They are not. As I've written many times, the problem is much broader than Washington or even the nation's statehouses. With the exception of the military, Americans are losing faith in virtually every social institution "“ big business, small business, organized religion, schools, police, the media, the entertainment industry and even entities steeped in tradition such as the Boy Scouts. The list is endless.
(RELATED: "In Nothing We Trust")
At a macro level, the problem is that society is rapidly changing via technology and the radical connectivity of individuals, and our institutions are slow to adapt. That certainly applies to Washington, where Republicans and Democrats are threatened by the Internet's hyper-democratization of a process they once monopolized: Organizing and motivating voters.
Coupled with this new phenomenon is an old one: Corrupt and hypocritical leadership. Which brings me back to three headlines:
"Obama Faulted On Campaign Reform:" Juliet Eilperin of The Washington Post methodically detailed President Obama's failure to curb the influence of special interest, a cornerstone of his hope-and-change brand. Her list includes: the transformation of Obama's re-election campaign into an advocacy group that collects unlimited donations; the failure to pursue a promised constitutional amendment to overturn a Supreme Court opinion enabling corporate campaign donations; the failure to fill a position overseeing ethics and lobbying issues, created two years ago to promote Obama's reformist credentials; a neglected Federal Election Commission; and Obama's original sin of rejecting public financing in 2008. Obama shattered fund-raising records in 2012.
Seven reform groups sent the president a letter on Monday expressing their "deep concern about the nation's corrupt campaign finance system and about your failure, to date, as president to provide meaningful leadership or take effective action to solve this fundamental problem facing our democracy."
The White House and its allies blame Republicans, justifiably so, for obstructing reform. But, like the rest of his agenda, blaming the GOP for the lack of political reform is a dodge: Obama vowed to change the culture of Washington "“ period. He didn't include a caveat for pesky opposition.
"All Puns Asides, Weiner Makes Lucrative Name in Consulting:" Former Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., left Congress disgraced by his seamy Twitter habits. Recently, he sought a return to public life by portraying himself as a stay-at-home-dad making amends. But the New York Times' Michael Barbaro reported that Weiner made nearly $500,000 trading on his connections. "Things," Weiner said, "kind of came over the transom."
How convenient. Barbaro linked Weiner's cash grab to "the enduring power of Washington's revolving door" and said the ex-congressman's lucrative second career "raises questions about the speed with which he cashed in on his government connections."