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  • Originally published 05/21/2018

    Obama’s Legacy Has Already Been Destroyed

    Andrew Sullivan

    In one respect the presidency of Donald Trump has been remarkably successful. In 17 months, he has effectively erased Barack Obama’s two-term legacy.

  • Originally published 03/12/2018

    Where Is Barack Obama?

    Julian E. Zelizer

    The former president’s reticence in the Trump era is only hurting his party.

  • Originally published 12/15/2017

    Trump’s Lies vs. Obama’s

    In his first 10 months in office, Trump has told 103 separate untruths, many of them repeatedly. Obama told 18 over his entire eight-year tenure.

  • Originally published 12/11/2017

    Obama is right: US democracy is fragile

    Ruth Ben-Ghiat

    Signs abound that our freedoms are under siege, not only from foreign enemies such as Vladimir Putin but also from forces inside our country, starting with the radicalized elements of the Republican Party.

  • Originally published 09/07/2017

    The First White President

    Ta-Nehisi Coates

    The foundation of Donald Trump’s presidency is the negation of Barack Obama’s legacy.

  • Originally published 05/03/2017

    Obama unveils plans for presidential center in Chicago

    The center will sit near a lagoon that runs into Lake Michigan in the Jackson Park neighborhood and will feature three buildings – a museum, a forum and a library – as well as outdoor gathering spaces.

  • Originally published 01/20/2017

    Obama Shouldn’t Go Quietly

    Robert Dallek

    Presidents are supposed to slip off the stage, take up hobbies and charities, let their successors have a go at it. But that hasn’t always been the case.

  • Originally published 01/12/2017

    A History of the Presidential Farewell Address

    Obama is following a tradition that goes all the way back to George Washington, whose written message announcing his intention to step down from the presidency in 1796 still stands as the most famous presidential farewell in the nation’s history.

  • Originally published 12/21/2016

    Obama's failed foreign policy

    Gil Troy

    ''The outgoing US president has spawned a callow, cowardly series of leadership miscarriages that bullied friends and empowered enemies.''

  • Originally published 12/15/2016

    Partisan Divide Colors Obama's Place In History

    As President Obama prepares to leave office, 45 percent of Americans think he'll be remembered as an outstanding or above-average president, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center.

  • Originally published 12/14/2016

    American Radicals and the Change We Could Believe In

    Eric Foner

    The Obama era reminded us all that popular movements play an essential role as catalysts for political action, but Obama himself, unlike Eugene V. Debs, may not have understood this. 

  • Originally published 09/26/2016

    The Intellectual as President

    Kevin Mattson

    Obama didn’t transform America by being a man of ideas; no one could do that. But he does remind us that intelligence and politics don’t have to be seen always as opposites.

  • Originally published 09/20/2016

    Obama loses battle to keep World War II records secret

    A federal court has rejected a Justice Department attempt to keep secret the testimony from a 74-year-old prosecution of The Chicago Tribune for revealing that the U.S. had cracked Japanese codes.

  • Originally published 09/12/2016

    Another Obama Apology Tour?

    Max Boot

    It’s true that on Tuesday the president didn’t actually apologize in Laos for American actions in the 1960s, but he danced right up to the line.

  • Originally published 07/28/2016

    Obama’s Rebuke to the GOP

    Ed Simon

    What the president highlighted is that the party of Lincoln has increasingly become the party of Lincoln Rockwell.

  • Originally published 06/28/2016

    Gays are being put back into American history. Quietly.

    President Obama’s designation on Friday of the Stonewall Inn in New York’s Greenwich Village as a national monument comes amid a push across the country to write lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people into the nation’s collective history, an effort that has been quietly underway for years.

  • Originally published 06/27/2016

    Obama Designates Historic Stonewall Inn a National Monument

    “I believe our national parks should reflect the full story of our country, the richness and the diversity and uniquely American spirit that has always defined us — that we are stronger together, that out of many, we are one,” Obama said.

  • Originally published 05/25/2016

    Fredrik Logevall on Obama's Legacy

    Paul Richard Huard

    "I think Barack Obama is skeptical of the utility of grand strategy. Nevertheless, he has continued to adhere to what seems to be the underlying grand strategy that the United States has followed internationally since the end of the Cold War."

  • Originally published 05/12/2016

    Obama, Truman and Hiroshima

    Wilson D. Miscamble

    There’s zero reason to apologize for the atomic bombing, which forestalled invasion and saved lives.

  • Originally published 01/23/2016

    Who Really Lost Iraq?

    Dominic Tierney

    Obama didn’t turn victory into defeat. There was no victory.

  • Originally published 01/20/2016

    What religion is Barack Obama?

