Thursday, October 20, 2011

Muammar Qaddafi is Dead, Obama Isn't a Loser, and Other Stories

Qaddafi was weird, bad weird.

Muammar Qaddafi is dead. How he died remains unclear for now. But dead he is and his brutal regime with it.

I had just read an Andrew Sullivan post on the successes of Obama when I heard the news about Qaddafi. Not long after, David Ignatius of the Washington Post had an Op-Ed piece up on how Obama had made good decisions on Libya. The combination of praise for Obama was interesting. Here's some of Ignatius:
What was good about President Obama’s cautious, back-seat approach to Libya was that it denied Gaddafi the final apocalyptic confrontation with the United States he craved. Sorry, Moammar, but America was just part of a NATO coalition this time. Indeed, the denouement in Libya has been a good argument for halfway measures (or at least, half-visible ones).
This was an instance in which Mr. Cool had it pretty much right. Obama saw that a “no-fly zone” wouldn’t be enough and lobbied for tougher U.N. language authorizing “all necessary measures” to protect the Libyan people. But he opted for limited U.S. involvement, front-loaded in the first week, and under the protective cover of NATO and the Arab League.
Obama deliberately kept the United States in the background even when critics began howling for a show of American “leadership.” And most important, he was patient through the summer, rejecting the counsel of those who argued that he must escalate U.S. military intervention to break the stalemate or, alternatively, bail out.
...Obama took a lot of shots on the way to Thursday’s symbolic end of the Libya campaign. But it seems fair to say that his vision of opposing Gaddafi through a broad, international coalition — in which other nations share the burden, for a change — worked out pretty well.
 Nobody, least of all me, wants death and destruction (okay, maybe some people do), but I was happy with the way this use of NATO air power turned out. The justification for me was that it was meant to reduce the loss of civilian lives at the hands of  Quaddafi.

Next up, Andrew Sullivan (quoting one of his readers):
The truth is that this President has done a good job in what has been one of the most difficult periods of modern history. He saved the economy from ruin (until the Tea Party took over Congress) with a stimulus that was as large as possible given the political realities, presided over a stock market that fairly quickly recouped many of its losses, presided over almost consecutive monthly increases in private sector job growth (unfortunately balanced by monthly decreases in public sector jobs which I attribute to the GOP further starving government), enacted the only meaningful healthcare reform ever in our history, passed financial reform (no matter what the Left says, he did this), saved the auto industry (which Romney is on record opposing), fired the first salvo of the Arab Spring with his address in Cairo no less, drawn down our footprint in Iraq in a responsible way (and headed toward almost total withdrawal), stopped numerous terrorist attacks in this country, stopped torture as policy, repealed DADT, joined the international community in a measured and responsible way to bring down an odious tyrant in Qaddafi, and killed a whole generation of al Qaeda leaders. And taking out Osama bin Laden the way he did will go down as one of the bravest military actions in American history.
Dude, go after some white-collar criminals already.
 Again, I agree wholeheartedly. However, I am one of those on the Left who have problems with Obama. I don't like his Justice Department, with Eric Holder being soft on  bankers and Bush's torture regime, and Justice takes the wrong side on most Supreme Court cases. Having said that, reading the above list of Obama's actual accomplishments is actually quite impressive. So kudos to Obama. I do wish he had better messaging control. Maybe the coming election year will force him to kick some butt. I'd really like to see him not say, "This is something that both Democrats and Republicans can agree on." That's just not happening, and it's better to say, "The Republicans want to take your money and give it to the rich, starting with your Social Security, and then your Medicare, and then who knows what they'll want next, but they will want it."

Let's face it: Barack Obama's post-partisan world has turned out to be the Most. Partisan. Ever.

Hey, for fun let's agree with Obama today. Nah!

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