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Let the president do what he does best

July 22, 2014 at 2:22 a.m.


Editor, the Advocate:

President Obama has been criticized for attending fundraisers after the U.S. Consulate was attacked in Libya, during the flood of illegal children immigrants on the Mexican border and right after the Russians downed the Malaysian airliner. I disagree with the criticism. Obama is good at raising funds; he does it better than anyone I can remember.

Some of these same critics blame him for ineffective leadership, pointing at his failure to secure a status of forces agreement when he retreated from Iraq, for being indecisive in Syria, for failing to back allies like Japan and the Philippines and Israel, for being out maneuvered by Putin in Ukraine, for failing to secure our own border and for weakening our armed forces. Again, the criticism is misplaced. Being commander in chief is not Obama's strength; foreign affairs is not his strength.

Other critics point at the Internal Revenue Service scandals and the exposure of incompetence in veteran affairs. They point to the dismally slow recovery of the economy from the Great Recession. Administration is not Obama's strength, either.

How can partisan critics overlook the president's efforts to deliver universal health care, to raise the minimum wage, to pay for women's birth control pills, to pay unemployed people to wait until they find the perfect job or to qualify for disability? Faced with these important priorities, how can anyone expect President Obama to be distracted by events in the Middle East, Chinese aggression in the Pacific or even the flood of illegal immigrants through our border with Mexico?

Let the man do what he does best. Why should we expect him to muddle in events he does not understand and for which he has no solutions?

Jim Stokes, Victoria

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