Friday, March 6, 2009

Lawmakers Explain Why People Hate Them So Much

Posted By on Fri, Mar 6, 2009 at 5:26 AM

click to enlarge nopolitics.jpeg
Today, dear Pith reader, we ask the urgent question: Why has public opinion of our legislature fallen to such incredible new lows? That's a tough one, all right. There are so many reasons from which to choose. Lawmakers win approval from a paltry 34 percent of the public--a five-point drop since only last fall and the lowest level since the Tennessee Waltz bribery scandal. At least some of them got envelopes full of cash then. Here are a few of the possible reasons for the latest slide:

1. People are fed up with the Culture War the Republicans refuse to stop fighting. That's the view of Pete Kotz in this post. But here's the problem with that theory. Why then did voters put these asshats in charge in November?

2. It's the economy, stupid. Things are so bad and people are so pissed off even state lawmakers are getting some of the blame. OK, that's probably part of it.

3. Lawmakers of both parties have brought it on themselves with their nonstop, ridiculous sandbox antics since the session started. This is my personal choice. It's the aura of utter incompetency.

4. A combination of No. 2 and No. 3. While the economy goes into the shitter, people are looking for answers from their state's leaders. Instead of leaders, they're getting the Keystone Kops.

5. Finally, the politicians' favorite: It's the media's fault for constantly casting the legislature in such a negative light.

After the jump, a few lawmakers offer their own reasons.

Kent Williams

"The economy's bad and government officials get blamed. That's pretty much it. And I'm sure [political antics] have got something to do with it. When you've got children running the circus ... it's circus time. Republicans are blaming Republicans and Democrats are blaming Democrats. Why can't we all just get along?"

Tim Burchett

"It's the local level and the national level. We've got local problems in Knoxville. The FBI and the TBI are looking under every stone. You've got these boneheads in Washington throwing away our great-grandkids savings. Republicans share a great amount of the blame. We had Washington for eight years and we blew it. Not one line-item veto. All we did was free spending. The Democrats tax us to death and the Republicans, we borrow us to death. It's true at all levels. This country is ripe for a shakeup. [House Republicans] better start focusing on what we're down here to do and that's help the folks back home. It's all great for the blogs and the talk around the water cooler. But it doesn't do one dadgum thing for the folks back home. We need to start governing and put the dadgum egos aside."
Gary Odom
"You've got Republican leaders saying we should reject the stimulus money, which makes absolutely no sense."

Mike Turner

"I'm going to put some of this back on the press. We do some good things up here. But what's come out of the press so far has been kind of negative. Part of it's our fault too because this stuff happened. But most of the really crazy stuff has come from their side. We've tried to take the high road in lot of this stuff, although it may not have been reported that way."

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