The Republican book on President Obama is that his foreign policy, like everything else he has done, is a disaster. Don't tell that to Christopher Ruddy.
Ruddy begins his Aug. 2 Newsmax column in typical right-wing fashion, claiming that Obama's "re-election seriously is in jeopardy because, in the early days of his administration, the president rejected a path of compromise and bipartisanship on domestic policy matters." This ignores the fact that Republicans also rejected compromise and bipartisanship.
Then, Ruddy doe something uncharacteristic for a right-wing activist: praises Obama's foreign policy:
Two years ago, I thought an Obama presidency would be a redux of the Jimmy Carter years. Remember them? The Soviets invaded Afghanistan and cracked down on Poland. Armed communist guerillas were prevalant throughout Latin America and Africa. Iran fell into the hands of the ayatollahs.
But I was wrong. Obama has, in fact, offered an engaged foreign policy, backed up with a strong military hand.
I hear, from time to time — on talk radio, for instance — that Obama is weak on national security and that he's dismantling the U.S. military (I am being mild here about how Obama is described).
Recently, I was in Washington and talked privately with one of the nation's highest military officers, a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. I asked him for the Pentagon take on Obama. He told me bluntly that Pentagon officials that worked under Bush and Obama believe them "both to be very good" on national security matters.
He added that the Obama White House has been extremely supportive of the Pentagon and its initiatives. Rarely do they have disagreements, and when they do, Obama usually comes down on the side of the Pentagon brass.
In fact, the officer said Obama had been engaged and supportive in ways that had amazed many in the upper ranks. For example, last year when the Joint Chiefs put together a document known as the Strategic Review, a white paper outlining the nation's potential threats and setting the global military priorities of the Defense Department for the next decade, Obama played a key role.
The Joint Chiefs met six or seven times to hash out the details of the Strategic Review. Typically, presidents have little involvement in the review process.
Obama, the officer, told me, joined almost all the key meetings with the Joint Chiefs, some of which lasted several hours.
"He asked a lot of really good questions; he made a lot of good comments; he really bought into the plan," the officer related, saying that no one in the Pentagon could remember a president so supportive and involved.
This vignette about Obama is part of the larger, positive picture that emerges about him on the national security front, but it is also a story about how he has used his leadership skills to bring disparate parties together for common goals and shared interests.
Of course, Ruddy may be saying such things in order to make Newsmax appear less blatantly partisan. Accuracy in Media's Cliff Kincaid has quoted the maker of a fantastically speculative anti-Obama film claiming that Newsmax canceled the advertising campaign he bought on the website to promote the film because "they wanted to move to the Center.'" Newsmax's attempt to purchase Newsweek was another grasp at mainstream respectability.
Ruddy's blips of truth are admirable, but they are only going to get him Heathered by right-wingers who care nothing about the truth and everything about trying to destroy Obama.