Personal Liberty Poll
Did you hear about a December poll that found a large majority of Americans are really disgusted with the current “do-nothing” Congress? According to a CNN/ORC International survey, almost three-quarters of those questioned say that, so far, the 113th Congress has done nothing to address the country’s most serious problems. Nearly two-thirds say the current Congress is “the worst ever.”
Commenting on the survey, CNN polling director Keating Holland said: “That sentiment exists among all demographic and political subgroups. Men, women, rich, poor, young, old — all think this year’s Congress has been the worst they can remember.”
And how’s this for a negative consensus? It seems that 52 percent of those polled say the policies of the Democratic leaders in Congress were moving the country in the wrong direction. A slightly larger number — 54 percent — said the same thing about the policies of Congressional Republicans.
And the comments weren’t any more positive for Barack Obama. Here again, a 54 percent majority said the President’s pet programs would hurt, not help, the country. Based on what they’ve seen so far of Obamacare, who can blame them?
Back in 1948, then-President Harry Truman based his campaign for re-election on denouncing the 80th Congress for refusing to pass his favored legislation. He (or his speechwriters) coined the phrase, a “do-nothing” Congress. And it worked. Not only did Truman beat Thomas Dewey in the Presidential election that November, but the Democrats regained control of both the House and the Senate.
The Democrats, of course, are hoping to use the public’s poor opinion of Congress to garner support for more of their pet legislation. Currently on the docket are measures to raise the minimum wage and to extend unemployment compensation. After that will be an immigration bill. And then will come more measures to adjust the “income equality” that has Obama so distressed.
How about reducing government spending or curbing government power? With Democrats in control of the Senate and Obama comfortably ensconced in the White House, a realist has to say it won’t happen this year.
So before we go any further, maybe instead of castigating the folks who are supposed to represent us, maybe we should be shouting: Hooray for a “do-nothing” Congress! Hey, I’d much rather have our legislators succumb to gridlock, and not pass any legislation, than have them approve more of the money-grabbing, liberty-eroding measures they’ve been inflicting on us. Wouldn’t you?
So what will it take to start winning some victories? How about more Republicans in the Senate like Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.)? We have a chance to do that this year. There are some important battles coming up in several key States. I’ll be writing about them in coming issues.
But right now, I’d like to ask your opinion about the one facing Mitch McConnell, the Senate Minority Leader, as he tries to hold on to to his seat in Kentucky. As happens so often when moderate Republicans face re-election, McConnell is moving sharply to the right. Friends in Kentucky tell me he’s sounding more like a member of the Tea Party — patriots whom he previously denounced as “profoundly stupid” and said should be “punched in the nose.”
An outsider named Matt Bevin has stepped forward to oppose McConnell in the Republican primary. The Senate Conservatives Fund has endorsed Bevin and is already raising funds for his campaign.
The Fund’s position is simple: We can’t let the liberal Republican establishment win the 2014 primaries. If we do, they will cement their control over the party, Obamacare will never be repealed, and we will continue to get more spending, debt and taxes.
But McConnell has some powerful support, both in Washington and in his home State. In fact, Tea Party hero Rand Paul, the junior Senator in the State, has endorsed McConnell for re-election.
My question for you is: Should conservatives and libertarians try to replace McConnell with a more dependable conservative; or, in doing so, are we simply paving the way for a Democratic victory?
This won’t be the only time, and Kentucky won’t be the only State, where conservatives and libertarians face such a choice. What do you think is the principled thing to do in such cases?
I’ll read your comments with interest. And look forward to continuing the discussion in future columns.
Did Global Warming Do That?
Wow, the supporters of global warming have sure had a tough time recently. First, the research ship Akademik Shokalskiy went looking in Antarctica for evidence of global warming. And it got trapped, as one wag put it, in 15 feet of irony.
The researchers were hunting evidence that the polar ice cap was melting. Instead, ice was much more plentiful than they expected. Before they knew what was happening, the Russian-flagged vessel was trapped in dense ice sheets and couldn’t move.
Then, a Chinese ice breaker tried to come to their rescue. But it also got trapped in the ice. Finally, a helicopter arrived and transported the passengers to an Australian ship that wisely stayed far enough away so it could rescue them.
No sooner did we global warming skeptics get a chuckle over the story than the country was hit by some of the coldest weather we’ve seen in years. Frigid conditions blanketed most of the country, including the normally balmy State of Florida. The freak storm was blamed on something called a polar vortex.
No wonder that the phrase “global warming” has fallen out of favor with the left. Now the preferred expression is “climate change.”
And I have to admit, they finally got something right. Of course there is climate change. We call it seasons.
Until next time, please try to keep warm. And keep some powder dry.