Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Credit Worthy

We have been so eager to criticize the President, and to question his capacity to lead, that we lose sight of his accomplishments.

As we watch the last moments of the 42 year reign of Muammar el-Qaddafi and wait to see where the future of Libya lies, there is scant praise for the decision of the President that helped avoid a massacre and precipitate the transition of power.

In an America weakened by its economic crisis at home, and wearied from a decade of fighting 2 wars on foreign soil, the President chose to send us in to Libya for limited, but definite purposes. With cries that he had overstepped his authority, or that his actions were either too little or too late, we entered the fray. And then we stepped back and took a secondary role, merely part of a joint effort to liberate.

So too, several months ago the President faced a decision on making fragile relations with Pakistan even more fragile. He took out Osama Bin Laden under cover of darkness and in the midst of a foreign country who was our theoretical ally in the battle against terrorism. If the mission had failed, the President would surely have faced enormous backlash at home. Even with success, collateral damage with Pakistan was a certainty.

The President made the hard decisions without seeking cover. And, in the bright light of hindsight, who can question what he did?

Certainly, tomorrow will be another day of domestic turmoil The President will be seen as ineffectual for trying to meet the Republican demands, for not pursuing his own agenda strenuously and for failing to figure out how to beat the other side if you can't join them. And all of these issues are legitimate and real, even as some of the problem may lay not with the President himself but with a system of checks and balances that is out of control.

But when we call Obama soft and indecisive let's step back for a brief moment and look at what he has accomplished when free of the shackles that bind him at home. For once, let's give credit where credit is due.


Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, those trying to meake him a 'one termer' will do everything to beat him down and make people think that he has had no real accomplishments; that he personally took the country back to the worst times in a century. PB

Anonymous said...

Thomas Friedman hit the nail on the head today. He has shown weakness, and the GOP, like sharks, are after the kill. Indeed, he has had a few successes, but where are the speeches trumping them?