Osama Bin Laden is dead. While you night think this is a great day for your country, it is actually the worst day ever for Republicans, as evidenced by the nasty, desperate, vitriolic and bitter commentary they are dumping all over the interwebs.
Right wingers are out in full force trying to deny that President Obama did something their guy did not do. No matter what they write, say or spew, or how difficult it is for them to get over the burning sting of bitterness eating away at their ids, the truth is that the Republican meme about being tough on national security has been a joke ever since Bush ignored the warnings of an attack, but today, it is not even a joke. It is a distant memory. President Obama joins just a handful of Presidents with top notch national security and anti-terrorism cred now. This bears repeating because it is true and because it is the one thing the trolls do not want you to say. So say it again.
As an example of right wing bitterness, Sarah Palin only managed to eek out congratulations to the military, showing that once again she has no idea what just happened or how it happened and once again, she is too eaten alive by jealousy of the President to bother pretending to be an American even now (yes, dear, that was a dig at your AIP affiliations. You said you wanted to play, no?). But why would we think she would change her tune and suddenly side with her country, when she has spent the last 2 years ginning up hate against her President, often on foreign soil and military bases. Way to go, Sarah. Right behind her is Rush Limbaugh, who is currently chocking on his own hubris and hatred for his country. Who wants Osama if the meanie who won the election gets him? Heavens knows where Trump and the rest of the clown show is, but if the Republican statements are any indication of how today will go, it seems the Republicans love them some George Bush when Obama does good things.
We’re not allowed to blame poor Georgie for the economy or the wars, but he can take credit for getting Osama because revisionism is all the GOP has now. Have pity, people. They just lost their only claim to fame; they are no longer the national security daddies. And it doesn’t help that the right loves winners. They can’t stand it when they are the losers and they can’t comprehend it when the other side wins. It isn’t just poor sportsmanship, it’s wired in the DNA to worship success and spit on failure. The authoritarians do not broker failure well. Imagine their feelings of loss and defeat today when you recall that Dick Cheney has been pounding away at the Obama administration like a daddy to his child from his bunker at Fox News, “They are very much giving up that center of attention and focus that’s required,” said former Vice President Dick Cheney in March 2009. Yes, Dick knows how to capture Bin Laden, so his opinions on the matter should be given great weight. Please ignore the fact that he never managed to do it.
Daddy beats them when they fail, so there’s a lot at stake here, which explains the rabidness of their attacks. However, we should not be in the business of catering to the lowest common denominator; and so, tough love and reality are the only coping strategies we can embrace unless we chose to bend over again, which didn’t turn out so well the last few times. It’s always best to set limits with the children, early on and sternly.
The capture of Osama was a victory of both US Intelligence and military intelligence implemented by Navy SEALs and CIA paramilitary forces, all coordinated by a rather genius President. You will note this was not exactly the procedure advocated by the former President, but then, as soon as I wrote intelligence, I assumed you knew that.
Here is a quick primer in dealing with the right’s bitterness today:
1) They will lectures you not to politicize terrorism. You write, “So, you’re flip flopping from when Bush blamed Clinton for not getting Bin Laden? Oh, and by the way, President Obama got Osama.” (Never let them steer the topic away from the very thing they are trying to avoid.)
2) Righties suggest we can’t be sure Osama is dead. You say, “You asked us to believe Sarah Palin had a brain against all evidence. I’m willing to go with the President here and assume that he and the CIA know more about what they’re doing than you do, since you keep steering us wrong. Oh, and President Obama got Osama Bin Laden.” (If you must respond to a troll, make it hurt. Always bring up something they do not want to have mentioned and follow it up with the narrative they are most trying to avoid. After all, they wouldn’t be trolling if they weren’t trying to reframe the debate.)
3) The bitter right will snark that Obama is mourning the death of his “brother” Osama. You say, “Wow, that’s big of you to admit that he loves his country so much that he would kill his own brother to defend the USA, which is more than I can say for any Republican. Just what was Bush’s excuse for not going after Bin Laden? Oh, that’s right, he said he wasn’t concerned about him. Oh, and by the way, Obama got Osama.” (Handy link to the video of Bush saying he wasn’t concerned about Bin Laden. You might be feeling petty right now, but remember, you are dealing with paid trolls with the mindset of being out to disrupt the dialogue and equilibrium and most especially, the narrative. Even trolls don’t like being mocked lightly.)
