POLITICS

Congress Approval Rating Drops To All-Time Low, Lawmakers Joke At Own Expense

10/27/2011 03:00 pm ET | Updated Dec 27, 2011

Congress' approval rating dropped to its lowest level ever this week, bottoming out at a dismal 9 percent, according to a new New York Times/CBS News poll.

Some lawmakers, apparently attempting to make the best of the horrid reviews, responded with a bit of self-deprecating humor.

"We're below sharks and contract killers," freshman Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) quipped to Politico. And seemingly far below: Discovery's Shark Week opened to 3.3 million viewers in its first hour this summer, and movies about hit men and assassins frequently, ahem, kill it at the box office.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) appeared a little more pointedly embarrassed by the approval numbers, telling Politico, "It's so bad sometimes I tell people I'm a lawyer ... I don't want to be associated with a body that in the eyes of your fellow citizens seems to be dysfunctional. It matters to me."

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) also got in on the self-mockery, tweeting:

Good for a chuckle, perhaps, but as Dan Amira points out at New York Magazine, far from original.

In fact, McCain has recycled various versions of this joke more than 25 times over the past 5 years, a testament to how poorly Congress has fared on approval polls in the last half-decade.

For more on how Congress is reacting to the public's hatred of Congress, read Politico's story here.

Suggest a correction