    Edward J. Blum

    "When it comes to the religion of Obama, neither I, nor Google, nor any of us will ever ‘know.’ "

  • Originally published 11/16/2015

    Obama Doesn't Understand American Indian History

    Peter d’Errico

    A careful reading of his recent conversation with author Marilynne Robinson on September 14, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa, shows he has serious misconceptions.

  • Originally published 11/16/2015

    A third-term Democrat? Hillary Clinton battles history

    Hillary Clinton likes to tell voters what she’s not doing: running for President Obama’s third term. That’s to downplay what she is doing: asking voters to pick a Democrat to occupy the Oval Office for 12 consecutive years.

  • Originally published 10/19/2015

    Endless War Does Not Make Us Safer

    Ivan Eland

    Obama's recent decision to leave American troops in perpetuity in the Afghanistan War, despite a fourteen-year failed attempt to remodel the country, is as unsurprising as it is appalling.

  • Originally published 10/13/2015

    Playing Patience While Syria Burns

    Niall Ferguson

    The bigger flaw in "strategic patience" is one identified long ago by Henry Kissinger. In 1963 Kissinger summed up what he called the "terrible dilemma" confronting any strategic decision-maker.

  • Originally published 10/01/2015

    Why Obama and Putin are Both Wrong on Syria

    Juan Cole

    Obama wants al-Assad to stand down as a prerequisite for effective US action against Daesh in Syria. Putin thinks al-Assad is key to defeating Daesh and that everyone should ally with Damascus. What's needed is a synthesis of both approaches.

  • Originally published 08/22/2015

    Obama’s Disastrous Legacy in the States

    The party’s record over the past six years has made clear that when Barack Obama leaves office in January 2017 the Democratic Party will have ceded vast sections of the country to Republicans.

  • Originally published 08/04/2015

    Bad Analogies Abounding on Iran Deal

    Jim Lobe

    In their desperation to sabotage the nuclear deal between the P5+1 and Iran, neoconservative foes of the Joint Comprehensive Program of Action (JCPOA) are resorting to all kinds of historical analogies.

  • Originally published 07/28/2015

    The Iran Deal and the Rut of History

    Leon Wieseltier

    Has the Obama administration’s pursuit of new beginnings blinded it to enduring enmities? Leon Wieseltier comes out against the Iran deal.

  • Originally published 07/28/2015

    The Obama library lands on Chicago

    Rick Perlstein

    Like so many things Obamian, when it comes to transparency, fantasies of reform turn to ashes in our mouths.

  • Originally published 07/15/2015

    A More Historic Act of Clemency

    Zach Hidin

    Commuting the sentences of 46 nonviolent drug offenders may seem historic. But history sets the bar higher still.

  • Originally published 07/01/2015

    Did Obama Really “Cut and Run” and “Abandon” Iraq to ISIS?

    Brian Glyn Williams

    Far from ending the conflict and creating an inclusive, multi-ethnic state, Shiite prime minister, Nouri al Maliki's anti-Sunni policies directly led to the rise of ISIS. He, along with Paul Bremer, is the man most responsible for creating ISIS.

  • Originally published 07/01/2015

    Obama’s place in history becomes even more secure

    Steve Benen

    It is a little early to start reflecting on Obama’s place in history, but after last week there’s been renewed talk, not just about Obama’s rejuvenated presidency, but also about his qualifications for the pantheon of American leaders of historic consequence.

  • Originally published 06/11/2015

    The Necessity Of Iraqi Sunni Independence

    Dr. Alon Ben-Meir

    The lack of a clear American strategy in Iraq to which President Obama recently admitted (“We don’t yet have a complete strategy because it requires commitments on the part of the Iraqis”) is baffling

  • Originally published 06/04/2015

    Obama’s New Patriotism

    Greg Jaffe

    How Obama has used his presidency to redefine ‘American exceptionalism’

  • Originally published 05/24/2015

    The Making of a Great Ex-President

    Justin S. Vaughn

    Which of Mr. Obama’s predecessors have been the best ex-presidents and which have been the worst?

  • Originally published 05/19/2015

    What Syrian Chemical Weapons Reveal about Obama

    Daniel Pipes

    The famed "red line" warning that Barack Obama issued in August 2013 to Bashar al-Assad of Syria was arguably the defining foreign policy moment of his presidency: an unequivocal warning to a rogue leader to desist from war crimes or pay the price.

  • Originally published 04/27/2015

    Anger Translation

    Juan Cole

    Why Obama was Ranting against GOP Climate Policy at Press Dinner

  • Originally published 04/03/2015

    A brief history of hating treaties

    History tells us that plenty of U.S. treaties and accords have been met with firestorms of criticism and controversy.

  • Originally published 03/03/2015

    Obama Must Explain Why the Iran Deal Isn’t North Korea Redux

    Michael Rubin

    As the Obama administration rushes into a nuclear deal with Iran, it pays to remember the last time the United States struck a deal with a rogue regime in order to constrain that state’s nuclear program and the aftermath of that supposed success.

