On the Couch

Jonathan Chait: Why Are Liberals Always Depressed?

In the latest salvo in a months-running debate about whether liberals should be disappointed in Obama, New York columnist Jonathan Chait argues that liberals are pathologically unable to appreciate Democratic presidents. “Is it really likely that all these presidents have suffered from the same character flaws?” Conservatives don’t have a problem circling the wagons even if they disagree with their leader, but liberals always keep looking to a purist fantasy president who will refuse to be a part of the system. “This aspect of the liberal style expresses itself as a persistent desire to improve not just policy but politics itself.” In the same issue of the magazine, Republican David Frum explains why his party "is getting the big questions disastrously wrong."