With Congress home for the month-long August recess, political advisers warn both incumbents and potential challengers for House and Senate seats that handling increasingly hostile public reaction will be crucial in determining outlook for next year’s mid-term elections.
Public opinion ratings for Congress is at an all-time low and voter anger is directed at both sides of the political aisle for what voters see as gridlock and partisan divides that dooms any hope of resolution of the many problems that face America today.
“Voters no longer see any facet of Congress as a potential for salvation,” Republican political operative Samuel Caskins tells Capitol Hill Blue. “To the average American, all members of Congress are suspect and all sides are to blame.”
The Republican leadership of the House rammed through the 40th vote against Obamacare just before the recess, a move that will fail in the Senate and a legislative action that polls say is viewed with derision and disdain by voters.
When Congress returns in September, members of the House and Senate face continued budget deadlock, mounting issues from sequestration and a looming government shutdown — which many right-wing Republicans see as a political advantage but one that worries veterans.
The division in the GOP has reached new lows as Senator John McCain called Republicans Ted Cruz of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky the “wacko birds” of the Senate for their open support of a possible government shutdown.
McCain, the GOP candidate for President in 2008, also says he’s not sure he would vote for Paul if the Kentucky Senator became the GOP candidate for President in 2016.
He’s not the only one. Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell admits privately that he would support or vote for “anyone but Rand Paul” in the 2016 race.
“He’s a loony tune,” McConnell reportedly said of Paul in a recent close-door meeting with Republicans and one where Paul was not invited to attend.
Both Paul and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida are often cited as potential GOP Presidential contenders for 2016 — a irony since they stand on opposite sides of the immigration reform bill and both are first term Senators and Republicans often criticism President Barack Obama who lacked enough experience to be President when he, as a first-term Senator, was elected to office.
While McCain calls the newer Senators “wacko birds,” they call him “stale and moss covered.”
And such language is tame compared to what members of the House and Senate could face from angry voters in their home states and districts in August.