June 15, 2002

NATIONAL MALAISE? Bush political operatives can’t like it that this Reuters piece uses that particular word. But the Carter-era version of “malaise” occurred in no small part because Americans knew that we should have been responding vigorously to the Iranian embassy attack and hostage-holding, but that the powers-that-be were too committed to a Colin-Powell-like strategy of talking rather than doing to mount such a response.

Hmm. Maybe there is a lesson here for Bush, after all.

UPDATE: A few people have written to say that Carter gave his “national malaise” speech some months before the hostage taking. Yeah, but he didn’t even use the words. I’m referring to the era, not the speech.

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