Sunday, October 23, 2011

Obama gets the bad guys. Will he get the votes?

President Obama is quite efficient when he doesn't have to deal with Republican obstructionism. He didn't have to go to Congress to get permission to take out Osama bin Laden, Anwar al-Awlaki and other al Qaeda associates. When it comes to foreign affairs, the President is piling up mounting successes, and Moammar Gadhafi's death is further vindication of Obama's style of warfare.

Now Obama has announced the end of the war in Iraq, with all troops returning home by the end of the year. This is a popular move in an election year, and of course the Republicans are accusing Obama of playing politics. Although the political dividends are probably insignificant, being overshadowed by the economy, Obama can at least take credit for bringing this $1 trillion war that was one of the worst foreign policy blunders to an end. It should be remembered that Obama's opponents in 2008, including Hillary Clinton, had all voted to authorize the Iraq war in 2002. Obama was opposed to this war from the beginning.

Presidents can pretty much carry out foreign policy without congressional approval. The President has wide latitude in declaring war and other matters of national security. Although the Constitution says otherwise, the President does what he wants anyway. Imagine a protracted fight with Republicans in Congress about the best method of tracking down bin Laden. Obama's method worked just fine, even though members of his staff had warned him that such a strike was too risky. If he had failed, Obama's political career would have been toast. He took the courageous course. It worked, and the rest is history.

I can only imagine how much Obama could accomplish if he handled domestic issues the same as he handles matters of war. The Founding Fathers had a reason for making sure that there was a balance of power, but they couldn't have foreseen the insanity of what passes for politics today. As for the economic impact of the war, the Obama style of sending in drones instead of troops seems to be working, and at a relatively cheap price. And did we really need to spend $1 trillion in Iraq? Conservatives don't want to admit that this type of spending is what got us into this economic mess in the first place.

We paid a steep price in Iraq. There is no justification for the cost, not just financial, but in lives lost and troops injured. In the case of Gadhafi, a NATO warplane or U.S. drone is believed to have fired on his convoy outside his hometown of Sirte, allowing rebel fighters to capture him. “In this case, America spent $2 billion total and didn't lose a single life,” said Vice President Joe Biden. “This is more the prescription for how to deal with the world as we go forward than it has been in the past.”

Obama's foreign policy successes cannot be overlooked, no matter how hard his Republican detractors try to twist and distort the facts. But Obama's chances in 2012 hinge largely on the economy. Although the Republicans want him to be perceived as inept and lacking experience, it's hard not to blame our current economic problems on the complete lack of cooperation from the likes of John Boehner, Eric Cantor and the idiocy of the Tea Party movement.

Even though the focus of the next election will be on the economy, the Republican candidates will look pretty silly as they continue to label Obama weak on national security. Obama's solid leadership in foreign affairs may not be the biggest re-election topic, but it could be enough to put him over the top, given the weakness and utter lack of intelligence of the opposition. Compared to Obama, the GOP candidates look like contestants on “The Price Is Right”, only without the funny hats.


  1. Good analyis. The last line says it all!

  2. The economy will be #1 on the minds of voters in the 2012 election, but Obama has proved he is a solid leader if he's given the chance to lead. The case made here that the Republicans are obstructing the process is common knowledge and is gaining momentum among voters, especially the Independent voters, who will be needed if Obama is to be reelected. The Republican candidates have indeed looked silly trying to show Obama weak on foriegn policy.

  3. The Republicans wouldn't give Obama credit for doing anything. If the unemployment rate was at 2% they would blame him for something else. If the deficit was balanced, I'm sure there would be something else to blame Obama for. A good example is Obamacare. Every time Obama tries to do something, the Republcans oppose him. So it makes sense (but is appauling) when crowds at the debates applaud Ron Paul when he talks about letting a person without health insurance die. Obama brings the troops back from Iraq, but the Republicans are remembered for booing a gay soldier.

    On foreign policy, it is OK to disagree with Obama's strategy, but after what's happened, it does make the Republicans look silly by calling him weak. The election is a long way off, so anything can happen, but the steady leadership Obama has shown in foriegn affairs can only help him.

  4. Yes! I agree. Those crazy Republicans...

  5. Obama got Bin Laden at great political risk. He's continued to take out the bad guys. If you're a terrorist, you should be on notice. Obama means business. He's one dude you don't want to mess with.

  6. they should fire congress and save the money...give the president more powers.

  7. The fact that Herman Cain is leading the GOP polls is enough evidence that the Republican party is having problems. The GOP establishment of course wants Romney, but the Tea Party movement split the party into the right and the extreme right.

    The winner of the GOP primaries will probably not be Cain, and since Perry is making outlandish comments (just recently he brought back the supposedly settled birth control issue), Romney will probably end up as the candidate by default.

    Since many in the Republican party are not happy with Romney, this fact will come back to haunt them in the election. When he was governor of Massachusetts, he got a lot done, but since a lot of it was in line with Obama's policies, he now has to campaign against his own record. That will be a problem, no matter how bad the economy.

  8. you call that good leadership? obama can't get anything done...yes its the economy, and we're worse off than we were, by a lot... Obama sits in the white house and takes credit for getting Gadafi? It was the Libyans, and then they executed hinm...I don't think that's how we're supposed to do it in America,

  9. The possiblity of the GOP controlling the House and Senate is reason enough to vote for Obama in 2012.

    The economy will be a major factor in the presidential election, but Obama advisors are currently working on ways to keep the public aware of his success in fighting terrorism. The Obama campaign will have enough money for ads, so I bet they will play up the steady leadership that Obama shows when given the opertunity.

    It is interesting to think what things would be like if Obama didn't have to get congressional approval to pass important legislation. The economy would be in much better shape, and I doubt there would have been an S&P downgrade.

  10. I totally agree, however Herman Cain does wear silly hats on occasion...His 999 plan is incredibly simple-minded and favors the rich. Romney is a flip-flopper, Perry a stupid George Bush, etc. etc. on down the list of candidates... The debate performances are comedic and lacking any substance. This is Obama's race to lose.

  11. Obama bypassed Congress to make more loans available to homeowners with distressed mortgages. He's helping college students who graduate with enormous debt. Obama is doing what he can to help the people who really need it. He wanted to do more with health care, but the Republicans make it nearly impossible to get major legislation through. His foreign policy success can't be denied, and he can't really be blamed for the economy, so if the voters are paying any attention, I think Obama will win by a large margin in 2012.