President Obama promised in his first State of the Union address following the Republican victory in the 2010 off-year election "to work to rebuild the people's faith in the institution of government."
It's been downhill for public confidence in government ever since. That is not to suggest, however, that Obama is the sole reason for it.
And, while Congress clearly has the lowest confidence level among the three branches of the federal government, the Gallup poll's annual confidence in institutions survey makes clear that the American public is simply losing confidence in Washington, period.
Record lows here, there, everywhere
But at 29 percent, Obama's sixth year in the Oval Office displays his lowest-ever rating as the nation's chief executive.
Interestingly enough, a clear majority, 57 percent, of Americans believe "religion can answer all, or most, of today's problems."
Here's McCarthy's bottomline
"While Americans clearly have the lowest amount of confidence in the legislative branch, ratings for all three are down and are at or near their lowest points to date. At this point, Americans place much greater faith in the military and the police than in any of the three branches of government," McCarthy said.
"Members of Congress are likely resigned to the fact that they are the most distrusted institution of government, but there should be concern that now fewer than one in 10 Americans have confidence in their legislative body.
"And Obama, like the younger Bush before him, is surely aware that the presidency's low confidence rating is not auspicious for his ability to govern and rally the public behind his favored policies.
While the Supreme Court, with unelected justices serving indefinite terms, is immune to the same public pressures that elected members of Congress and the president must contend with, it is not immune to the drop in confidence in U.S. government institutions that threatens and complicates the U.S. system of government."
At what then does the failure of Washington to command public confidence transition from being a perennial worry to a profoundly serious problem?
On today's washingtonexaminer.com
Monday Editorial: Two cheers for the High Court's recess-appointments decision.
Sunday Editorial: Lower, fairer taxes would boost U.S. workers' prosperity.
Columnists/Hugh Hewitt: Anti-semitism and the shame of the PCUSA.
Columnists/James Jay Carafano: Obama gets "surprised" by foreign policy crises because he isn't paying attention.
Columnists/Michael Barone: Why government isn't working and how to make it better.
Columnists/Star Parker: Chris McDaniel blew it in Mississippi by ignoring black voters.
Beltway Confidential/Mark Tapscott: More scandals with lost emails are ahead if Congress doesn't enforce record-keeping laws.
PennAve/Susan Crabtree: Here's why Democrats don't want to talk about Iraq.
PennAve/David M. Drucker: The long road to John Boehner's lawsuit against President Obama.
PennAve/Joseph Lawler: One mother and daughter's journey across the border.
In other news
The Washington Post: Workplace secrecy agreements appear to violate federal whistleblower laws.
The New York Times: Russian jets and experts sent to aid Iraq.
CBS News: Scott Pelley goes 155 mph in a Lamborghini.
The Weekly Standard: In Noel Canning, another unanimous defeat for unchecked power.
National Review Online: Make the Left's profit police do the math and show their work.
The American Conservative: Race-baiting the Tea Party.
The Federalist: The new sins of "nonjudgemental" Millennials.
The Daily Beast: Inside Uber's political war machine.
The Huffington Post: Why Harris v. Quinn has unions terrified.
Salon: The man I helped to die.
Mother Jones: Inside the wild, shadowy and highly lucrative bail industry.
Jammie Wearing Fools: Illegals wearing Obama t-shirts storm Capitol Hill making demands.
Powerline: The Obama-Carter parallel.
Talking Points Memo: Fox host Chris Wallace challenges Karl Rove on Boehner lawsuit against Obama.
FireDogLake: And now to add the base alloy of hypocrisy.