Here is pretty much a roundup of the politics of our current malaise:
1) The economy: Massive borrowing and record government debt have not led to a recovery from the recession primarily because we were unwilling to borrow and spend trillions more to put people back to work through government employment and subsidy.
2) The market: The president cannot be blamed for massive losses in the stock market in the manner that the president was blamed in September 2008 for massive losses in the stock market.
3) The debt crisis: An historic downgrade in U.S. creditworthiness by a rating agency worried over unsustainable national debt was really attributable to loud acrimony and political infighting over unsustainable debt.
4) The wars: The Bush legacy in Afghanistan is making it impossible to salvage that war; the Obama legacy in Iraq continues to ensure success. The less we know what is going on in Libya, the better.
5) Health care: Obamacare is still a good thing and we will appreciate its upcoming implementation, but sadly it will not, as envisioned, save money, and understandably a number of firms and agencies will legitimately need to seek exemption from it.
6) Civility: The rough and rather cruel political climate of 2005–7 that saw vocabulary like Nazis and brownshirts, essays admitting “I hate George Bush” or dreaming of a return of a John Wilkes Booth or Lee Harvey Oswald, as well as the artistic’s community’s imagined presidential assassinations in film and fiction, was, nevertheless, a desperate cry of the heart — and nothing as excessive as the tea-party obstructionist politics that can be properly labeled as a jihadist/terrorist/al-Qaeda-like suicide bomber’s hijacking of the political process without worry over loss of civility.
7) Presidential unpopularity: The blunt liberal questioning of President Obama’s fitness for office, the absence of proper scrutiny of his thin resume, his innate inability to lead or inspire or even show passion, has nothing to do with race or background in a way that prior conservative questioning of President Obama’s fitness for office, the absence of proper scrutiny of his thin resume, his innate inability to lead or inspire or even show passion most surely did.
8) Liberal regret: Current liberal confessionals that many were mesmerized in 2008 and were inadequately attuned to deficiencies in Obama’s preparation and expertise — to the point of unfair deprecation of Hillary Clinton’s efforts — are much different from conservative worries that many liberals were mesmerized in 2008 and were inadequately attuned to deficiencies in Obama’s preparation and expertise.
9) Presidential comparisons: Upon further reflection, Jimmy Carter was a listless and unaspiring leader without strong liberal convictions; Bill Clinton was an unapologetic ideologue and consistently progressive advocate; the centrist Obama is regrettably more the former than the latter.
10) The War on Terror: The less said now about Guantanamo, tribunals, renditions, targeted Predator drone assassinations, preventive detention, wiretaps, and intercepts, the better.