Could you describe to me what is the "Obama space malaise"?
Obama didn't want SLS. It was congress that mandated it. And I'm in agreement: SLS is a giant unfunded mandate. "Let's build a rocket that will be way too expensive to make significant use out of, and which we won't have the budget to use often enough to make reliable or at all cheaper".
You don't make mandates that you're not going to fund. So much of congressional NASA mandates have been make-work programs, trying to justify keeping Apollo and Shuttle-era facilities open - the cost of keeping those facilities open inherently making anything that they do very expensive. It's no mystery that they need to cut back and streamline their operations to be competitive. But they're not allowed to.
Honestly, I'd like to see NASA become in many ways NACA again. An science agency with a focus on advanced research projects that help improve aerospace technology and understanding in ways that others can make use of. Now, exploration is in many ways part of that. But "NASA as a rocket manufacturer" strikes me as akin to the government running a passenger jet manufacturer or the like. I see the current situation as totally backwards - why should NASA be redoing the tech of the 1960s, while private companies are the ones doing innovations like first stages that return to pad for reuse? It should be NASA developing new technology and the private sector exploiting it.
And this was the approach that the Obama administration was pushing for, with the very successful COTS program. There are many things I have to fault it for, but this is not one. I mean, seriously, how weird is it that Republicans are pushing for things to be run by a big government agency that does everything internal, and Democrats pushing for greater privatization and outsourcing? ;)