CONGRESS: COME BACK, GO TO WORK
Maybe lawmakers figure that their favorability ratings are just so low that nothing much matters anymore. They are wrong. Voters want them back in the U.S. Capitol acting like responsible elected officials: Four out of five Americans — 78 percent — say House and Senate members should return to Washington for a vote to authorize authorization the use of military force against Islamic State fighters in Syria and Iraq. Return now. Please. So says a new Reason-Rupe poll which also reveals a little something about the voters themselves.
“When asked why Congress didn’t vote on the authorization of military force before leaving for recess, 63 percent of Americans say members of Congress don’t want to put their vote on the official record, 15 percent say Congress doesn’t believe President Obama needs its authorization for military action, and 8 percent feel Congress simply didn’t have enough time to hold the vote,” the poll says.
Ironically enough, Americans approve of military muscle. Two-thirds of the respondents, in fact, support airstrikes against the Islamic State; and while most don’t approve of the idea, 58 percent anticipate that ground troops will be necessary to defeat the militants. Inquiring minds wonder, then, why Congress is so reluctant to come back and cast a vote that could actually improve their popularity. How mystifying. But then, it’s like wondering why President Obama attends glittering fundraisers no matter what global crisis happens to surface. During a week fraught with alarm over Ebola and radical Islamic threats, Mr. Obama recently appeared at six Democratic money makers in New York and on the West Coast, — with Air Force One left idling somewhere at $279,000 in operational costs per hour. Again. How mystifying.