Friday, August 03, 2007

Congress to make Washington look like Baghdad

With Hillary cruising in every national poll, and Rudy still keeping a good arm's length between himself and his main competitor -- who happens to be a man too lazy to do yucky candidate stuff like raise money, make speeches, declare his candidacy, or leave his house -- the best political race of the summer has nothing to do with party primaries.

It's been an epic race to the bottom involving President George W. Bush and the 110th Congress. And the judge is you, American person who responds to opinion polls which ask questions pertaining to approval and disapproval.

The contest has been neck and neck for the last few months, as both branches have flirted with and occasionally dipped below historic levels of unpopularity. But there may have been a break out this week, with Congress just registering a three percent approval rating.

Granted it was on a specific question: Do you approve of how Congress is handling the war in Iraq? And, probably, if the question had been of more general approval Congress would have scored in the Bushian neighborhood of 25 percent.

But the question is not an irrelevant one. And three percent . . . I'd be fascinated to see if the reanimated corpse of Adolf Hitler could beat a three percent approval rating from the American public. I'm thinking it would because, you know, the novelty of a reanimated corpse.

Congress doesn't seem to be taking the latest round of polling well, and over the last few days the halls of Capitol Hill have teetered on the brink of violence.

It started with a dispute between some congressman from Nebraska and the son of Jesse Jackson, also a congressman. Angry words were exchanged and the junior Jackson, a Democrat, requested that the distinguished gentleman from Nebraska, a Republican, step outside with him. The Nebraskan declined, citing the fancy martial arts moves Jackson had been showing off in the House gymnasium.

If last night is any indication, Jackson (pictured) won't be the only congressmen boning up on his hand-to-hand combat. As the clock approached midnight, an agriculture spending bill, the hot topic of illegal immigration, a quick gavel, and a vote counting dispute had Democrats and Republicans hurling verbal volleys at each other and preparing to enter into West Side Story-like battle poses.

Will next week be the week Congress finally throws down? I'm not sure. But I do know, given the popularity of the WWE and Ultimate Fighting, at this point fisticuffs could only raise Congress's approval rating.

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