  • Originally published 02/24/2015

    Ukraine: The Cuban Missile Crisis in Reverse

    William R. Polk

    How the process of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis and what we face today over the Ukraine compare.  It's not reassuring. But there's a way out. 

  • Originally published 02/23/2015

    What Ike Can Teach Obama

    Scott McConnell

    In the 1956 Suez Crisis, Eisenhower recognized that America's interests did not lie with blind and unconditional support of an ally.

  • Originally published 02/18/2015

    President Obama and Whig History

    Ross Douthat

    Finishing up business left undone last week, I’m grateful to Ta-Nehisi Coates for taking the time to critique my own critique of President Obama’s prayer breakfast speech. A few thoughts in response, working my way around his points.

  • Originally published 02/16/2015

    Excessive Presidential War Power

    Ivan Eland

    Barack Obama, after six months of fighting against the brutal group ISIS, has finally decided to ask for congressional approval of his war.

  • Originally published 01/18/2015

    No, Obama Is Not Black Jesus

    Harvey J. Kaye

    What one thing should historians have told Obama he needed to know when he met with them at the outset of his presidency? 

  • Originally published 01/09/2015

    The Roots of Obama’s Ambitious College Plan

    The roots of President Obama’s ambitious proposal for free community college can be found in a 2008 book by the economists Claudia Goldin and Lawrence Katz called “The Race Between Education and Technology.”

  • Originally published 01/07/2015

    Split Power is the New Normal

    Every president in the last 50 years, save Jimmy Carter and Lyndon Johnson, has experienced at least one session of Congress in which the opposing party controlled both chambers of Congress.

  • Originally published 12/19/2014

    Obama and the Beginning of the End of the Cuban Embargo

    Amy Goodman

    The failed United States policy against Cuba, which has for more than half a century stifled relations between these neighboring countries and inflicted generations of harm upon the Cuban people, may finally be collapsing.

  • Originally published 11/25/2014

    Executive actions on immigration have long history

    President Obama’s executive action to protect millions of unauthorized immigrants from deportation is an act that both follows and departs from precedents set by his predecessors.

  • Originally published 11/19/2014

    Obama’s JFK Problem

    Fredrik Logevall and Gordon M. Goldstein

    How the battle between the president and his joint chiefs chairman over Iraq recalls the early days of Vietnam.

  • Originally published 11/18/2014

    Return of the Veto?

    President Obama has rejected just two bills in his six years in office, the fewest of any White House occupant who has served as long since James Monroe. That could begin to change next week.

  • Originally published 11/11/2014

    Obama can’t govern? Who knew?

    Niall Ferguson

    "The reason the public has lost its illusions about Obama is that he has proved to be as bumbling an executive as he was beguiling as a campaigner."

  • Originally published 11/04/2014

    Is Barack Obama the Worst President in American History?

    Ivan Eland

    With America’s ahistorical orientation and restrictive two-party political system, people on the right of the American political spectrum reflexively and viscerally believe that the current left-of-center president is the worst in history; left-leaning people had the same opinion of George W. Bush.

  • Originally published 10/17/2014

    Selective Memory and the CIA

    Max Boot

    "Talk about politicized intelligence. At least that’s what it would be called if the president in office were a Republican."

  • Originally published 09/08/2014

    Seize the Jacksonian Day

    Thomas Donnelly

    “Obama has always had trouble with Jacksonians, who tend to live outside cities and be older white, and less educated than Obama’s political base.”

  • Originally published 09/05/2014

    Will Textualism kill Obamacare?

    Jeffrey Toobin

    This approach, which was pioneered and advocated by, most prominently, Justice Antonin Scalia, holds that courts should interpret laws based solely on their own terms, and not on the basis of the intent of the legislators who create the statute.

  • Originally published 08/28/2014

    Cornel West and the Insular World of the Obama-Hating Left

    "Tom Frank, an anti-Obama leftist, interviews Cornel West, another anti-Obama leftist, in a conversation so deeply marinated in shared assumptions that, at one point, both interviewer and interviewee agree that nobody disagrees with them."

  • Originally published 07/23/2014

    The Supreme Court’s Coming Paralysis

    Jeff Greenfield

    Why there’s really no chance President Obama will be able to appoint another Justice to the bench, regardless of what happens in November.

  • Originally published 07/22/2014

    Obama lacks resolve on Ukraine

    Marc A. Thiessen

    "We are seeing more resolve projected from the U.S. Mission to the United Nations than from the Oval Office."

  • Originally published 07/16/2014

    Our Roost, Obama’s Chickens

    Victor Davis Hanson

    From the Middle East to Russia to our own southern border, Obama’s bills are coming due.

