Republicans Begin Defensive PAC Donations

Congressional Quarterly reports that House Minority Leader John Boehner's leadership PAC has begun to make maximum contributions to Republicans who are in danger of losing their seats. In contrast, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer's PAC is making contributions to Democratic challengers. Randy Kuhl recently received the $10,000 maximum from Boehner's PAC.

Exile at Rochesterturning notes that these defensive buys put the lie to the notion that low Congressional approval ratings might lead to a Republican resurgence. I agree. Those interested in the source of the low approval ratings might want to read what Glenn Greenwald has to say about them -- the bottom line is that low approval is being driven by Democrats' discontent with the Democratic Congress.

As fundraising shifts into high gear, it will be interesting to see if another factor is at play: "live by the corporate PAC, die by the corporate PAC". Randy Kuhl received big donations from corporate-financed PACs that want to pass legislation agreeable to the corporations who pay their bills. A Member of Congress who is part of the minority party, and on the edge of losing his seat, isn't an automatic investment for those PACs. It will be interesting to see whether Kuhl can attract funds from them again, or if he'll have a shortfall that can't be shored up by a few donations from House leaders.<?p>


Congresional approval ratings have been historically low, but I'd agree with Greenwald's assessment that the 110th's low approval is due to the stalled investigations. They have gone nowhere, which I think has to do with the politicization of the Justice Department. Not only are they refusing to pursue contempt charges, but they actually defend the Administration through a loose analysis of the laws governing the executive branch.

Another point is that the Democrats merely hold a marginal majority, with not enough votes in either body to override a veto.

When a legislative body is reduced to two bickering hordes, opinions tend to sag.

I agree. A Congress that isn't accomplishing anything leads to disgust with politicians in general, not just one party.

Absolutely. And imagine what we have if Democrats hadn't won that thin majority. While the poll ratings couldn't get much lower, our country would be far worse off if the administration had gone on unquestioned by Congress.