What in the world are they thinking? Wouldn't you like to get into the minds of the 10 percent of Americans who believe Congress is doing a good job? Who are these people? Where do they live?
Gallup today reported that Congress "enjoys" a record low 10 percent approval rating. That's down from three points in January and the previous 11 percent rating low in December. Geez, aren't they paying attention.
Congress is once again squabbling over extension of the payroll tax and unemployment insurance that is so needed to underpin the economy.
As Yogi Berra would say, "It's déjà vu all over again." Republicans, who claim to be dead-set against any new tax on the super-wealthy, seem poised to raise payroll taxes on the nation's 160M workers when the extension expires on March 1. As for the three million Americans who could lose unemployment benefits, the GOP--like Mitt Romney--doesn't care about the plight of the poor.
And then there is the sad spectacle of House Speaker John Boehner making a very rare floor appearance today to accuse President Obama of waging an "unambiguous attack on religious freedom" for the policy of mandating that healthcare plans at Catholic universities, colleges and hospitals provide birth control free-of-charge to women. "This attack by the federal government on religious freedom in our country cannot stand and will not stand," said the overwrought showboat.
Obama has not declared war on my Church. But it doesn't help that the White House sought to coolly rationalize the decision by saying that a vast majority of Catholics support/use contraceptives. That hardly matters. The administration's policy simply goes against Church teaching. Its institutions cannot find the "appropriate balance between religious beliefs and convictions" as suggested yesterday by White House press secretary Jay Carney.
It's Team Obama that must bend or it will suffer a self-inflicted wound that will definitely cut into the 54 percent support that the President received from the Catholic vote in 2008. The President overreached. He needs the contraception rule behind him because there are too many real issues (economy, Afghanistan, Iran) that must be dealt with.