  • Originally published 07/03/2014

    Don’t Mess with Messiahs

    Victor Davis Hanson

    Whenever things go wrong, it’s the fault of those obstructionists in Congress.

  • Originally published 06/26/2014

    Supreme Court Curbs President’s Power to Make Recess Appointments

    The court ruled unanimously that President Obama had violated the Constitution in 2012 by appointing officials to the National Labor Relations Board during a short break in the Senate’s work when the chamber was convening every three days in pro forma sessions.

  • Originally published 06/18/2014

    A cautious Obama misreads history

    Ruth Marcus

    Two instincts — one predictable, the other surprising — help explain the arc of Barack Obama’s presidency.

  • Originally published 06/13/2014

    Obama’s Iraq

    Max Boot

    Mosul has fallen, and al Qaeda is on the march towards Baghdad.

  • Originally published 05/16/2014

    Obama honors Brown vs. Board of Education

    Saturday marks the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, the ruling that struck down school segregation and marked a major turning point in the civil rights movement.

  • Originally published 04/24/2014

    The Color of His Presidency

    Jonathan Chait

    Optimists hoped Obama would usher in a new age of racial harmony. Pessimists feared a surge in racial strife. Neither was right.

  • Originally published 04/09/2014

    For Obama Presidency, Lyndon Johnson Looms Large

    The 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act is a painful reminder to President Obama that Lyndon B. Johnson might have been the last president able to push through such sweeping legislation.

  • Originally published 04/08/2014

    Doris Kearns Goodwin: Lincoln was sexy

    “If I didn’t believe Abraham Lincoln could win today, I might as well give up. OK, shave the beard and get rid of the stovepipe hat. But I think he was actually sexy.”

  • Originally published 10/21/2013

    A Conversation With: Historian Ramachandra Guha

    Ramachandra Guha is one of India’s foremost public intellectuals and historians. “Gandhi Before India,” his first volume of a two-part biography of Mohandas K. Gandhi, was published in India earlier this month.

  • Originally published 03/18/2013

    History channel denies Satan in ‘The Bible’ series cast to resemble Obama

    From the History channel statement:HISTORY channel has the highest respect for President Obama. The series was produced with an international and diverse cast of respected actors. It’s unfortunate that anyone made this false connection. HISTORY’s ‘The Bible’ is meant to enlighten people on its rich stories and deep history.From “The Bible” Executive Producers, Mark Burnett & Roma Downey:“This is utter nonsense. The actor who played Satan, Mehdi Ouzaani [sic], is a highly acclaimed Moroccan actor.  He has previously played parts in several Biblical epics– including Satanic characters long before Barack Obama was elected as our President.”Executive Producer, Roma Downey added, ”Both Mark and I have nothing but respect and love our President, who is a fellow Christian.  False statements such as these are just designed as a foolish distraction to try and discredit the beauty of the story of The Bible.”

  • Originally published 03/29/2016

    Can We Be a Better Neighbor?

    Steve Hochstadt

    Long after the juvenile Republican presidential campaigns and campaigners of 2016 are forgotten, President Barack Obama’s movement toward normalization of relations with Cuba will still be talked about. Ending the Cuban embargo is one necessary step in creating a real “good neighbor policy”.

  • Originally published 08/05/2015

    Iran, Israel & American Jews

    There's No There There

    For the first time in memory a foreign country — Israel— is publicly fighting an American president’s foreign policy on American soil.

  • Originally published 02/07/2015

    Are You Ready To Fight Putin's Russia?

    There's No There There

    There's only one way out of the Ukrainian mess and that's patient, deliberate, nonviolent diplomacy. The alternative could be a nuclear war.

  • Originally published 07/18/2014

    Obama Wants to Close the Oceans. Privatize Instead!

    Liberty and Power

    In June, President Obama made a video announcement at the Our Ocean 2014 Conference, sponsored by the Department of State. He declared, “Like Presidents Clinton and Bush before me, I’m going to use my authority as President to protect some of our most precious marine landscapes just as we do for our mountains and rivers and forests.… [T]he United States is leading the fight to protect the world’s oceans.”The statement foreshadowed a new executive order which would place a huge swath of the Pacific Ocean under control of the U.S. federal government. According to the Washington Post, the aggressive program is scheduled to begin later this year “after a comment period.” It “could create the world’s largest marine sanctuary and double the area of ocean globally that is fully protected.” Other executive measures would address related issues, some of which would be domestic in scope.Obama’s stated purpose is to protect the ocean from threats such as pollution, climate change, oil drilling, and overfishing. His executive order will achieve the opposite. Anyone who wishes to protect the ocean should move to privatize it as extensively and as quickly as possible.

  • Originally published 06/14/2014

    Press TV Interview

    Liberty and Power

    Press TV interviewed me about U.S. policy toward Ukraine. You can listen here.