Before we address that question, let's look at some recent Rasmussen Report polls where Rasmussen polled 1,000-3,500 likely voters about Congress. The results of the polls are as follows:
• 2% believe that Congress and their staffers should be exempt from Obamacare
• 5% believe that Congress and their staffers are made up of the best and brightest of this nation
• 8% believe that Congress is doing and excellent or good job
• 53% believe that neither party in Congress represents the American people
• 63% of GOP voters believe that Republican Congressman have lost touch with their base
• 84% are very angry, angry or somewhat angry at Congress
Even given the numbers above, I am not for Congressional term limits, although I do lean in that direction. I contend that we already have term limits because every two years, we the people can choose to vote against the incumbent. Moreover, an honorable elected member of the government should know when to not seek another term. Unfortunately, many succumb to the power and the perceived benefits that come with it.
It seems everyone has a problem with Congress, except when it comes time to voting their Congressman/Congresswoman out of office. "Our representative is never the problem -- its the guy or gal from the other district that should go", the voters say.
If we take those same polling percentages above and apply them to the 30 business leaders gathered at Southern Market Center, the results become even more telling when applied to Congressman Pitts (I've rounded up where applicable):
• 1 leader believes that Congressman Pitts and his staff should be exempt from Obamacare
• 2 leaders believe that Congressman and his staff make up the best and brightest of this nation
• 3 leaders believe that Congressman Pitts is doing an excellent or good job
• 16 leaders believe he does not represent those gathered in the room
• 19 leaders (assuming they are Republican) believe the Congressman doesn't represent their core beliefs
• 25 leaders are very angry, angry or somewhat angry of Congressman's Pitts' performance
Now, I've taken some liberties with these numbers. First, I did not survey any of the business leaders. Second, the original poll asked voters about Congress in general and not about an individual Congressman, which may have affected the numbers either up or down depending on the individual legislator. If these numbers would describe my job performance, well, you get the idea.
The polls are telling, but none more telling than one poll I omitted: eight percent (8%) of likely voters believe the average member of Congress listens to the voters he or she represents more than congressional party leaders. An overwhelming majority (80%) believes the average congressman listens to party leaders more.
• BELIEVE that we in the United States have a representative democracy and that our elected officials are
beholden to the people
• ACT by telling your elected officials that they work for you and not for the party bosses; and, if necessary,
vote them out of office
• SERVE this nation by having the courage to stand up for solid, constitutional principles and holding our
elected officials accountable
Let's revisit the first paragraph again, shall we? Recently, eight-term Congressman Joe Pitts of Chester County, who represents most of Lancaster County in Washington, DC., met with 30 business leaders in Lancaster City. The subject was the Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare. The Congressman heard how the Act is affecting their small businesses.
If you believe the polls, only 2 of the 30 leaders in that room believed that the Congressman actually was listening and digesting what they were saying. Moreover, 28 of them were thinking that their comments were falling on deaf ears.
The question is, did he listen to them? The answer, if you believe the polls, is no.