible alternative. It may look puny, but would further expose the administration’s wrong doings for the historical record.

    I wonder if some of the anger generated at the D leaders isn’t planted by Rs trying to divide Ds. Good operational tactics that Rs have shown themselves to be quite good at in the past. Remember Rs donating to the Nadar campaign in 2000??

  15. neondog

    July 31, 2007 at 3:32 pm

    We are concerned that the electorate that gave us George Bush twice, a Republican controlled congress, and shared an orgasm with the GOP led impeachment of Clinton (while the Saudis planned their attacks on the World Trade Center) are unhappy with the current Democrats.

    WHY???

  16. Klaus Hergeschimmer

    July 31, 2007 at 10:43 pm

    Dems problems are the Chicken Feathers glued to their arms. If Bush and Cheney got impeached and Pelosi became president and things got all shaken up, then so be it. Shake up is good, anything that would rattle Washington DC but will never know because they are always looking ahead at their re-election prospects
    and the MIC that by and large feeds them.

    The comment “Imagine the angst that an impeachment would cause against the Democrat party” Well, that is the problem of the Democrat Party, they ‘imagine’ too much and don’t act decisively.

    I’m also tired of the old standbye of blaming Nader for the Democrats misfortune, it’s just an excuse to hide the Democrat parties timid behavior and spinelessness such as the way Kerry Tip Toed through the tulips on abortion rights in the debate with the Chimp in 2004;
    Kerry acted apologetically for being Pro-Choice.
    No one respects anyone who dosen’t have conviction and apologizes for a bedrock Democratic principle.

    Another comment that I can not let get by: “They [Democratic Congress] see the bigger picture better than we who rant in the blogosphere”.
    The Dems by and large see thier own re-election in its vaunted prescience, and I for one, and I’m sure many other CHB comments posters don’t care to have their intelligence insulted with comments like this when
    the actions of the Dems speak louder then words.

    Howard Dean would have had the best chance to beat
    the Chimp in 04′ but the Jack-Ass party purposely
    sabotaged his run and got him ejected out of the race, and then co-opted some of his succesfull tactics with no success. As screwed up as the Elephant party is, they don’t equivocate like the Jack-Ass party does when expressing itself.

    Tactical retreats! That is all the Democrats largely ever do.

    Do you think if the sitution were reversed and the
    Republikaners had a chance to impeach a Democratic president and VP that they wouldn’t already be on it!

    The idea that a groundswell of support for the Chimp and Dick would manifest itself if Pelosi came to power as a result of their impeachment is ludicrous!
    The Chimp has such abysmally low ratings and Big Dick Cheney even more so, and this goes across party lines in the electorate, so I don’t believe the downside of impeachment would be making it harder to change course in Iraq. The Dems didn’t do anything anyway when they had a clear chance to last May with the spending bill.

    POWER OF THE PURSE THEY GAVE AWAY LAST MAY.

    If the Democrats had campaigned for Congress on censure of the president and passing non-binding legislation to get us out of Iraq, do you think they would have won the House majority they have now.

    Congress poll ratings is as low as the Chimps is now since last May when the Jack-Ass party folded to the Chimp.

    I wonder why.

  17. shag11

    August 1, 2007 at 12:04 am

    I think it’s a crock for all you so-called Liberals and Progressives to be folding on the Dems. so early-on in the game.
    You should be working this hard to get millions who don’t vote, to vote, and put an end to the Rightwing chokehold we’ve been, in the last six years.
    If the Dems. were just to deny funding, we lose lots of soldiers all in one fell swoop, we’d not win another major election in the next 25 years. You all make me sick.

  18. Klaus Hergeschimmer

    August 1, 2007 at 5:11 am

    The Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon would not stand by idly while supplies dwindled.
    The Jack-Ass-Party had nothing to lose by not sending a bill at all or sending the same one over & over with a mandatory withdrawl date.

