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  • President Barack Obama is leaving office as one of the nation’s great presidents. His successor, Donald Trump shows no signs that he’ll live up to his legacy. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

    As we careen, head-on, toward Jan. 20 like a locomotive with no brakes, it’s worth taking a moment to reflect on President Obama’s legacy and wonder what might have been if Republicans in Congress hadn’t sabotaged and obstructed him at every turn without any regard for the nation’s welfare.

    You may recall, in 2008, when President Obama took office, Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell and then-GOP House Speaker John Boehner (remember him?) openly stated their one and only goal for the next four years–to make Obama a one-term President.

    They obviously failed at their deplorable quest. But over the next eight years, the Republican-controlled Congress used every means at its disposal to politically castrate Obama every chance they got.

    It’s truly a miracle, and a testament to Obama’s fortitude and, most importantly, patience, that he was able to accomplish all the things he’s done for this country.

    He passed health care reform, rescued the economy from the abyss, passed Wall Street reforms, negotiated a deal to halt Iran’s nuclear bomb program, forged a global agreement on climate change, ended large-scale U.S. combat in Iraq and Afghanistan and saved the U.S. auto industry.

    He also repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in the military, backed same-sex marriage, banned Bush torture tactics, limited industrial carbon emissions, saved net neutrality and expanded wilderness and water protections.

    Meanwhile, McConnell and Boehner effectively disregarded the oath they swore to uphold when they took office. They did everything they could to make the President fail, even when some form of compromise would have been in the best interests of The People.

    The hypocrisy is almost unfathomable now to see McConnell urging Democrats, in the name of “national unity,” to support Trump, who is increasingly viewed as an illegitimate president.

    How ironic; that’s exactly what Trump and the right-wing tried to label Obama when he took office, after winning both the Electoral college and popular vote.

    “It’s like America’s amazing dad is leaving us and mom’s new perverted boyfriend just pulled up in his Trans-Am,” tweeted UsWeekly contributor, Wendi Aarons, capturing the mood of the transition.

    That about sums it up for me.

    Obama may have been set up to fail, but he will still go down in history as one of the nation’s great presidents.

    In the end, in spite of–and because of–the GOP’s despicable tactics, Obama comes out the victor. The dignity he brought to the office and the respect he earned the world over is immeasurable.

    He was an uplifting figure and beacon of hope in a world filled with petty despots like Russian president Vladimir Putin and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. Ironically, Trump looks up to both of them.

    I’m not saying I support every choice our outgoing President has made. I differ with him on many issues, and I think he’s made some major mistakes.

    It took him six-and-half years to realize the GOP was not interested in working with him. He let the big banks off the hook following the 2008 financial meltdown and he refused to prosecute George W. Bush and, or at least Dick Cheney, for war crimes over their phony reasons for invading Iraq.

    Obama appointed a Monsanto executive to oversee the Food and Drug Administration and, so far at least, has refused to pardon Edward Snowden, who exposed massive, illegal domestic spying by the government.

    But in light of the opposition he’s faced at every turn, looking back, it’s amazing he was able to do what he’s done for health care, the economy and the environment.

    And, he got Osama bin Laden. Did I mention that?

    Now, we’re saddled with Mr. National Embarrassment and his Legion of Doom, otherwise known as his cabinet picks.

    They include:

    — A racist to head the Justice Department;

    –Goldman Sachs plunderers to guide the economy;

    — A jingoistic general to head the Defense Department;

    — A climate change denier to head the Environmental Protection Agency;

    — A leader of the anti-parks movement to head the Interior Department;

    — A public education wrecker to head the Education Department

    — And a Secretary of State nominee who is known as the Attila the Hun of rapacious oil moguls.

    By all accounts, Trump is proceeding to steer us straight into an oncoming iceberg–an iceberg so massive you can see it from Jersey.

    As it is, Trump has already upended our long-standing relationship with Europe, undermined the NATO alliance, turned our largest trading partner–China–from a friend to a foe and cozied up to Russia for God knows what reasons–money, sex, blackmail–take your pick.

    In light of that, Democrats in Congress owe Trump no less than the same lack of courtesy, partisanship and disrespect that Republicans showed Obama. In short, they need to do everything they can to insure Trump is a one-term president.

    Nothing less than the fate of the nation and the free world hang in the balance.

    Sure they may provoke Trump’s wrath and cause him to take out his displaced aggression on some hapless Third World country. “Who can we bomb? I need to bomb someone! I’m in charge here and I say we bomb someone!”

    But that’s all the more reason to reign him in. Hopefully a few reasonable Republicans are left in Congress who value American independence, world stability and peace more than the Kremlin-loving president-elect.

    After all, if we’ve learned one thing at this point, it’s that Trump’s ability to handle stress gracefully is about as absent as I was from physics class my senior year.

    So, as we watch our awesome “Dad” head on down the driveway for the last time, never to return, and prepare for the mess that is Mom’s new boyfriend, we, the kids, must now make every effort to stick together and refuse to allow this douchebag to hurt mom, in any way.

    It won’t be easy, but, for the foreseeable future, we seem to be stuck with the jerk. Fuzzy dice and all.