In light of Ken's country-government distinction below, Rasmussen has some revelations about America's view of the latter:
10% of voters say Congress is doing a good job, whereas 71% say it is doing a poor job (the highest result in Rasmussen polling history).
63% said it would be better for the country if most incumbents in Congress were defeated, while only 27% said their representative was the best person for the job.
9% believe most members of Congress are genuinely interested in helping people, and, most disturbingly, only 21% believe that the federal government enjoys the consent of the governed.
Take-away #1: The Democrats are doomed.
Take-away #2: The Republicans are simply a little less doomed.
On the one hand, Americans expect a bit more from their government (in terms of statesmanship and decency, not entitlements and welfare) than citizens of most other nations. We are, at core, an optimistic and idealistic people. Thus, we are liable to judge human nature in governance somewhat harshly. Pope John Paul II went to confession every day - not because he was particularly sinful, but because he demanded so much of himself (making him all the more aware of his every failing). It is a good thing that we demand much of our government and grade her strictly.
Then again, such dismal confidence has tended historically to result in apathy and revolution. We are not so politically unstable as to easily succumb to such social distress - but the polls don't have much farther to go before the ruling class is entirely devoid of meaningful public confidence. The Tea Party Movement, regardless of one's partisan perspective, may be the gentle, incremental version of an American revolutionary coup.
Today it is the Democrats' immediate problem, but it will be fully inherited by Republicans should they prevail in November. One hopes they have a plan.