Posted on May 24, 2013 in Articles
The Article: This Isn’t Obama’s Malaise, It’s GOP Intransigence by Robert Shrum in The Daily Beast.
The Text: There is a malaise in Washington that’s spreading across the country. According to a New York Times/CBS News poll, “Americans [do] not give Mr. Obama high marks for his handling of issues”—even though they largely, at times overwhelmingly, agree with his positions on background checks for gun sales and a combination of tax increases and spending cuts to rein in the federal deficit.
The disconnect is sharp; the frustration, the sense of ennui palpable from Capitol Hill to California. You could fairly call it the Obama malaise, but it’s not his fault. It’s his very existence, his presence in the Oval Office, that fuels a nihilistic opposition, driving obstruction and seeding an increasingly disillusioned national mood.
That mood is distinctly different from the malaise that prompted Jimmy Carter to his self-pitying crisis-of-confidence speech in the summer of 1979. The crisis he identified then was not merely doubt about national leadership, but something “deeper, deeper”—a “loss of faith” on the part of the American people. He seemed to be saying that they had let the country, and him, down. He urged his fellow citizens “to stop crying and start sweating, stop talking and start walking, stop cursing and start praying”—to stop whining and to “say something good” about America.