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Legacy Obama?

Conservative David Brooks, who never had much good to say about Obama, has suddenly turned around with a column in the NY Times titled “I Miss Barack Obama“. Ignore for a moment that Brooks seems to forget that Obama is still in office and going strong. And Brooks still disagrees with most of Obama’s policy decisions. But still.

What are the things he says he will miss about Barack Obama?

First is “basic integrity”. When was the last time we had a presidency without any major scandals?

Second is “a sense of basic humanity”. Trump wants to deport Muslims and anyone else he doesn’t like. Obama went to a mosque and reasserted their place in America.

Third is “a soundness in his decision-making process”. Obama makes good decisions based on what is good policy, not just based on politics like the previous occupant.

Fourth, “grace under pressure”. Marco Rubio got attacked in the last debate and fell apart. Obama has been under attack since before he was inaugurated, but has virtually never lost his cool.

Fifth, “a resilient sense of optimism”. Most of the current presidential candidates are telling us that America is no longer great or is on the verge of complete collapse. Not Obama.

I believe that Obama will have a legacy of not just America’s first president who was not a white man, but as a great president. After his detractors have been forgotten and Fox News is long off the air (if you don’t believe it, read this), people will still remember Obama, what he accomplished, and the “integrity, humanity, good manners and elegance” that Brooks says he will miss.



  1. ebdoug wrote:

    Funny, I just came across a picture of Mt. Rushmore yesterday and was picturing Obama on the stone. He belongs there. He would be the same color as the other presidents. People would stop judging him by his color. My opthamologist is the same color. Both my optician and my hygienist agreed he is “elegant” as described of Obama

    Thursday, February 11, 2016 at 3:59 am | Permalink
  2. David Freeman wrote:

    Well said!
    Where the heck has this David Brooks been the last 40 years! I like this one

    Thursday, February 11, 2016 at 9:55 am | Permalink
  3. ThatGuy wrote:

    The cynical part of me says he wrote this editorial just so he can juxtapose it with a Clinton hit-piece later on. “Obama was squeaky clean compared to Whitewater/Benghazi/Emailgeddon.”

    Thursday, February 11, 2016 at 2:06 pm | Permalink
  4. Ralph wrote:

    As the old saying goes – “You don’t miss the water till the well runs dry.”

    Thursday, February 11, 2016 at 2:40 pm | Permalink
  5. Iron Knee wrote:

    Thatguy, you’re probably right. Maybe Brooks is feeling the need to be “fair and balanced” (or at least sound like he is).

    But that does bring up a related question. Considering that a) the GOP has been attacking Obama continuously, and b) they were able to completely make up scandals about the Clintons, then how come they were never able to make any scandals stick to Obama? Is there a lesson to be learned here?

    Thursday, February 11, 2016 at 3:19 pm | Permalink
  6. ThatGuy wrote:

    Well, the short answer is I’m not so sure.

    I’d say it’s arguably true that no specific scandal has stuck, but considering that a huge proportion of Republicans think Obama is a foreign-born Muslim, the smears have, overall, absolutely worked. It’s not a specific scandal that’s stuck to Obama, it’s a simultaneously verbose and pernicious campaign of sowing doubt that Obama is one of “them” or part of the “other.” It’s the fruition of decades of GOP attempts to take advantage of racial unease and then combining it (because why not?) with our irrational fear of the word socialism and concurrent lack of understanding of what socialism is.

    That’s not a defense of socialism, necessarily, but I think it’s telling that, in the course of 20 years, a Heritage Foundation plan is now considered a socialist plot to take away our great* healthcare.

    Friday, February 12, 2016 at 8:39 am | Permalink