Even as information comes our showing Obama’s hesitation in the run-up to Sunday’s successful operation to kill Osama bin Laden and as the White House bungles in providing that information, the fact remains that the operation succeeded. And that President Obama gave it the go-ahead. While many people contributed to its success, most notably Navy SEALs, the president deserves a great deal of credit. And I for one am hesitant to criticize him on this — or other matters — at present.
Let this be a moment of national unity when we all rejoice that the man who declared war on the United States first in 1996 and then again in 1998 has, thanks to our men at arms, lost the ability to declare war on anyone. I agree with Allahpundit that it’s “fitting” for the president to visit Ground Zero on Thursday to “mark Bin Laden’s demise by paying his respects on the public’s behalf. And if that respect-paying just so happens to produce a 24-karat photo op for his upcoming campaign, well, that’s his reward for icing the man Americans hate most.”
That blogger eminds us that the immediate past president would likely have
. . . have done the same thing and, yes, unquestionably, the left would have screeched about “politicization,” but I would have taken his side then so I’ll take The One’s side now. So much goodwill has he earned in the last 24 hours, in fact, that not only are Republican leaders congratulating him but even — gasp — Donald Trump is patting him on the back.
The President of the United States should be allowed to get some political capital out of his accomplishments. And yet when a Republican does it, we see the mainstream media castigate him for politicizing national security or whatnot. Recall how back in 2004, when then-President George W. Bush released his first ad, the media went apoplectic that he used an image from 9/11 — as if it were blasphemy, violating some sacred compact, to show that good man’s determination in the face of attack.
Instead of castigating Obama, however, many in the media will make his decision to go-ahead with this operation the defining moment of his administration.
Let me stress, Barack Obama got this one right. And he deserves his victory lap. As do all politicians with similar accomplishments.
ADDENDUM: Our reader Heliotrope offers a classy gesture the president could make, “Obama is going to visit Ground Zero on Thursday. It would be appropriate to invite GW Bush to accompany him.”
UPDATE: Looks like the president did as Heliotrope suggested and his predecessor declined:
Former President George W. Bush has turned down President Barack Obama’s invitation to join him at ground zero on Thursday, citing his desire to avoid the media glare.
“President Bush appreciated the invite, but has chosen in his post-presidency to remain largely out of the spotlight,” Bush spokesman David Sherzer told POLITICO in an email Tuesday night. “He continues to celebrate with all Americans this important victory in the war on terror.”
Classy move on both men’s parts. Obama to include Bush. Bush to stay home so as not to upstage the incumbent. (Via Weasel Zippers via a friend’s Facebook).
UP-UPDATE: An Instapundit reader offers an alternative explanation: “Maybe Bush didn’t want to be dissed in person, the way Obama sandbagged the Supremes last year and Ryan this year.” Ace offers a similar explanation: “Bush Declines, Deciding He’ll Pass On The Level of Courtesy and Respect Obama Showed Paul Ryan:
And the Supreme Court, of course.
Yes, come on down, and sit mutely as as President Obama insults you repeatedly while controlling the microphone and camera.
UP-UP-UPDATE: Allahpundit offers two explanations:
One: Bush recognizes that this is, more or less, an Obama campaign commercial and would rather not be part of it. Two: Bush doesn’t want to encroach on the singular role that Obama, as president, should rightly have in leading the ceremonies marking Bin Laden’s demise. Given how gracious Dubya has been in retirement, does anyone doubt that the second explanation is correct?
Needless to say, it was also gracious of The One to invite him.