I know, I know it’s computer-generated mass e-mailing and he probably doesn’t even approve the content. I wanted to pass it along, though, because it led me to this site that shows a breakdown of the progress the Obama administration has made. Not only does the site contained sleek graphics and interactive information, but localizes the information to the user. This link might take you to my Congressional district, the Connecticut 5th, but you can change the zip code to your district if needed.
One thing to note is that the Progress website gives credit to President Obama and the Democrats. Perhaps I’m biased but I think its pretty generous of President Obama to share the credit. I agree that the Democrats certainly helped President Obama pass his legislation and arrange his agenda. The practical politics of the thing. On the other hand, I don’t have a lot of faith that the Pelosi-Reid team would have come up with 1/2 the potential solutions that the Obama administration sent their way.
I think that probably speaks to a larger issue about how much power Congress has ceded to the Presidency over the past 20 years. We’re an executive-focused country. Congress (Article I of the Constitution) is intended to be a equal branch to the President (Article II). Congress is “the people.” However, that relationship has all but switched and now many people look to the President as their voice. The President seems to have all the power. I don’t think I’m going to get into a Constitutional Law discussion about separation of powers, but I’ll work on it for a future post. Also, I’m enrolled in Constitutional Law next semester (finally) and thus am hoping for an even better perspective on this topic soon.
Do you feel more of a relationship with your Congressman or your President? Think about it. I think it says a lot about our mentality and politics. Generally speaking, Congress (as a whole) has very low approval ratings, the President usually has middle-to-moderate approval ratings and when asked about their individual Member of Congress, people generally give very high approval ratings. We love our own Representative but are skeptical of Congress as a whole. I think those numbers skew slightly with controversial Presidents, but these days it seems like we find a way to make the President controversial in some way or another (Bush is a war criminal, Obama isn’t a citizen, etc.). How do you feel?