You may have seen news reports about a just-released Gallup survey showing that the level of Americans’ trust in Congress has never been lower.
Americans have generally had the least trust in the legislative branch, consisting of the House of Representatives and the Senate, but never lower than the 28% who do so now. The prior low was the 31% measured in 2011, shortly after Congress and the president engaged in contentious debt-ceiling negotiations.
But what you may not have seen — thanks in large part to the general tendency of the mainstream media to protect Barack Obama — is another finding of that same survey by the Gallup organization. Gallup’s polling found that “trust in the executive branch is the lowest it has been during President Barack Obama’s tenure, at 43%.”
It’s important to distinguish between the results of this kind of survey and those that measure public approval for Obama’s performance as president. This fresh look at the feelings of the American public takes into account the entire executive branch of government, not just the presidency.
And the findings are borderline disastrous for the White House, Obama’s top-level departments, and the administrative bureaucracies he controls. Obama’s executive “domain” now finds itself within a few percentage points of how the executive branch was viewed shortly before Richard Nixon had to leave Washington in disgrace.
The historical low of 40% was measured in April 1974, months before Richard Nixon resigned amid the Watergate scandal. Trust in the executive branch was also in the low 40s during the last two years of George W. Bush’s presidency.
Gallup’s findings offer little for either party to celebrate. But the implications for Obama’s presidency seem especially bleak. Of course, there are those who would argue that one of Barack Obama’s goals has been to destroy confidence in our very system of government…which, if true, would indicate that Obama’s mission is proving successful.
The frustration with government is also evident in near-historical-low job approval ratings for Congress, below-average job approval ratings for Obama, and Americans’ consistently ranking the government itself as one of the most important problems facing the country.
Image Credit: Fox News
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