I spent the first weekend of my spring break down in Franklin, TN with my brother and his family. As is probably normal-to-the-point-of-banal for big brothers and little sisters, this little sister has spent much of the past 40+ years in some state of fraternal hero worship. My brother has always been a guy who could do no wrong in my eyes; and this in spite of how much smarter and better-looking than he I am (this is empirically true, you guys. Just trust me).
So while I was in Franklin, my brother mentioned that he thought that when the dust settled on his presidency, Barry Obummer would likely go down as one of the better presidents in our history. Now I'm a good Democrat and as such, I exist in a state of perpetual disappointment with my elected officials; which is real different than good Republicans who elevate terrible, ruinous presidencies into the stuff of saintly, manly perfection (I am talking here about Ronald Reagan, who was a terrible fucking president and if you don't agree, let's go have a beer and discuss because I have manymanymany things to say on this topic). But the more I thought about what my brother said (despite, as previously mentioned, me being so much smarter than he is), I decided he was right.
And it's not just that Obama's had a successful presidency despite a level of commitment to Republican intransigence so high that had Obama cured cancer someone would have won a senate seat in Oklahoma on account of how Obama had killed all the oncology jobs and was somehow going to give your guns away to someone who doesn't deserve them because .... I don't know. Reasons. I am endlessly surprised at how effortlessly some guy with 400 guns can make himself out to be a victim.
But as I thought about this, the reason I'm impressed with President Obama is that he's managed to stay dovish in a country it's pretty hard to be dovish in.
See Obama's predecessor did a neat trick. George W made a whole buncha money for the military industrial complex. I am an English major and am, as such, fully learnt on how war profiteering has always been a thing in America (see Miller, Arthur and All My Sons which is literally the biggest bummer in English literature and I say that having read Jude the Obscure because I am, after all, an English major). But it's not just that George W Etc. enabled the good folks at Cheney, Inc to make a buncha money. They also somehow managed to turn war profiteering into patriotism, which is quite a neat trick. Doesn't seem like American soldiers ever made any money fighting wars. But someone else did. And questioning this fact made you a pinko who hated America.
Goddamn, the 00's were a messed up time.
But Obama came into office and did not capitalize on this newfound American notion that it's only cuz we love America and liberty that we send our soldiers we send to die in foreign lands (and if the good folks at Cheney, Inc. make a few millions off it, that's just as God intends). Folks clamor for him to bomb Iran (and kill thousands of folks who have nothing to do with nothing). Folks were demanding war in Libya and Syria. Jesus, folks were desperate for war with Russia. Russia! That would have gone swimmingly, right? Obama has again and again not got us into wars.
What a pussy, right?
Oh, that's enough irony. Obama's dovishness is my favorite thing about his presidency. And the thing I'll likely miss the most if all the signs are right and Hillary Clinton breaks that oval office glass ceiling. She is too hawkish by far for my taste. I'm a war only as a last resort lady. Because, as previously stated, I'm super smart.
Presidential politics aside, I sure do hope that when the typically feckless Democrats start running for seats other than presidential in 2016, they will run TOWARDS the successful presidency of Barack Obama rather than away from. Because if there's another idjit out there like Allison Grimes, whose senate campaign reached such heights of dumbassery that Robert Penn Warren rose up from his grave and said "Oh my god, someone get me a pen!", I will do something crazy like vote for ...
Pfft. Christ. I'll still vote for the Democrat. Because no matter how shitty the democrat is, they're less shitty. And if we have to eat shit, less shit is better.
Not Obama, though. I think he's been pretty good.