I just put up a post talking about the dangers of taking polling too seriously. However, if you want to know why Congressional approval ratings are low, here's a possible reason:
“Right now, our strategy on gas prices is ‘Drive small cars and wait for the wind,’ ” said a Democratic aide.
Savor the rich political goodness of that statement. Let's face it, $4 a gallon gas is making people cranky. And when people get cranky, politicians get nervous. The Democrats have a real problem on this, because they are beholden in many ways to the environmental lobby. President Bush can rightly point out that he has been calling for increased oil production for pretty much the entirety of his presidency. Republicans can also rightly point out that Bill Clinton made exploration on many federal lands well nigh impossible, declaring over a million acres of federal land as national monuments by executive order late in his presidency.
To be fair, Republicans have enjoyed drinking green kool-aid over the years as well; John McCain himself has been known to have a big glass from time to time (and rarely misses a chance to have a photo opportunity while doing it). But the truth is pretty simple - Big Green puts their big green almost exclusively on the left side of the aisle and the Democrats are stuck with that.
Environmentalism isn't bad per se, but it is only possible in affluent places. Where economic conditions aren't so good, environmental degradation is a given. While Al Gore apparently doesn't understand this, most people do. Some 30 years ago, we had Jimmuh Carter appearing on our televisions in a cardigan sweater telling us about how times were tough. That eat-your-spinach stuff has never been an easy sell in America. The guess here is that it still isn't.
(H/T Captain Ed)