Q: What does the word "inheritance" mean?
A: In political terms it means that a new administration takes over the success - or mess - of the previous one.
Gene Lyons is a syndicated columnist whose opinions appear every Wednesday in the Daily Dunklin Democrat.
Lyons is an excellent writer with an equanimity in his distaste for most Republicans, but reserves a special vitriol for George W. Bush, Dick Chaney, and Fox News. He would gladly serve as turnkey at Rush Limbaugh's prison address.
Clothed in the comfort of consummate correctness, Lyons seems failing in recognition of his own role as a fire eating dragon of the left.
In a recent column in the Daily Dunklin Democrat, Gene Lyons prints a quote by Osama bin Laden, saying essentially that "his" people will created havoc all over the world in order to make generals race out there - and to cause Americans to suffer human - economic and political losses.
This looks like a movie script for Afghanistan.
Even Lyons admits that President Obama stuck his foot in his mouth when he said that the war in Afghanistan was "not a war of choice, but one of necessity."
But that is not Gene Lyon's emphasis. His accusation - as always - is that it is just one more of the big fat messes left by George W. Bush.
There is no small amount of truth in that, because the President did "inherit" Afghanistan. Nothing too new about that. George W. Bush "inherited" the never ending chaos in the Middle East - just as a long list of presidents before him did. (Didn't Jimmy Carter win the Nobel Prize for cleaning up that mess?)
There are some who say today in righteous indignation that the only reason they voted for the war in Iraq was because they were duped into thinking there were weapons of mass destruction?
Will this stand up to scrutiny? Are our memories that short?
Remember Saddam Hussein? He's the guy who attacked Iran (with out blessings,) invaded Kuwait, murdered his own people (including the Kurdish chemical massacre,) signed a pact with the Soviet Union, and was continually waving a belligerent sword in our direction.
And what was most of the civilized world saying - especially his highly nervous Arabic neighbors? Wasn't it - something needs to be done about this madman in Iraq? This was long before weapons of mass destruction was even an issue.
Bush "did" something; and if it was wrong it was a tragic wrong, because it has cost many soldier and civilian lives. From a political standpoint it was also highly instrumental in costing his party the House, the Senate, and the Executive Office.
Now President Obama has "inherited" what he deemed himself as "a war of necessity" He has a complex problem not of his own making; and is looking for options in what do to about it.
Option number one might be to send more troops and perhaps achieve victory. Or this may be at a deadly cost - achieving as Osama bin Laden said, "nothing of worth."
He might abandon Afghanistan, leaving it to the Taliban. Maybe he could negotiate with the Taliban.
Negotiate with the Taliban: Here is an almost outlaw group of religious fundamentalists, favoring mass civilian executions, dedicated to the subjugation of women, and swathed in a cloak of all pervasive Big Brotherism.
If the President can negotiate with them he should rightfully become our first fifth term president.
"Inheritance" is always a tough road in politics. We can only hope the President will not leave a negative one of any sort.