Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Oh No He Didn't

Republicans are all a-pantybunched over the fact that President Obama has "politicized" the killing of bin Laden. So, matter of fact, are some liberals. Being a moderate, I'm somewhere between agreeing with them and thinking it's "fair game," as President Cheney so famously said about Valerie Plame.

As with everything else he does, with the possible exception of breathing, Rs jumped on Obama's claim, before he became president, that if he had the information, he'd cross a border to get the guy. Rominee was among those snorting at the very idea; now, of course, he's saying he'd have done the same thing. (Given his recent taking credit for the auto-bailout he decried for years, it's surprising he's not claiming to have been on Seal Team Six.) But that's not really the point. Here's the point:

Having come up snake eyes, beginning with Tora Bora and continuing for the rest of his presidency, George Bush famously announced he was 1) not that interested in finding bin Laden, and 2) disbanding the special unit tasked with doing it. Moves that, had Barack Hussein Obama made them, the entire force of the right-wing scream machine and their highly mobilized tinfoil hat brigade would have seen as tantamount not just to surrender but to announcing his membership in al Queda. Can anyone doubt it?

Yet, against the odds and risking major embarrassment, shortly after taking office -- and very publicly -- President Obama announced that he'd directed the CIA to redouble its efforts and to make finding OBL a top priority. He went so far as to state, unequivocally, that he would find him. So, yeah: whereas maybe Rominee would have given the go-ahead despite the uncertainties and risk of sending in the team (and his previous statements to the contrary), it's pretty unlikely he'd have had the intelligence (choose your meaning) in the first place. Because it's highly doubtful, given his tendency to take his finger out of his ass and put it into the wind, he'd have made the public commitment Obama did way back when.

So I don't think it's wrong for our president to take credit for the outcome: when he didn't have to, he made the decision to focus again on finding bin Laden, and he succeeded. (And, no, it wasn't Bush's illegal torture regime that led to it.) Then, he made a pretty tough call to drop the hammer.

I'll agree, though, that the ad which roused the ire was heavy-handed. He could have highlighted both the decision to re-engage in looking, and the one to okay the raid, without implying (correctly, probably) that Mittens Rominee wouldn't have made the call. And, as usual, without the slightest sense of irony, Rominee shows his disgust with Obama's politicization of the event, by politicizing it!!

[Update: having written the above a few days ago, and having time to read a couple of opinion pieces like this and this, I'm starting to think what the hell. After all, if Bush had gotten him, he'd still be walking around with his hand in his pants. Right? Bottom line: it's another in an uncountable list of examples of Rs criticizing Ds for doing exactly what they've been doing.]

[Updated update: Naturally, The Daily Show says it best.]


Frank Drackman said...

Kum_bah-Yah, M'lord, Kum-bah-yah...
Oops just tryin to fit in, its a kindler-gentler Frank.
And I know I'm banned, but I couldn't resist.
But I did follow your link, the Reuters one, interesting.
But I must have got the edited version, cause Reuters left out the tough interogation of DOD/Director of Central Intelligence Leon Panetta, who said
"Whether we would have gotten the same information through other approaches I think is always gonna be an open question"


Anonymous said...

On the other hand Sid, I think that Frank's "Contributions" are intended as general "Shit on the Wall" (SOTW) background noise designed to distract readers from serious discussion and consideration.

RWS strategy, like all totalitarian strategy, is aimed at poisoning the atmosphere of all political discussion.

No matter what the topic, they attempt to inject false comparisons, half truths, faux outrage and outright lies to create confusion and despair that divides the body politic and turns one group against another.

That is why republicans don't care if their own party is degraded by their actions - their intent is to degrade all government - so when they take office, they use official power to create distrust of political institutions. Government is the enemy, and republicans intend to prove that.

The end game of this SOTW ploy is to create conditions where republicans may ride to power again in the company of a "Man on a White Horse" a savior, a Fuhrer who will "Make America Stand Tall Again" a man who will crush our enemies and awe our friends - whatever the cost to the country and our people.

Because, to republicans, it matters not in the least that people lose their jobs, their homes, lack health care, the means to be secure in old age; the point is, (and most important of all) that citizens lose their self respect and the will to resist unrestrained corporate plunder. A cowed and despairing population is easily manipulated; that is the ultimate vision republicans have for America.

As you said Sid it is a difficult decision. I think you are right to consider the full impact of his blabbering.


Anonymous said...

I just knew Frank would weigh in on this one. - JM

Marc Young said...

Your blog title caught my eye, however I’m unsure of your definition of through.


1.From one side of an opening to the other. I went through the window.
2.Entering, then later exiting. I drove through the town at top speed without looking left or right.
3.Surrounded by (while moving). We slogged through the mud for hours before turning back and giving up.
4.By means of. This team believes in winning through intimidation.

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