Scott Neville/The Washington Post

It’s just a three-hour drive from Washington to this industrial city on the James River — where President Obama plans to appear Tuesday in his latest effort to get House Republicans to renegotiate across-the-board cuts set to begin Friday — but the distance between the politics of the nation’s capital and their consequences here is profound.

Obama is not seen in Newport News as any sort of savior but rather as the leader of a dysfunctional government that is playing havoc with people’s lives. Residents are bitter and resentful. It’s difficult to have a conversation without getting an earful of expletives. And there is little patience here for serving as political props in Washington’s latest budget drama.

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