Wednesday, December 2, 2009
I have listened and read a lot of different opinions about the President's speech and Afghan strategy last night, but so far noe of them have mentioned explicitly that this was the first real sign of leadership and sacrifive we have seen from him. For me at least, he started earning back some of the respect that he had completely lost by June.
Because it was very gutsy and showed that he does have the ability to make the type of hard, unpopular decisions Bush made. For that I give him credit and hope to see more of this spine and backbone in the future. Yes, it took too long to make, but he has already been criticized by his most ardent supporters for giving in and doing it in the presence of "the enemy." Chris Matthews has somehow managed to suddenly leave Olberman in the dust...
But I digress. Obama actually did the right thing and listened to his generals rather than to his base. This is the first real bipartisan moment of his presidency. Yes, he made the strategic blunder Chris Matthews rightly identified of telling the REAL enemy (get a clue Chris) when they can expect us to pack up and leave. But Obama also left the door open to staying.
The worst criticism came from Der Spiegel (I thought Obama was popular in Europe?). To be sure, Gabor Steingart delivers the beatdown in a way the would make Krauthammer proud. But most of the substantial criticism is strategic and realpolitik stuff I agree with. There is also the incredible dishonesty of blaming Bush, shifting blame, and then implementing the same Bush surge that he voted against! Talk about low and despicable... But at least he is doing it. For 18 months. The student body president made his first baby steps towards being the real President.
Posted by Sk8 Punk at 9:10 AM