(GEORGE CURRY MEDIA)—As Barack Obama’s presidency counts down its last months, amid the raucous babble of the Republican presidential debate, people are beginning to realize how much we will miss Obama’s leadership. He has served with dignity and grace, increasingly rare attributes in American politics. His family has exhibited the values that Americans embrace. He has brought the economy back from the freefall he inherited.
Republicans, of course, scorn all things Obama, with particular emphasis on his foreign policy. They argue that he’s destroyed our nation’s credibility, gutted our military and fostered the spread of terror. The din covers the emptiness of the argument.
In reality, Obama’s foreign policy will be remembered as making a start toward reason.
His record, of course, is complex. The president has enjoyed some remarkable successes —taking out Osama bin Laden, traducing al-Qaida, the nuclear deal with Iran, normalization of relations with Cuba (and thus with other neighbors across the hemisphere). He’s also met with frustrations as well. He was unable to extract us from Iraq, Afghanistan, and now Syria and Libya. He failed to close Guantanamo. He’s also asserted, dangerously, unprecedented executive prerogatives in the use of drones, assassination, the hunting of whistle-blowers, mass surveillance and more.