Tea party member says give Obama credit

May 10, 2011

I sighed when I read J. Nelson's letter ("Obama using bin Laden's death for political purposes," May 10). The accusation that President Obama is politicizing the death of Bin Laden is absurd. The president is a politician, and thus every act in an official capacity is political in some respect. It has been this way since George Washington's time. Since we all know this, then the accusation can't really mean that it's politicized, but rather something else, such as perhaps that the president shouldn't mention it after the fact because it gives him some sort of unfair advantage politically to do so or maybe even that he wouldn't have done it if he didn't think there was political gain in it for him.

I don't think any sane American would conclude that the president would allow bin Laden to run around free, taking pot shots at the United States, targeting places like Washington where the president's children go to school. So, if that's not it, then it seems to boil down to a petty squabble over who gets the bragging rights for the kill. Sure, President Bush did some things that helped us find him, but I'm not about to begrudge President Obama taking credit, and neither should anyone else.

It's been two and a half years since George W. Bush left office, and I'm sure there were plenty of opportunities along the way for the president to let the chase for Bin Laden wane and fade away. There are plenty of other places around the world that could use the resources the president deployed along the Pakistani border. He didn't pull them out, he didn't stop the chase, and he and the men who take their orders from him got bin Laden. That's not politics, that's being a president.

Look, I'm a tea partier, and I'll ridicule the president's fiscal policies all day long, but if we don't give credit where credit is due, then we lose credibility in the political debate. How can we not allow the president some leeway to boast a little of a kill that probably saved American lives? Why don't we all just concede that even if the president is in the political party we don't support he could do some good things? If we did that, then maybe when we have a legitimate complaint, it will resound a little more.

Fred Pasek, Frederick

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