No doubt, very few of those who voted for Barack Obama in 2008 anticipated that the high point of his administration would be the extra-judicial killing of a terrorist leader by a team of Navy SEALs. This, as our involvement in Iraq winds down on the Bush administration's timetable, the war in Afghanistan has been stepped up, and a third conflict in Libya has been commenced. But for the Democrats, any port in a storm: they are happy to celebrate victories wherever they can find them.
Michael Ramirez questions whether such celebration is appropriate, given the other crises that beset us, most of them worsened if not created by the Obama administration's policies:
Actually, I think it was appropriate to celebrate bin Laden's death, and I did celebrate it. It was a beautifully executed mission by our armed forces that grew out of fine intelligence work in which our professionals persisted, with the support of our government and the American people, for nearly a decade. If that isn't worth celebrating, what is?
Still, one wonders whether it is appropriate for President Obama to politicize the event as much as he has. He is like a drowning man grabbing hold of a life raft. That is understandable; when a politician is down in the polls and a good break comes along, who can blame him for trying to make the most of it?
One is, nevertheless, struck by the rapturous manner in which the liberal press has applauded Obama's role in the mission. To take just a few examples: Barbara Walters, on The View--I know, but lots of women watch it, for some reason--gushed over the "courage, and the guts, and the coolness" that President Obama showed in approving the assassination of bin Laden. "It was enormously, enormously courageous," Walters assured her viewers.
MSNBC called the bin Laden mission a "game changer," and said it "makes all the other issues -- Trump, the birth certificate, even the substantive debate over the debt ceiling -- seem small by comparison..." Really? What a revelation! All this time, the Left thought that that the REAL issue that confronts us, and makes everything else insignificant by comparison, is the threat of Islamic terrorism! Who knew?
And then we have Doris Kearns Goodwin: "This professor had guts."
All of this praise is due to the fact that Obama approved, rather than nixing, the killing of bin Laden. A good decision, to be sure. But is there a single person, anywhere, who doubts that George W. Bush would have made the same call? Or John McCain, if he had won in 2008? Of course not. The Democrats' jubilation results from the fact that their guy didn't wilt under pressure, but rather lived up to the standard that George W. Bush and John McCain easily met. For this, he is called "courageous" and "gutsy."
One wonders: if killing bin Laden was a courageous, gutsy decision by Barack Obama, where were the liberals when President Bush approved the killing of Zarqawi? Do you remember any of them praising that decision as courageous and "game changing?" No, neither do I. Or how about the apprehension of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed? How many congratulations did that skillfully-executed operation draw from the Left? And how about Bush's decision to topple, and then capture, Saddam Hussein, one of America's bitterest enemies, whose forces tried to shoot down American airplanes and who attempted to assassinate a former American President? Was that a courageous and gutsy decision? We all know the answer to that question.
What we are currently witnessing is the strange spectacle of liberals trying to grab, for their guy, a mantle neither he nor they ever sought: cold-blooded assassin of anti-American terrorists. This has nothing to do with their true values and priorities, and everything to do with the fact that Obama's economic policies have put him in a deep hole as he seeks re-election next year.