May 6, 2011
If only for a brief and fleeting instant, it appeared the country came together this week with the news of Osama bin Laden's death. Even if we don't know exactly what it means in terms of bin Laden's role as a fading memory, American's seemed genuinely relieved. My neighbor, who grew up in The Bronx and was a steel worker on the World Trade Center buildings in the early 1960s, smiled uninhibitedly as he summed up many people's feeling, "We finally got the bastard."
But within a few hours, the voracious beast that has become the 24/7 news machine had already begun to pick at the seems of unison. How much credit should President Obama get in this successful mission? There is a guaranteed wedge issue right off the bat.
"NONE!" cry the Righties, including another old friend who almost had a heart attack from shouting online. Give all the credit to the brave Navy Seals, but Obama shouldn't get any because he hates the military and he hates America!
OBAMA's a hero! smirks the other side. He was perfectly presidential in his role as commander-in-chief. George W. Bush had eight years to get bin Laden and couldn't do it. This is a perfect example of why he ranks near the top in the pantheon of great presidents.
Really people. Does everything have to be political. Obama did what he was supposed to do as head of the military in this case. The military operation worked as planned, to near perfection. But that isn't a political issue, that's a military one. Obama isn't a hero in this case, but he did his job. That's what we should expect of the president. End of story. Not everything should be political.
Can the two sides please move on to something important, and get past grinding the minute details of how this echos out into the presidential polls, the election in 2012, the economy, etc.? Just stop.
Besides, if you are looking for a story, look at what the federal government has taken control over, and how much it grew while bin Laden's image kept us all in fear. It's possible that Bush & Co. felt like bin Laden was doing them a service by hiding out alive. Now there's a story no one has talked about much.