A recent Gallup Poll asked participants to rate the honesty and ethical standards of people in different fields. Perhaps not surprisingly, members of Congress came in nearly dead last — spared from total condemnation only by car salespeople.
The poll separates members of Congress from Senators, and the Senate ends up ranking slightly higher. The framers intended that this body of government "have an immediate dependence on, and an intimate sympathy with, the people," unlike any other. Major fail.
In fairness, many of these professions require some kind of ethics training — as far as we know, Congress does not. Maybe that's part of the problem.
We know that members of Congress are not exactly on the nice list this year, but they're also not completely beyond redemption. After all, they did rank above car salespeople — and that's at least possibly better than lobbyists, about whom the poll didn't even bother to ask.