4) The Fox News watching set will say that Obama shouldn’t be trying to take credit for this and they bend over backwards to pretend like they care about the troops. They may say he “snubbed” Bush and has “no class” (you know how the repeat everything their masters tell them). You say, “God Bless Our troops. If only Bush had cared about getting Osama way back after 9/11, eh? But then, we tried it your way and it didn’t work so the President decided to use intelligence and look where that got us. Shocking, I know! Would you prefer we keep giving Bush credit for things he didn’t do, just to make you feel better, sort of like oh, gee, I dunno, an handicap or reparations for Bush’s failures? Oh, and by the way, Obama got Osama.” (Remember not to go back and follow up with the troll; you are engaging in hit and run here, not dialogue. A troll is never up for dialogue. Your intention is to hit them hard, bring up the issue they want to avoid, and reiterate reality.)
5) Desperately, they will state that Obama was only following Bush’s lead. You say, “Technically, Bush was following Clinton’s lead on trying to find Osama, and he had 8 years to do it but failed. Luckily we elected a smart guy who got him in 2. Oh, and by the way, Obama got Osama.” (You can always begin any of these with “Bless your bitter little heart, honey.” or “Bless George Bush’s failed presidency.”)
You may consider following any of the above with “How’s that tough on national security thingy working out for y’all?” if you’re feeling particularly Dixie Chick revengey. Do remember that you are not engaging in intelligent debate and the point of this is to have a phrase that sticks, not 608 points of truth. You know facts are of no interest to them so don’t waste your time. Save facts for debates on Democratic Underground and Balloon Juice. After all, if you’re dealing with a troll of this level, you are not among reasonable peers.
Yes, it is OK to feel proud of this and yes, it is OK to gloat a bit. They want to shame you into not being proud, but we know better than to let the right wing set the agenda for this country. Do remember what Bush and Republicans said about Clinton not getting Osama and do remember that for 10 years plus, they have been calling Democrats unpatriotic and weak. Think of Max Clelland and John Kerry being swiftboated and remember, it was a lie and never again. Be proud, and own this moment. You fought hard to get someone smart in the White House. This is why.
Remember that no matter what they say, they know they lost this one and it’s a big one, so don’t allow yourself to argue with them past point a. They are only trying to bring you down and draw you in so they can destroy whatever moment of unity and justice our great country is enjoying right now. You know how the Republicans hate joy and hope. It gives the people ideas, after all.
So live it up, people.
We must give a huge thank you to our President, our troops, Navy SEALs and CIA paramilitary forces, both the military and CIA intelligence and our allies. Oh, and I’d like to thank those Republicans who are able to join the country in her celebration and feel pride in their President, even though they may not agree with him on many things. Only truly despicable people are unable to give a pat on the back where it is deserved, where it has been earned. And if they can’t do that, we must ask them, why? The only excuse is irrational hatred and we’ve had enough of that. In fact, I believe we just buried the poster boy for irrational hatred.
Would the right like to become even more irrelevant or would they care to join the human race on this occasion, put aside their junior high primers and lock Sarah Palin away from Twitter for long enough for us all to have one day without their irrational bitterness and hatred overcoming any love they might have for this country? Join us if you can be pleasant and leave the festering wounds of your pierced narcissism at home, the water is warm and the view is great.
This is, after all, a victory for America and we haven’t had many of them for far too long. There’s no reason to let the killjoys ruin it just because they insist on seeing everything as a win/lose scenario and if they can’t take credit for it, they must deny it. In all seriousness, if we can’t deal in truths, we will never be able to properly assess what works and what doesn’t work. And in this case, the approach that the President and the CIA took was perilous and risky. If it failed, we would never hear the end of how Obama is Jimmy Carter — but it worked. We give credit where it is due or we are not worth taking seriously. Anyone who cannot do that has an agenda other than the truth.
* A note: In an article on Operation New Dawn, I credited President Bush as having began the strategy that President Obama continued implementing with success in Iraq. I would credit him here if he had been a part of this operation’s strategy, but he was not.