    The Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon would make arrangements to de-commission the war footing.
    They would have to if no additional money was given to prosecute the war. Money just dosen’t get cut off, there are many other sources of funding that fund the troops besides Congressionally funded sources of money.

    It is simply the Karl Rove Right Wing Echo Machine that would have you believe that the troops would be cut off in the middle of a fire-fight without bullets,or not send barrel replacements for guns etc.

    Diane Feinstein has vested interests in war making contractors as well as Hairy Reed & others so they’re kind of hoping “well maybe we can ride this out and we might win Iraq”. Nancette Pelosi is a total wimp when she bowed to AIPAC lobby by withdrawing language in the spending bill to require the Chimp to go to Congress to bomb Iran. And if the Chimp bombs Iran, who you gonna blame.

    The Democrats are still voluntarily holding the Republikaners choke hold on the Democratic party so Demokratik Reps excell at screwing the pooch.

    Democratic politicians are Scheisen-Meisters, Ya!

    (except Henry Waxman, Barbara Lee & Dennis Kucinich)

  19. JudyB

    July 30, 2007 at 12:28 pm

    The Democrats may have won last November but “Their razor-thin majority is not enough to override President George W. Bush’s veto pen” nor his continuous writing of “Executive Orders, and Mandates. As long as Bush/Cheney remain at the helm, our nation will not be run as a democracy but as a dictatorship and the Constitution may as well be non-existant.

  20. John Farley

    July 30, 2007 at 12:28 pm

    The Democrats whine that they don’t have 60 votes in the Senate to override a veto. In fact, they don’t need 60 votes. They only need 51 votes. If the Senate didn’t appropriate any money for the war in Iraq, Bush won’t have any money for his war. Bush could veto the DoD bill, but then the whole DoD wouldn’t have a budget.

  21. acf

    July 30, 2007 at 2:21 pm

    Really? Does the Congress have a strongbox that they hand cash over to the president from, or perhaps one of those change dispensers like bus drivers used to wear? I don’t think this president is going to be stopped by merely closing the purse strings, euphemistically speaking. He’s already shown that he’ll do what he wants, regardless of what Congress passes and sends to him. I think the fact that the IRS and the Treasury are Executive Branch departments and work for the president, may tell a lot about who controls what is spent, and when.

  22. keith

    July 30, 2007 at 9:24 am

    OF COURSE the American people are fed up with the Democrats! They are simply another faction of the same “country club” as the Republicans.

    And absolutely NOTHING is going to change unless and until the American people wake up and start voting ALL the “Republicrats” out of office, and then begin electing people based on principle and NOT on their party affiliations.

    We’ve done this before in our history‚Ķ. we can certainly do it again.

  23. Bix12

    July 30, 2007 at 12:05 pm

    I agree totally, Keith–and we must make a few more changes to make sure those that we do send to Washington remain our representitives. As well as vote everyone out–clean house(s), so to speak–we need to take private monies out of the elections–all elections will be funded by our tax dollars, with all candidates receiving equal amounts of money for each phase of their campaign. The lobby system needs to be drasticly overhauled. I’m not sure how, but I do know that our representitives, and/or their affiliates, should never receive any type of personal gains whatsoever from any lobbiest or PAC. I also think that all terms served should be of equal length–be it for a Congressional seat, a Senate seat, or the Presidency–say 4 years in each case–and all terms to start on the same date–say January 1st of whichever election year it happens to be. I also think the polls should be open for a minimum of 3 days with no exit polling or vote tallies allowed to be released until the polls are closed. These are just a few ideas I’ve come up with that I think will go a long ways toward fixing our government–of course, anything that needs tweaking could be worked out…by us, the citizens of the United States.

  24. Ardie

    July 30, 2007 at 9:29 am

    While people are disappointed with Congress, I have not seen the polls suggesting that the fault lies with the Democrats. It relates to Congress as a whole. If the poll had been conducted fairly it would have asked, “Do you blame Republicans for the trying to stop the Democrat Congress from ending the war?”

