Congress and Cockroaches

Think the “fiscal cliff” shenanigans and the upcoming debt limit fiasco have damaged the already battered reputation of Congress? If so, looks like you are right. PPP has a new survey out showing Congress’ favorability rating is down to single digits: a booming 9%, with 85% registering negative impressions.

Being playful folk (particularly for pollsters), the PPP staff decided to offer respondents a choice of preferances between Congress and various and sundry other highly unsavory people and things–and the lawmakers didn’t do very well:

It’s gross to have lice but at least they can be removed in a way that given the recent reelection rates members of Congress evidently can’t: Lice 67 Congress 19

Brussel sprouts may have been disgusting as a kid, but evidently they’re now a lot less disgusting than Congress: Brussel Sprouts 69 Congress 23

The NFL replacement refs may have screwed everything up, but voters think Congress is screwing everything up even worse: Replacement Refs 56 Congressmen 29 (the breakdown among Packers fans might be a little bit different).

Colonoscopies are not a terribly pleasant experience but at least they have some redeeming value that most voters aren’t seeing in Congress: Colonoscopies 58 Congress 31

And you can make the same point about root canals: Root Canals 56 Congress 32

It goes on and on, with used car salesmen, traffic jams, France, carnies, Nickelback, Genghis Khan, DC pundits, Donald Trump, and yes, cockroaches all beating Congress in public approbation. But there’s a slim silver lining:

The news isn’t all bad for Congress:

By relatively close margins it beats out Lindsey Lohan (45/41), playground bullies (43/38), and telemarketers (45/35). And it posts wider margins over the Kardashians (49/36), John Edwards (45/29), lobbyists (48/30), Fidel Castro (54/32), Gonorrhea (53/28), Ebola (53/25), Communism (57/23), North Korea (61/26), and meth labs (60/21).

So Congress hasn’t quite hit bottom just yet.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.