Matt Lewis

Praise where it is due

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor

Barack Obama has been a bad president; our 9.1 percent unemployment rate proves it. But when it comes to killing terrorists, pirates, and dictators — he is remarkably efficient.

For this, he deserves credit.

(At this point, I suspect some readers are apoplectic, because — “It was the Navy Seals — not Obama — who killed bin Laden!” This is obviously true. But he ordered it. And while he was too slow to impose a no-fly zone, he ultimately gave the order to do so. And today, the dictator Moammar Gadhafi is dead.)

There are other caveats: Like everything else, this was a team effort. Just as George W. Bush’s administration deserves some credit for the killing of bin Laden, they deserve much credit for persuading Gadhafi to give up his nuclear program (a Gadhafi with nukes would be a Gadhafi who is still in power). And, of course, it goes without saying the death of Gadhafi will not magically turn Libya into a flowering democracy.

Still, Obama is at the helm – this happened on his watch — and the accomplishments in this area are impressive. But my suspicion is that some are reluctant to give him any credit. Andrew Sullivan made an interesting observation about this when he blogged: “To rid the world of Osama bin Laden, Anwar al-Awlaki and Moammar Qaddafi within six months: if Obama were a Republican, he’d be on Mount Rushmore by now.”

I’m not sure about that. Still, when it comes to taking out the bad guys, so far, Obama has established a pretty impressive track record. And that is no small thing.