Almost no one approves of Congress

Right now, that’s as newsworthy as ‘Dog bites man.’

But with the latest poll numbers, this is getting historically low.

After prolonged and painstaking negotiations on raising the nation’s debt limit, Congress receives its lowest job approval rating ever in a Fox News poll.

Only 10 percent of American voters approve of the lawmakers’ performance, according to Fox’s most recent poll, which was released Wednesday. That’s down from an already unimpressive 20 percent approval rating in June.

This is really remarkable, 10 percent of American voter approve of Congress. Ten. And that’s half the number that did just over a month ago.

The president’s approval ratings have dropped again.

And a majority of Americans, 51%, say President Obama doesn’t deserve re-election; 47% say he does.

I’m not interested in the politics of parsing the horse race right now, or the jockeying of the candidates. This is a statement on American life and values and leadership. And a crisis of government.

St. Paul was clear that government is ordained by God, and St. Thomas helps us see that a robust public sphere protects us from the consequences of our sinfulness, as well as helping us achieve the goods only possible in community. However, as Yuval Levin recently argued in National Affairs, at this juncture of history, if we care about preserving the goods of government, then we need to recognize the limits of government—and we need to gather the political will to impose those limits.

Americans seem to be gathering the political will. Now it’s time to exercise it ‘like there’s no tomorrow’. Because God only know what it will be like if we don’t.


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