Obama 2012: Taking Credit Where Credit Isn’t Due

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May 2, 2011 was a pretty good day. The U.S. military and intelligence community managed to nail down a solid location on al-Qaida mastermind and erectile dysfunction sufferer Osama bin Laden. U.S. Navy SEALs swooped down in a daring raid and punched bin Laden’s ticket to the underworld.

Following the SEALs’ successful return, President Barack Obama did what any President would have done under the circumstances. Informed of the operators’ successful visit to paydirt, Obama spiked the ball.

Following Obama’s obligatory speech, Democratic Party mouthpieces from The New York Times to Bill Maher hailed him as a latter-day amalgam of George Washington and George Patton. The White House even released a photograph of Obama and close advisers watching the operation unfold. Although it never achieved the iconic status of images of President Ronald Reagan at the Berlin Wall or President Bill Clinton getting handsy with Monica Lewinsky, I certainly remember how the photo looked to me: Obama tried to look imposing while wondering if the first lady left any burritos in the mess. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton mused to herself on how she would have done it better. A couple of senior military officers maintained their composure while answering stupid questions from Obama underbosses who wouldn’t know an MP5 from an MP3. And Vice President Joe Biden probably thought he was watching an ad for “Call of Duty 9: Killin’ Stuff is Uber-Kewl!”

But Obama sat in the big chair that day, so he got to put on his big-President pants and strut. After all, show me a politician who hasn’t jumped into the frame during the military’s success, and I’ll show you Cynthia McKinney. Obama spiked the ball, waved to the crowd and did the political version of a touchdown dance. Hardly groundbreaking stuff.

However, the subsequent celebration was somewhat more muted than might have been expected. Americans were struggling against the tide of economic, moral and societal trials and tribulations as severe as any since the “malaise” of the Jimmy Carter Presidency — if not the Great Depression. It’s fairly hard to focus on Presidential puppy-love when one of his chief economic advisers just shipped your paycheck to China (we’re looking at you, General Electric Co. honcho and Obama crony Jeff Immelt). And Obama’s waffling between appeasing Islamofascism and trying to portray himself as a wartime hero left citizens scratching their heads.

Fast-forward one year. Obama is off on a rather transparently timed “Osama: Still Dead” tour. The corporate media’s incestuous relationship with the Democrats has progressed beyond the usual fawning and now includes cuddle time with the President in what used to be a secure White House Situation Room, Beyonce and Jay-Z’s visit notwithstanding. And the tens of millions of Americans whose lives have dramatically worsened since Obama clawed his way into the White House realize that Obama’s celebratory reprise is like the water boy taking credit for the quarterback’s prowess on the field a year after the game ended.

Unfortunately, Obama hasn’t stopped at simply digging up bin Laden’s corpse for another photo op.  He has also questioned whether his political opponents share his resolve.  A recent Obama campaign video implies Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney would have backed off giving the go order on executing bin Laden, a crass electioneering ploy by a President without a record on which he can run. Furthermore, Obama’s implication that Romney lacks the stones to infect bin Laden with terminal “SEAL-itis” is sillier than a Martin Bashir monologue. I suspect most people to the right of Dennis Kucinich’s alien overlords would have green-lit the bin Laden execution.

A number of current and former Navy SEALs have decried Obama’s attempt to turn them into electoral “ammunition.” The mere fact that some of them have suggested they’re annoyated by Obama’s wanna-be grandstanding is noteworthy in and of itself.  Even liberal mouthpiece Arianna Huffington wandered off the Democratic reservation, calling Obama’s gross politicization of the bin Laden execution “despicable.”

Perhaps Obama should concentrate on running on his own record of executive accomplishment, his economic successes, his societal improvements and the unity his Administration has delivered unto the Nation and the world. And let’s not forget his announcement of another decade-long commitment to maintain (not his) boots on the ground in Afghanistan. On second thought, perhaps he should keep campaigning on the SEALs record.

–Ben Crystal

Personal Liberty

Ben Crystal

is a 1993 graduate of Davidson College and has burned the better part of the last two decades getting over the damage done by modern-day higher education. He now lives in Savannah, Ga., where he has hosted an award-winning radio talk show and been featured as a political analyst for television. Currently a principal at Saltymoss Productions—a media company specializing in concept television and campaign production, speechwriting and media strategy—Ben has written numerous articles on the subjects of municipal authoritarianism, the economic fallacy of sin taxes and analyses of congressional abuses of power.

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