Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Congress & the Constitution

Back in October I posted a link to a pretty comprehensive Constitution Quiz. I'm an 'average citizen' right? College educated, stay at home mom, married mother of three... I Scored a 10/10 the main test and a 44/50 (B+) on the Advanced test.

So, I'm assuming our elected officials would blow our scores away...these are the people being elected and PAID to legislate according to this document...

"The survey asks 33 basic civics questions, many taken from other nationally recognized instruments like the U.S. Citizenship Exam. It also asks 10 questions related to the U.S. Constitution.

So what did we find? Well, to put it simply, the results are not pretty.

Elected officials at many levels of government, not just the federal government, swear an oath to "uphold and protect" the U.S. Constitution.

But those elected officials who took the test scored an average 5 percentage points lower than the national average (49 percent vs. 54 percent
), with ordinary citizens outscoring these elected officials on each constitutional question. Examples:
  • Only 49 percent of elected officials could name all three branches of government, compared with 50 percent of the general public.

  • Only 46 percent knew that Congress, not the president, has the power to declare war -- 54 percent of the general public knows that.

  • Just 15 percent answered correctly that the phrase "wall of separation" appears in Thomas Jefferson's letters -- not in the U.S. Constitution -- compared with 19 percent of the general public.

  • And only 57 percent of those who've held elective office know what the Electoral College does, while 66 percent of the public got that answer right. (Of elected officials, 20 percent thought the Electoral College was a school for "training those aspiring for higher political office.")


  • Overall, our sample of elected officials averaged a failing 44 percent on the entire 33-question test, 5 percentage points lower than the national average of 49 percent." (SOURCE)

    The Quiz they used.

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