On the campaign hustings now, the salvos are flying at Congress and its ruling majority. Democratic challengers are blasting Republicans for giant deficits, waves of scandal, vote-selling, an ethics vacuum, and getting nothing done.
Off the campaign trail, the criticisms are, if anything, more withering. The GOP's own Dick Armey, former House majority leader, says a Republican Congress has lost its way and put winning at all costs ahead of the good of the country.
Congressional scholars say the institution of Congress itself, the "people's branch," is in deep trouble.
Hear about the "broken branch" of American government, and what to do about it.
Thomas Mann, senior fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution, co-author of the new book "The Broken Branch: How Congress is Failing America and How to Get it Back on Track"
Joe Hallet, chief political reporter for The Columbus Dispatch.
This program aired on October 16, 2006.