Today is a new world, and as any Republican recognizes in this post-bin Laden world, there is a need for a new reality to assert itself. Osama bin Laden is dead, and a Republican president is not responsible for it. Instead, a black man did it, a man who many Republicans and Tea Partiers do not even consider a Christian, let alone an American. Here we have a black man – let me reiterate that – a black man, accused of being a jihadist himself, a man said to be a Muslim born in Kenya, an “anti-colonialist” Kenyan according to Newt Gingrich – and he, not President Bush, killed Osama bin Laden.
Let’s say that again: President Barack Obama killed Osama bin Laden.
No, he didn’t go to that compound north of Islamabad and pull the trigger himself, but he’s the guy on whose watch the event took place. He is the one who ordered and gave the final OK to the operation that killed the al Qaeda leader. Just as the leader is ultimately responsible for any failures, so is he ultimately responsible for any successes which take place on his watch.
Let’s look at this again:
On President George W. Bush’s watch, the Twin Towers of the WTC, the Pentagon, and Flight 93, were attacked by al Qaeda terrorists. Thousands died. Bush responded by invading Iraq, a country which had nothing to do with the 9/11 attack, a country he had been planning to invade before 9/11 even took place. Hundreds of thousands have died; millions have become refugees. Osama bin Laden escaped again and again.
On President Barack Obama’s watch, the mastermind of that operation, a man who had declared war on the United States before 9/11 and had made his intentions abundantly clear to all but George W. Bush and his administration, was killed.
And the best President Bush can do is say he never really wanted bin Laden in the first place.
Yes, it’s time for a new reality.
The Republican presidential hopefuls for 2012 aren’t much more helpful. Only one of them can bring himself to mention President Obama’s name, and that is Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty:
“This is terrific news for freedom and justice. In the hours after the 9/11 attacks, President Bush promised that America would bring Osama bin Laden to justice – and we did. I want to congratulate America’s armed forces and President Obama for a job well done.”
Mitt Romney almost gets there: he does at least mention the president:
“This is a great victory for lovers of freedom and justice everywhere. Congratulations to our intelligence community, our military and the president. My thoughts are with the families of Osama bin Laden’s many thousands of victims, and the brave servicemen and women who have laid down their lives in pursuit of this murderous terrorist.”
But he doesn’t name him. Sarah Palin can’t even mention that a president had anything to do with the operation:
“Americans tonight are united in celebration and gratitude. God bless all the brave men and women in our military and our intelligence services who contributed to carrying out the successful mission to bring bin Laden to justice and who laid the groundwork over the years to make this victory possible. It’s a testament to the hard work and dedication of these brave Americans who relentlessly hunted down our enemy.
This is a victory for the American people, for the victims who were heartlessly murdered on September 11 and in Al Qaeda’s other numerous attacks, and for all the peace-loving people of the world.
May God bless our troops and our intelligence services, and God bless America!”
Hell, you’d almost think she was responsible. You wouldn’t know from her words that she wasn’t. She sure can’t credit President Obama, whom she just accused of stealing the 2008 election.
Mike Huckabee is the most warlike of all, as you would expect. For him this is all Old Testament stuff:
“It is unusual to celebrate a death, but today Americans and decent people the world over cheer the news that madman, murderer and terrorist Osama Bin Laden is dead … Welcome to hell, bin Laden. Let us all hope that his demise will serve notice to Islamic radicals the world over that the United States will be relentless is tracking down and terminating those who would inflict terror, mayhem and death on any of our citizens.”
But again, no mention of President Obama’s role. We can’t have that. People will remember that on Election Day 2012. Time to create a reality in which Osama bin Laden is killed by the United States but in which President Obama is excised from any relationship with the operation. For the Republicans, American troops or the “intelligent services” did this – Obama is almost nowhere to be found.
Never mind that under Bush our intelligence services couldn’t find their backsides with both hands.
Rich Santorum thinks it’s just a dandy event but he’s not about to name the hated Muslim mastermind in the White House.
“This is extraordinary news for all freedom loving people of the world, and I commend all those involved for this historic triumph. Americans have waited nearly 10 years for the news of Osama bin Laden’s death. And while this is a very significant objective that cannot be minimized, the threat from Jihadism does not die with bin Laden.”
And of course, we can’t forget Michele Bachmann:
“Tonight’s news does not bring back the lives of the thousands of innocent people who were killed that day by Osama bin Laden’s horrific plan, and it does not end the threat posed by terrorists, but it is my hope that this is the beginning of the end of Sharia-compliant terrorism.”
Bachmann in particular seems to want to leave things more open-ended, in case she can turn this to her later advantage.
So there we have the groundwork for the new post-bin Laden Republican reality. A dead bin Laden and an almost or altogether absent President Obama. We can only imagine that as this Republican reality develops, President Obama will either disappear altogether or killing bin Laden will turn out to be the worst thing we could have done and they will all deny they said it was a good idea. They can’t afford to let reality spin out of their control with the most important election in American history coming up.