Just when you thought Congress couldn’t get any more unpopular, a comparison of the latest polls finds that Edward Snowden, who may have committed treason, is four times more popular than Congress.
According to the latest CNN poll, 44% approve of Edward Snowden’s actions, while 52% disapprove. (By the way, the CNN poll is full of loaded questions. For example, the Snowden questions asks people how they feel about the fact that he “released” the information. Snowden didn’t release the information. He didn’t have the authority to release it. He leaked it. If the question was asked using the correct term, I suspect the disapproval for Snowden’s actions would be much higher. The whole poll is riddled with these kinds of leading questions, so take it with a very large grain of salt.)
Last week, the latest Gallup poll revealed that confidence in Congress had fallen to a record low of 10%. (Gallup has a proven history of being wrong, so this is another poll that should be taken with a degree of skepticism. Even if they are wrong, previous polls from other organizations place the approval rating for Congress in the 20%-30% range, so their overall point that people don’t trust Congress is valid.)
The broader point is that Edward Snowden is likely more popular than the current Congress. This says way more about how far Congress has fallen than it does Snowden’s actions. Republicans have gotten want they have always wanted. The American people don’t have confidence in their government. Of course, the downside of this is that Republicans are destroying their own brand while they are killing the standing of the government in the public eye. This is why Republicans keep losing high profile senate and presidential elections. People may not have confidence in Congress, but they want it to be able to function.
Unless Edward Snowden sold or traded information to another government, I don’t think the term treason fits his actions. However, it speaks volumes that someone who committed a crime is more popular than Congress as a whole. Methodological issues aside, this concept is damming indictment of what Republicans have done to a vital branch of our government.
Many Americans think that the members of Congress are criminals, and it turns out that they may prefer a real criminal over a branch of their own government.
(Note: I have seen the stories claiming that Snowden is more popular than President Obama, but this is a completely inaccurate agenda driven nonsense. If you believe that the CNN poll is valid, the difference between Snowden and Obama’s approval ratings is one point. The poll’s margin of error is three points, so no Snowden is not as/more popular than the president.)