Glenn Greenwald cites a new Gallup poll which indicates that the low approval ratings currently being logged by the Democratic-controlled Congress are due to the fact that Democrats are disappointed in their performance:
[T]he only rational conclusion is that Congress is so unpopular, particularly among Democrats, because of their ongoing capitulations to the Bush administration, their failure to place any limits on his Iraq policy, and their general inability/refusal to serve as a meaningful check on the administration. Democrats and independents overwhelmingly dislike the President. Thus, the weaker Congress is in defying the President, the more unpopular Congress becomes.
Contrary to the general impression created by the media when discussing this polling data, Congress’ extremely low standing does not undermine or dilute the intense unpopularity of Bush and his party among Americans. To the contrary, it bolsters it and arises from it.
Americans still trust the Democratic Congress far more than the President on “the major issues facing the country.” Congress is so deeply unpopular not because they are investigating or obstructing too much, but because they are investigating and obstructing far too little. Every time “Blue Dog” Democrats and Democratic consultants and mindless, conventional-wisdom-spouting TNR types successfully argue that, especially on national security and war issues, Democrats need to capitulate to Bush lest they be politically harmed, they make Democrats look weaker, more like losers, and more impotent (the opposite of the “strength” they think they are projecting) and dig this political hole further and further.
Glenn cynically notes that as we slog on to Magical September, “it is far more likely that more Democrats will be converted from an anti-war to a pro-war posture by “The-Surge-is-Working!”/Petraeus campaign than Republicans will be converted to meaningful anti-war action.” All too true. You don’t need a crystal ball to predict that Democrats will continue to let Karl Rove provide their stragetic wisdom for them (you know, the same oracle who told them that opposing the war in ’06 would be “bad for the Democrats”) and limp toward ’08 on a platform of capitulation.
As Matt Stoller says, “I’m sure tired of conservative Democratic politicians thinking that their goal in life is to get better parking spots than they did last cycle.” I think a few of us are. But the fact is that the Blue Dogs and the New Democrat Coalition (the “Bush Dogs“) are calling the shots, and in the process they’re dragging the party’s approval ratings into George Bush’s personal shitter.