Former President—and possible First Dude—Bill Clinton recently denounced the "the awful legacy of the last eight years" while campaigning for his wife to become the next president.
That would include, well, all of Barack Obama's time in office, now, wouldn't it? And wasn't Hillary Clinton part of that administration? And isn't she pointing out during stump speeches that unlike the wild-haired "democratic socialist" Bernie Sanders, she would continue many of the current president's policies? No surprise then that Bubba walked it back.
In his USA Today column, Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit is less quick to forget. He writes:
For one example of Obama's "awful legacy," we need look no further than the terror attacks this week in Brussels. These attacks, which killed dozens and injured close to 200, were perpetrated by the Islamic State, the group that Obama once disparagingly called a "jayvee team."
Well, for a jayvee team, they've done a lot of damage, in the Middle East and beyond, and it's in large part because of Obama's premature withdrawal from Iraq, which fulfilled a political promise, but which had the effect of squandering a decade of blood and treasure, and costing many thousands of lives….
Bill Clinton is right. Obama's is an awful legacy, one that has borne ugly fruit in the Middle East, in Europe and — as Islamic-State-inspired attacks strike here, too, fromSan Bernadino to Garland, Texas — in the United States.
There is no question that Obama's foreign policy has been a real clusterfuck—and not simply in the inherited wars of Iraq and Afghanistan. What happened in Libya, which Hillary Clinton still defends as a great example of "smart power" in action, is nothing to write home about. Apart from Cuba, really, Obama's FP as been a big fail all around pretty much.
And yet I'd argue that the worst parts of the last eight years are less about terrorism and war and more linked to various policies that have helped either to maintain or create a slow-growth economy and reduce innovation and forward momentum. The Obama administration has much to answer for on this score, too, but so do congressional Republicans who have spent a helluva lot of time making sure that defense spending can get goosed whenever they want it while doing nothing to stop the buildup of debt overhang that's implicated in…low economic growth.