In light of this, it’s worth paying tribute to one former Republican official willing to give Obama a little credit.
“I was among those who were critical of the position of ‘leading from behind,’ ’’ L. Paul Bremer III, former President George W. Bush’s envoy to Iraq, told the Los Angeles Times. “I think as a general proposition that’s not a good position for the U.S. to be in. On the other hand, I think the outcome should give the administration some degree of satisfaction. After all, it worked.” Yes, it did.
What should Obama take from this? He needs to learn the difference between middle-ground policies, which flow from his natural instincts, and soggy, incoherent compromises with opponents who will say he’s wrong no matter what happens.
Obama used the greater freedom he has in foreign policy to define the middle ground in the Libyan case on his own terms.