Rep. John Boehner's handiwork
In the midst of a bleak economic landscape and after a bruising battle over the federal budget deficit, approval of Congress now matches its all-time low, according to a new CBS News/New York Times poll.
Just 12 percent of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing - the same as the lowest percentage recorded in this poll, reached in October 2008, right before the November elections.
Dissatisfaction with Congress cuts across party lines. Republicans, Democrats, and independents all overwhelmingly disapprove of the job Congress is doing.
Though most Americans disapprove of both parties in Congress, they disapprove of Republicans more. Seventy-two percent of Americans disapprove of the job Republicans in Congress are doing, compared to 63 percent who disapprove of the Democrats in Congress.
And the stat that should terrify congressional Republicans:
In keeping with Congress' dismal review, just 6 percent of registered voters think most members deserve re-election - the lowest percentage ever in CBS News Polls during the past 20 years, and a lower percentage than the 9 percent who thought so right before the 2010 midterms.
That is a direct indictment on Congressional Republicans, because fact is, "most members of Congress" are Republican.
Hence the current GOP dilemma—continue obstructing the president in hopes of weakening Barack Obama ahead of the 2012 elections, or actually show voters they have some ability to govern. And hey, a little pork from the jobs bill for their districts, in the form of infrastructure and transportation funding, would also go a long way toward securing reelection.
At the moment, it looks like Obama hatred is trumping self-preservation. We have to wait and see if that changes. Because if they maintain the status quo, expect huge Democratic gains in the House next year. No incumbent party can be expected to survive numbers like these. Democrats certainly didn't in 2010.