The big losers in the current protracted battle over the U.S. debt ceiling and budget deficits are the politicians in Washington. Confidence in them drops drastically for each day that passes without the agreement and compromise that the overwhelming majority (two thirds) of the American public demands.
Congress has become a laughing stock, writes Charlie Cook, a most respected political commentator, in his latest “The Cook Report”.
“Right now, we are at a very, very low point–the worst I’ve seen since I moved to Washington in September 1972. Never in my memory have both parties and both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue appeared as dysfunctional as they do today. The stakes are so high and the performance is so utterly disappointing. “
They should be afraid of their jobs, Cook writes, and predicts that many of the current members of Congress will not be re-elected in next year. The only thing that could pave the way for a solution to the current crisis is that the stock market crashes and that interest rates rise sharply.
Then, perhaps, Washington’s politicians will wake up and come to their senses. But late today there were no such signs. On the contrary. The ideological battle seems to have hardened even more.
Whatever the outcome, all politicians, including Obama, have lost support, according to recent polls. Only 41 percent of all voters now prefer Obama to be re-elected while 40 percent prefer a Republican candidate, according to Pew Research Center’s latest figures. And according to the latest Gallup surveys, Obama’s support is at a record low, only 40 percent, while only 41 percent approve of how he has handled the debt ceiling crisis. The President’s only consolation may be that the congressional leaders receive even weaker support, Speaker John Boehner (31 percent) and Majority leader Harry Reid (23 percent).