So How Bad Is Congress?

I'm sure many have seen this chart before, showing communism being more popular than Congress:

But is it as bad as we think? Apparently so.

NPR as a lengthy article up examining just how bad Congress really is, and the conclusion is really, really bad. This quote should show you just how bad:

"There were a few really bruising periods in American congressional history, not only the run-up to the Civil War, but also around the War of 1812," he says.

Two periods in American History none of us could even begin to imagine living through, yet our Congress is viewed as badly now as then.

But it compares worst than other bad times for Congress:

Other periods of governmental deadlock include Andrew Johnson's Reconstruction presidency, Woodrow Wilson's conflict with Congress over the League of Nations and the fights between President Truman and the "do-nothing" 80th Congress in 1947-48.

"None of those involved the level of conflict within Congress itself that we see today," Feller says.

Ouch! But here's something that really could prove the case and something that I talked about in my last post:

In the pantheon of also-rans for least effective Congresses, Mann would add a contentious period circa 1910 when long-serving Republican House Speaker Joseph Cannon was ousted from his post mostly by renegades in his own party. There were also bruising fights over the Depression-era New Deal.

We could very well see a similar fight happening in a couple of weeks when the House reconvenes and the Republicans decide rather John Boehner has the leadership skills to remain as Speaker of the House.

So things are bad in Congress - really bad. Anti-incumbent fever is also at an all time high. Overall really helps the Democrats out as they try the near-impossible feat of retaking the House. I think even more interesting to watch this year though is what happens to those Tea Party members that got elected. If we see a lot of them booted out, then can we finally declare the era of the Tea Party as dead as the Whigs? I certainly hope so!