  25. gene

    July 30, 2007 at 9:34 am

    More of the same info and few (in the real know) are surprised. In looking back several decades and I do mean several, their is more “criminal crap” exposed in one day that would have take years to create…..years ago. I think that makes sense. Unfortunate for us the problems have become so large and so many not paying attention, I find very little that can be done to revese this evolving political and financial catastrophe.

    I continue to keep an ample supply of KY. I’ll be watching the stock market today as these hedge funds continue to fold.

  26. JoyfulC

    July 30, 2007 at 9:48 am

    I’m not sure how it can be Congress’s fault when President Bush vetoes with no regard for Congress, for the will of the American public, or even for some in his own party. Getting more balance into Congress was and still is a good thing. Once rid of this president, the American people will do well to have elected a follow-up who has a little more regard for serving their interests (as they see them) and a little less regard for his own warped ideology and illusions of grandeur.

  27. pupnannie

    July 30, 2007 at 10:36 am

    It seems to me that people are afully anxious to blame the Democrats instead of understanding that even though they have the majority, a very slim majority, especially with Liberman, a Republican in Democrats clothing, do not have enough votes to get anything passed and certainly not enough to override a veto of this so called leader. Yes, they have been in office for 7 months but don’t expect them to undo all of the damage this administration has done in almost 7 years in that length of time. Give them a break. They need a bigger majority so lets make that happen in 08.

  28. nuQler Ostrich

    July 30, 2007 at 11:45 am

    Alot of people who are angry at Congress, feel that way because Congress [persons] have failed to do the one thing they promised to do when they took the job.

    And that is to Preserve, Protect, and Defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign AND domestic!

    The first word in the Constitution is “All.”

    “All Legislative powers shall be vested in a Congress…”

    And in Article II it says He [the President] shall take care to faithfully execute the laws.

    The first thing this President did after siezing power in 2001 was to void the Presidential Records Act of 1978.

    And what did Congress do? Not a damned thing!

    So Bush wrote an executive order repealing the law. Usurping power from Congress, and violating Article One and Article Two. So he continues to write laws [executive orders and signing statements]that further erode Congress’ authority, and destroy the Constitutional safeguards that are meant to preserve our liberty.

    He gave false and misleading statements at the State of the Union message, false testimony to a joint session of Congress [the infamous 16 words]again violating Article Two [faithfully execute clause] and Congress did nothing.

    He took us to war in Iraq violating Article Six [All treaties clause, UN Charter, Kellog Briand Peace Pact etc.] Trashed the Geneva Accords [violation of Art.VI] and on and on.

    Jose Padilla locked up without charges for years, violating the 5th Amendment and 6th Amendment.

    Warrantless wiretapping, violating the 4th Amendment.

    He recently issued another executive order allowing him to consolidate all authority of the US Government in the case of another [false flag] terrorist attack, completely making Congress irrelevant, and Congress does nothing.

    The most recent executive order allows him to sieze all property and assets from anyone deemed a hindrance to the “economic recovery” of iraq. That means if you protest the war, he can take everything you own.

    And Congress does nothing.

    No wonder we the people hate Congress. They seem to hate our Constitution, and make no attempt to honor their solemn promise to the country and to GoD.

    And Congress does nothing.

    Maybe Congress should go over to the National Archives and get the actual Constitution, roll it up in a tight little roll and go put it in the lavatory near the Oval Office. Maybe if it’s in there, someone will use it.

    And they wonder why The People are disgusted?

  29. kanawah

    July 30, 2007 at 12:13 pm

    It is not the Dem’s ‘failures’ that I am fed up with, it is the repugnants in the senate that are blocking everything that the Dem’s put forth.

    The alnighter that we saw recently showed where the failure is.

    As for me, I must vote for the Dem’s.