Collective closure of our national 9/11 wound has finally come to America, as President Obama announced that the US military has killed, and is in possession of the body of Osama Bin Laden.
In the years since 9/11, Republicans have run campaigns at all levels on the terrorism issue. They sold America on the belief that since 9/11 happened on their watch, they were the party that was most fit to deal with the threat of terrorism. Republicans still would frequently try to paint Barack Obama as making the United States less secure, and the President as soft on terrorism.
With the death of Osama Bin Laden at the President’s order, all of that changes. The death of Osama Bin Laden is a cathartic moment for nation has never forgotten the horrific events of 9/11, but when the CIA took out Bin Laden on Obama’s order it did something else. It shattered the conventions of post 9/11 politics.
Obama has destroyed the GOP’s tough on terror talking point. George W. Bush may have swaggered and told the nation that Bin Laden was wanted dead or alive, but it was the calmer, less flashy Obama who actually got the job done.
Republicans have already started their dual spin campaign of saying that this should not be about either party while at the same time trying to credit Bush for Bin Laden’s demise. The truth is that the Republican Party under the leadership of George W. Bush helped to keep Bin Laden alive, by giving up on hunting him down and instead adventuring off into Iraq.
In 2008 John McCain vowed to pursue Bin Laden to the ends of the earth, but it was Barack Obama who made sure that there was no escape for one of history’s most famous mass murders. For years Republicans told us that Bin Laden was hidden in cave. They made us think that Osama Bin Laden was a master of disguise. They sold us an image of a man who could not be found or caught.
None of it was true.
Bin Laden wasn’t in a remote cave. He was in a mansion in Pakistan. We didn’t have to use our entire military to get him. A CIA team did the trick.
Barack Obama did what the Republicans couldn’t, wouldn’t, or didn’t do. He avenged 9/11, and delivered the ultimate justice to Osama Bin Laden.
A Republican field that had a slim chance of beating Obama in 2012 will now have to try to convince the American people that the president who killed Osama Bin Laden does not deserve a second term.
Who could have guessed that the biggest beneficiary of the Republicans’ political 9/11 dog whistle would be Barack Obama?
For the rest of human history when the story of 9/11 is told after pictures of that tragic day are shown, the face and words of America’s first African-American president will be forever etched into history as they announce the death of Osama Bin Laden.
Politically, everything has changed.
Barack Obama will now and forever be known as the president who got Osama Bin Laden.