The Founders of our nation and the framers of our Constitution surely did not foresee the day when, of our three branches of the federal government, the public would have the least confidence in Congress. In fact, the public has a little less confidence in Congress than it has in HMOs. At 14 percent, the fraction of Americans with a "great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in Congress is the lowest in Gallup's history of this measure — and the lowest of any of the 16 institutions tested in this year's Confidence in Institutions survey. The Supreme Court received 34 percent confidence and the awful presidency of George W. Bush received 25 percent. We must understand why Congress has persistently failed Americans.
First, in view of the 2006 congressional elections, it is critically important to recognize that switching power between the two major political parties is an act of utter futility. We have a bipartisan failure of Congress to fulfill its constitutional responsibilities and serve the interests of the public. In the end, Democrats may have a different style, but they are as corrupt, arrogant, and incompetent as Republicans in Congress. Things have gotten so bad institutionally and culturally that we cannot vote our way out of a dysfunctional and destructive Congress as long as the two-party duopoly maintains its grip on our political system.
We no longer have a significant number of members of Congress who rise above partisan political priorities to put the good of the nation and the integrity of our Constitution first.
For out constitutional republic to really work it is absolutely necessary for Congress to have the courage and integrity to use its constitutional powers to safeguard Americans’ freedom, security, health, safety, and welfare.
Congress has done next to nothing to fulfill its constitutional responsibilities and even the most distracted and cynical Americans have now seen the truth.
Congress has allowed the Bush presidency to accumulate far more power than our Constitution permits. Even after years of arrogant disrespect by Bush and Cheney for our Constitution and Congress itself, Congress is too cowardly to do what they are supposed to do to maintain the structure of our federal government. It has not used the constitutional remedy of impeachment – not to punish Bush – but to preserve the constitutional limits on the presidency.