What is especially significant is that the poll shows this anger is bi-partisan. Only 41% of Republicans approve of the performance of the GOP congressional leadership. This is much lower than the 60% approval rating GOP leaders received in 2011 and the astounding 78% approval rating they received from Republicans in 1995, months after the party took control of Congress for the first time in 40 years.
There is a major difference between the congressional leadership of today and the team that led Congress in 1995. During that era, Newt Gingrich was Speaker of the House. In the November 1994 elections, Americans sent congressional Republicans to Capitol Hill with a mission, enact the Contract with America. Led by Gingrich, the Congress was actually able to get some tangible goals accomplished by moving then President Bill Clinton to the right. As a result, Clinton signed into law bills that lowered capital gains taxes and established welfare reform. Even more miraculous, a significant budget surplus was created.
Gingrich was an unabashed movement conservative, who truly believed in the concepts of lower taxes and less government. Unfortunately, today, the GOP leadership in Congress, specifically Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner, are typical establishment Republicans who have been on Capitol Hill too long. They are opposed to the Tea Party and true conservatives and thus they have no interest in real reform or following the wishes of the vast majority of grassroots Republicans throughout the country.
A mere four months after the Republicans officially took control of the Senate and House, the strong majority of the GOP electorate has lost faith in the congressional leadership. Who can blame them since almost nothing has been accomplished? Congress did pass the Keystone Pipeline bill, only to see it vetoed by President Obama and the House did pass a bill ending abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy. Yet, on almost everything else, there has been nothing but talk and no legislative action.
Despite the fact that almost every Republican congressional candidate campaigned against Obamacare and the President’s unconstitutional executive amnesty for five million illegal aliens, Congress voted to fund both programs. The Senate approved the radical nomination of Loretta Lynch as the new Attorney General and just gave Obama a major victory by approving legislation giving him more power to enact trade deals. This trade promotion authority would force Congress to accept the upcoming Trans-Pacific Partnership deal between the United States and 11 other nations without adding any amendments. It would force Congress to made an up or down vote on the trade pact in effect making it “fast track” legislation. Many conservatives are leery of any trade deal that gives the President more power and could lead to the further dissolution of manufacturing jobs in this country. Both Boehner and McConnell are very supportive of the trade deal, viewed by some analysts as another gift to big business at the expense of the jobs of middle income and hard working Americans.
After passing a trade deal, McConnell will turn to renewing the Patriot Act, even though there have been major NSA abuses and a significant invasion of the privacy of average Americans. The Patriot Act was not designed to give the government the right to monitor the phone calls and emails of law abiding Americans. It needs to be severely revised if not rejected, but GOP leadership does not agree. It is another issue that shows the leadership on one side and the majority of Republicans on the other side.
Clearly, the Republicans in Congress are doing a pitiful job of advancing any type of conservative agenda or standing up to President Obama. This betrayal of the grassroots in their own party is clearly reflected in the Pew poll. The stage is now set for the 2016 presidential race where true conservative candidates will be facing establishment supported candidates like former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.
If an establishment Republican is nominated, millions of conservatives will not only be disappointed, but they will bid farewell to the GOP. This will insure that the Republican Party, which has lost the popular vote in 5 out of the last 6 presidential elections, will lose again.