Gridlock exists when party A wants to move east and party B seeks to move west. Hence nothing budges. However, when party A wants to move east and party B wants to stay put, and there is little movement, what seems like gridlock is in effect a victory for party B. That the last Congress enacted fewer laws and considered fewer bills than any other on record, often seen as a sign of gridlock, actually reflects the conservative thesis that the government that does less, does best.
On foreign policy it is almost a cliché to note that Obama has so far mainly followed policies similar to those of the second Bush Administration. It continued the neoconservative nation-building effort in Afghanistan and interpreted the 2001 AUMF (Authorization for the Use of Military Force) broadly, to mean that the United States could “act as though it were in an armed conflict in every part of the globe wherever a terrorist might be found.” This served to justify its extensive use of drones, which has been much increased over the last four years despite liberal criticisms. Moreover, Obama is the first U.S. president to authorize the targeted killing of an American citizen overseas. True, the administration put an end to enhanced interrogation, but it was prevented from closing Gitmo and from trying most terrorists in civilian courts. There is no sign that Secretary of State John Kerry plans to change course on any of these fronts.
Read the rest at National Interest.