Obama and the pirates

The US Navy’s rescue of an American ship captain being held by Somali pirates– in which three pirates were killed by SEAL snipers and a fourth captured– is welcome news indeed, and testament to the dedication and skill of the rescuers.

But I agree with Marc Ambinder that it says absolutely nothing about President Obama. Instead it says plenty about the highly partisan nature of politics, at least among a hard core on both sides; and about the way presidents are so often credited or blamed for things they had little or nothing to do with.

Obama approved the use of necessary force to save the life of the American hostage. Which president wouldn’t have done the same? (OK, Dennis Kucinich, maybe, though he never stood a chance in the primaries.) But is this really, as The Washington Post headlined, “An Early Military Victory for Obama”? Suppose one of the snipers’ aim had been slightly off, and he had killed the hostage, and the pirates managed to escape. Would that have been an early military defeat for Obama?

Sunday’s events make those who portray Obama as a wimp when it comes to keeping Americans safe and secure look ridiculous, but that’s nothing new.

And speaking of ridiculous, check out some of the comments from the hyper-partisans (pro- and anti-Obama) at Politico. (I assume it’s much the same at other websites.) This one– I’m pretty sure it’s not a parody– wins the prize:

The sad fact is that probably everyone of the brave Navy Seals who did the rescue are Republicans. Could you imagine a limp wristed Democrat shooting a pirate, and no “butt pirates” don’t count.

Comments of this generous nature were unfortunately rare:

Although I do disagree with alot of President Obama’s actions, I am glad to see that he was able to step up and allow the military to take the proper action against these pirates.

I hope that in the real world, such attitudes are more prevalent.