It's not the people - it's the system
Of course, coming from Oklahoma gives me a different perspective from the Beltway insiders too.
For example, read any of the stuff about demoralized Republicans by almost anyone at Townhall.com. What emerges was succinctly summed up a long time ago by someone who complained, "There are no conservatives in Washington anymore, just Big Government Republicans" now known by the acronym RINO, Republicans In Name Only.
The fear is that the Republican base, having grown disgusted with the Republicans who once in office cannot keep their snouts out of the trough, will simply stay home on election day.
Of course, it's more complicated than that. The Right side of the electorate is perfectly willing to get their own snouts into it, even as they recognize on an individual level that government is too big, too intrusive and absorbs too much of the wealth produced by the people who actually make stuff, grow stuff, fix stuff and move stuff around.
Gerald Ford described it brilliantly in his inaugural address. Standing next to Carl Albert of Oklahoma (then Speaker of the House) he joked (paraphrased from memory), I freely admit that I have supported many worthy projects for the public good in the district of Grand Rapids, Michigan, and have opposed much unworthy waste of the taxpayers money in the state of Oklahoma.
You can still laugh at that, but these days you do it with a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach.
Congress simply will not control its apetite for pork, and the president will not use his veto. These days the way it seems to work is, when anyone objects to a spending bill the other side simply offers to cut them in on it with some spending in their district.
There are a handful of (mostly) Republican legislators who at least sometimes vote against porkbarrel spending - but how long can they continue when their own constituents are on the receiving end of federal largesse?
It reminds me of the time I absent-mindedly left a dog in my house with a frozen steak thawing on the kitchen counter. When I came back and found the inevitable had happened, I couldn't punish the dog for acting according to his nature.
The genius of the Founding Fathers was in realizing that to keep government in check, you have to work with human nature not against it. You work with it by organizing the incentives, balancing the greed, jealousy and power-lust of the people with the power against each other. That's the not-pretty reality behind the noble phrases "seperation of powers" and "checks and balances".
Well, it's obviously out of balance and I seriously doubt it's going to be fixed by voting out the "bad guys" and voting in the "good guys". (Which is not to say that I don't think some politicos would be much more of a disaster than others.)
What I mean is, the problem is not the people, it's structural.
There has been a lot of thought and some good suggestions about how to tweak the structure: term limits, a line-item veto, sunset laws, ending exemptions from certain laws enjoyed by congresscritturs* - but the constant problem is how to get congress to enact them when they are so clearly opposed to their own self-interest.
* For example, congresscritturs do not have to pay social secutiry taxes, they have their very own pension system.