The complaints from Republicans about President Obama having the temerity to pom-pom his greatest accomplishment — the killing of Osama bin Laden — is a bit much to take. So much so that I worked myself into paralysis over saying anything. Leave it to Mike Lupica at the New York Daily News to write exactly what I’ve been thinking.
Listen: You don’t have to line up with Obama on health care or the stimulus program or bailing out the automobile industry. You can talk about how he hasn’t done enough about jobs, about the deficit, about him making the talk-show rounds. You can line up with all the bullhorn media yahoos obsessed with getting Obama out of office, and all the deep-pocket donors who will spend any amount of money to make sure that happens in November.
But the idea that this President isn’t allowed to remind people that nearly 10 years after Bin Laden killed nearly 3,000 of our own in New York and tried to blow up lower Manhattan it was his — Obama’s — order that finally took the guy out is plain stupid, even for a smart guy like John McCain.
Last Friday, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) slapped the president for a video featuring former President Bill Clinton praising Obama for his decision to take out bin Laden.
Shame on Barack Obama for diminishing the memory of September 11th and the killing of Osama bin Laden by turning it into a cheap political attack ad. This is the same President who once criticized Hillary Clinton for invoking bin Laden ‘to score political points.’
This is the same President who said, after bin Laden was dead, that we shouldn’t ‘spike the ball’ after the touchdown. And now Barack Obama is not only trying to score political points by invoking Osama bin Laden, he is doing a shameless end-zone dance to help himself get reelected.
No one disputes that the President deserves credit for ordering the raid, but to politicize it in this way is the height of hypocrisy.
And yet Lupica is right to hit back at McCain by asking where was the 2008 Republican presidential nominee’s outrage over President George W. Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” stunt in 2003. That’s the one where Bush donned a flight suit, landed on an aircraft carrier anchored and then announced that “the United States and our allies have prevailed” in the war in Iraq with a giant “Mission Accomplished” banner behind him.
McCain went on to criticize folks in the Obama camp for questioning whether Mitt Romney would have been as decisive in going after bin Laden. Here I don’t blame him. I’ve said it once. I’ll say it a thousand times: Never question whether the man or woman running for the privilege of sitting in the Oval Office has the strength to protect the United States.
But when it comes to Obama crowing about a crowning achievement such as the killing of bin Laden, the president is well within his right. As Lupica rightly points out, “[I]magine what the cheering from the other side would have been like if it had been Bush who made the call on Bin Laden.”