Dick Cheney, trying to explain his 29% approval rating:
CHENEY: I don’t have any idea. I don’t follow the polls.
In case Mr. Cheney forgot, America is a representative democracy; we elect people to office so they can represent us.
Now, no politician can–or should–change his or her opinions at the drop of a hat according to which way the political winds are blowing. But you can’t be an elected official and be completely out of touch with what the American people think, either. To some extent, you have to be able to give the people what they want.
I never understood the Republican philosophy of ignoring all the polls. It’s true that what’s popular isn’t always what’s right, but the role of Congress and the White House are to serve as elected representatives of the people. America didn’t elect Bush and Cheney–or Obama and Biden–because we think they’re great people and they deserve all the power and privileges of the federal government. We elected them to represent us and to fight on our behalf.
George Bush and Dick Cheney abdicated their responsibility to represent the country that elected them. They believed that their philosophy was always right and the American people weren’t worth listening to. Their hubris lead us down the road we’re on today, and it’s why they have below-freezing approval ratings and no clue at all how they got there.
Ignore the people at your own peril.