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Saturday, December 3, 2016

After 16 wasted days and billions of dollars in economic damage, the Republicans finally folded their tattered circus tent and voted to reopen our government last week.

Moderates in the party lamented that the ending was predictable, the political wreckage immeasurable and absolutely nothing was gained by the shutdown. National polls showed approval ratings for Congress ranging from only 8 to 10 percent.

From October 4-6, Public Policy Polling surveyed 502 registered voters, Democrats, Republicans and independents. Disgust and revulsion prevailed across the board.

Toenail fungus, hemorrhoids, cockroaches and dog poop all scored higher in popularity than Congress. Miley Cyrus, Honey Boo Boo and Vladimir Putin scored lower.

Undeterred by their dismal standing with the public, 18 senators and 144 House members — all Republicans — still voted against ending the shutdown and raising the debt ceiling to prevent a catastrophic default.

The losing contingent included Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), who has cemented his status as a prancing lapdog for the Tea Party crazies. He is cleverly positioning himself to fill the intellectual void left by Michelle Bachmann (R-MN), who’s retiring from the House.

GOP strategists would be wise to dissect the poll results that gave such a decisive edge to common toenail fungus, also known as onychomycosis.

According to Public Policy’s website, 44 percent of respondents had a more favorable view of the unsightly infection than of Congress, 41 percent said Congress wasn’t as awful, and 15 percent were undecided.

Voters older than 65 favored toenail fungus by a solid margin of 45 to 39 percent, while voters 18 to 29 were evenly split, so to speak.

Interestingly, those 30 to 45 years old had a higher opinion of Congress than of onychomycosis. Possibly this is because they’re just reaching the age when foot hygiene seems more important.

The same poll showed that 53 percent of those surveyed held hemorrhoids in higher esteem than Congress, although there was a partisan gap. Democrats and independents overwhelmingly said Congress was worse than hemorrhoids, while GOP voters gave Congress a slight edge.

(It should be noted that respondents weren’t asked if they’d had any personal experience with either rectal disorders or Ted Cruz.)