John Oliver: 10% Approval But 90% Re-Election Rate? Yes.

John Oliver, of Daily Show fame, is also half of a funny, intelligent podcast called The Bugle. Comedian Andy Zaltzman, who lives in England, is the other half, and John recently explained our government shutdown to his countryman.

He particularly pointed out the depressing legacy of legislative redistricting, and how it’s left even the worst representatives invulnerable to losing office. Oliver:

It’s a pretty bold move for Congress to do something that pisses almost everyone off on this kind of scale for no kind of rational reason, but again, that’s hardly surprising. There is no incentive for them to be anything other than awful. Just look at the numbers.

Congress currently has a ten percent approval rating. Apparently that is lower than the approval rating for colonoscopies, which actually makes sense because the more you think about it, both Congress and colonoscopies deal with assholes, but the American public can at least acknowledge that colonoscopies serve a practical function.

Also, colonoscopies exist to make assholes better; Congress just seems to make them worse. And yet, Andy, and yet, even with this mere ten percent approval rating, members of Congress also have a ninety percent re-election rate. How is that fucking possible? Andy, they’re somehow batting 900 while striking out every time they’re at bat. That doesn’t obey the basic laws of mathematics.


This week saw some very surprising results in some Republican primaries, as Tea Party candidates defeated establishment figures. And this all has the effect of pushing the Republican party further to the right, and pushing it so far that it may well be approaching the city limits of Crazy Town now.

— John Oliver, Daily Show correspondent, commenting on the primary win in the Delaware Senate race by marketing consultant Christine O’Donnell. Oliver made the comment on the podcast he co-hosts with fellow comedian Andy Zaltzman, The Bugle.