Of all the 43 presidents who preceded him, who would you think Barack Obama resembles the most?
To historian — or maybe that should be “historian” — Douglas Brinkley, the answer is obvious: Ike Eisenhower, of course.
Eisenhower got us out of Korea, Brinkley explained to an ignorantly credulous “Morning Joe” program Friday, and Obama got us out of Iraq and Afghanistan. So, that’s how they’re exactly alike in foreign policy, he said.
Except they’re not.
It should go without saying, but since we have “historians” like Douglas Brinkley around it might be necessary to say it: Eisenhower was a career military man who rose to become a five-star general, the supreme commander of allied forces in Europe during World War II who organized the largest amphibious invasion in history and the Western Front victory over Nazi Germany. After the war, he had a “private life” as a college president, then became president of the United States at a time when it faced an existential threat from the Soviet Union.
True, he ended the war in Korea without a clear-cut victory, but he made sure South Korea remained a strong ally that is to this day a bastion of U.S. military power in the Pacific, besides being an economic powerhouse in its own right.
Domestically, Eisenhower presided over a booming economy, no doubt helped by the fact that the rest of the industrialized world was still rebuilding from the war. But he also had introduced and passed the Civil Rights Act of 1957, oversaw the desegregation of the United States military that was begun by Harry Truman, and sent in the 101st Airborne Division and federalized the Arkansas National Guard to protect the Little Rock Nine and make school desegregation a reality. Without Eisenhower, and his Republicans, the history of the civil rights movement would have been radically different, and the struggle terribly harder.
He reshaped the physical face of the United States with the Interstate Highway System and started the program that put a man on the moon.
And through it all, no one, friend or foe, had any doubt where the United States stood in the battle of tyranny against freedom.
Eisenhower, in short, accomplished more of what Democrats today pretend they believe than any of their “heroes” – JFK in particular – get mistaken credit for.
And that’s just the Cliff’s Notes version.
And this “historian” compares Obama to that?
A non-entity former “community organizer” who won state office on the strength of machine politics, rose to national prominence on the basis of a well-received speech in 2004, and won his first national election on empty promises, childish hopes and a fortuitous skin color. He was re-elected based largely on manufactured fears, ignorance and understandable racial pride.
And he won both times with the overwhelming support of a political-media complex that thought its rightful duty was to ensure the success of a black Democrat, regardless of the cost to the country.
Obama “got us out” of Iraq and Afghanistan, leaving our erstwhile allies in the lurch and a world of enemies confident the United States lacks the foresight or will to help its friends when it counts.
His domestic programs are either chimerical wastes (the “stimulus”) or unconstitutional train wrecks collapsing under their own weight (Obamacare).
Eisenhower left his successor a stronger country and a rebuilt world.
Pray tell, Mr. Brinkley, what will Obama leave his?
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