The conservatives and Republicans and pro-Bush people are fond of obfuscating the basic reality of these figures by saying that since Congress has such low approval ratings, it must mean they approve of Bush, despite the fact that Pres. Bush has dipped into Richard Nixon territory. The American people are so contemptible of George W. Bush right now that he was forced at every occasion to remind them that it wasn't his report that would show how things are going in Iraq, it was General David Petraeus. Bush mentioned Petraeus' name in no less than fifty speeches this past year. Why? Because even Bush realizes now he has absolutely no credibility. If he put his name on that report, nobody would even have bothered to listen. As it was, Petraeus was essentially acting as Bush's puppet, finding what he was told to find, and even with the cache of all those pretty little medals on his uniform, most of America didn't believe a word he said. Who can blame them? Pres. Bush has conditioned Americans over the past six and a half years to automatically know the sky is red if he says it is blue.
The reason that Congress is disapproved of has to do with the fact that they haven't stood up to Bush. They haven't even launched a serious investigation into his criminal actions, much less impeached him. Not only did not they not take steps to end the war as promised; they actually, amazingly, gave Bush more troops and more money. And they will continue to do so. And as long as they act just like the Republican Congress before them their approval ratings will sink. On the other hand, if they could somehow find their spine and have it surgically reimplanted and call every single person who ever worked inside the White House to testify and cited anyone who didn't show up for contempt and publicly humiliated those people by having them arrested and carted off to jail until a judge decided if they had any legal standing to avoid testifying, they would be seen as heroes. If they would march up to the White House and demand not a timeline, but a systematic breakdown of exactly what must be accomplished in Iraq for troops to start coming home, their approval ratings would go through the roof. Americans are tired of the mission in Iraq changing every six months; they want to know exactly what it will take to bring the troops home. Bush won't do that and Congress so far hasn't kept its responsibility to make him do so.
Instead, the Democrats as usual refuse to play the kind of hardball that consistently keeps them out of the White House. The argument that Congress has low approval ratings because the people prefer Pres. Bush's handling of the country is patented ludicrous. In a bizarre twist of fate, the low approval ratings of the Democrats are based on exactly the same things as the low approval ratings of Pres. Bush. In fact, many people who respond negatively to the way Congress is handling things are probably confusing Congress with the White House.
I know I am.