Polls — both the opinion-measuring kind and those where ballots are cast — show it clearly: Americans dislike Congress but keep re-electing their local congressmen and senators.
In 2012, opinion polls said 90 percent of Americans disapproved of the job Congress was doing. Yet 90 percent of House members and 91 percent of senators seeking re-election won.
In a small way, Rep. Lee Terry’s support of an Obamacare grant for Douglas County shows why.
Omaha’s congressman criticizes the health care law. He has voted with fellow Republicans to repeal it. That’s a question of national policy.
But the Affordable Care Act also is the law of the land, and Terry used it to help bring home some bacon. When the Douglas County Health Department wanted money under the law, Terry wrote a letter supporting the county’s bid. The application was successful, netting a five-year, $2.5 million grant to help combat deaths and disability due to chronic disease.
Any congressman’s job is twofold — to write national laws and to advocate for the folks back home. That could include money for an Air Force base, university research or community improvements.
A liberal magazine characterized Terry’s letter and those from other Republican Obamacare opponents as hypocritical. It’s really not much different than voters disliking Congress while re-electing their own congressmen.