To the editor:
In his column in the July 12 Journal-World ("GOP must earn congressional approval"), Cal Thomas asked the right question, but gave the wrong answer.
In spite of the fact that the Democratic-controlled Congress receives a pathetic 9 percent approval rating and a majority of voters think Congress is doing a poor job, a majority of Americans favor a Democratic candidate over a Republican for Congress. "How can that be?" asks Thomas. "What an outrage."
Well, the real reason for this apparent disconnect is that the American public has figured out why Congress has not been able to "get 'er done."
The U.S. Senate is the only legislative body in the world in which a simple majority does not prevail. It takes a two-thirds majority to override a presidential veto or stop a filibuster. In spite of the appearance of Democratic control, the Republicans are still calling the shots. Nine Republicans have to join the Democrats before the Senate can start to make progress on the change that was mandated in '06.
Since the Republicans took control of Congress in 1994 and the White House in 2000, Republicans have been able to turn their agenda into U.S. policy on energy, education, the economy, the environment and national security.
I don't think those policies will change until there is a Democrat in the White House or a two-thirds Democratic majority in the Senate, or both.