03 Oct 2013
- Written by Dean Obeidallah/CNN
(CNN) – Our Congress sucks. This is truly one of the few things we agree on. In fact, a new CNN poll released earlier this week found that Congress has only a 10 percent approval rating.
When you think that 10 percent of Americans believe Congress is doing a good job, you have to ask yourself one question: Who are these people?! (Imagine this asked with true Jerry Seinfeld-esque exasperation.)
Congress is so dysfunctional that dictators in other countries are probably pointing at it as an example of why you should never have a democracy.
Yet, somehow, about 30 million Americans are looking at what Congress is doing and thinking: "I like what I see."
If you actually think Congress is doing a good job, something is terribly awry in your life. People in your family need to stage an immediate intervention.
I was so intrigued by these people who have such horribly low standards (where were they when I was still dating?) that I went on to social media to find them. I posed questions on Facebook and Twitter asking if anyone is among this exclusive club known to me as the "Ten Percenters."
What was the response? No one admitted to it. But a few offered theories regarding who these people could be:
"It's probably friends and family of Congress," Ahmed Elsayed posted on Facebook.
"Ten percent of Americans are in a COMA?!?!" Laurence Cruz tweeted. I'm pretty confident he's not related to Sen. Ted Cruz.
Keith Conrad tweeted a cynical but possibly accurate view: "Some people just want to watch the world burn."
How could it be that no one knows who these people are? Could it be that those who said they approved of Congress were kidding? Perhaps the pollster asked, "Do you think Congress is doing a good job?" and they responded: "Fabulous," but they meant that sarcastically?
Because all I can say is – If you do know people who actually believe Congress is doing a good job, please watch over them carefully. These are the type of people that lead to warning labels on products like bleach that state "Do not drink' and on blow dryers that read: "For external use only." ...
Let's get back to the real issue: Congress. Besides mocking it with lines like, "Congress is now less popular than syphilis," what can actually be done to remedy the situation?
Some say we should impeach or recall Congress. Well, you can't. The Constitution only provides one procedure to remove members of Congress. Want to guess who decides on when that happens? Yup, it's Congress. ...
The only people who think that Congress would vote themselves out of a job that pays $174,000 a year plus health benefits are the 10 percent of Americans who think Congress is doing a good job.
Can we realistically hope that since the congressional approval rating is so low that there will be a big house cleaning in the 2014 midterm elections on its own? Unlikely. ...
The easiest way to effect change is to pledge to collectively put aside partisan politics and vote only for candidates in the 2014 primaries and general election who run on a platform of going to Congress to work in a bipartisan manner for our common good. It's time we send home those people who would want the world to burn because it helps them get on TV and furthers their own political ambitions.
If we do this, then one day we might have a Congress that not only has an approval rating above most venereal diseases, but one we can actually be proud of.
(Dean Obeidallah, a former attorney, is a political comedian and frequent commentator on various TV networks including CNN. Follow him on Twitter @deanofcomedy.)