Bin Laden death reax: The shameless and stupid

posted at 6:15 pm on May 2, 2011 by Karl

Last night’s announcement that the US had killed Osama bin Laden was a night for all Americans to feel some measure of victory — or joy that justice had been done, or relief, or closure, or sober reflection on the past near-decade of war, or some complex combination of those feelings.

But for some Americans, the news was a signal to lapse into simple partisan hackery. Don’t get me wrong. Bin Laden’s death will have some partisan political impact, and it is the job of some to discuss it. And the 24/7 news cycle churns ever faster in the age of social media. Obviously, people are going to start raising the topic today. Yet there remains something disturbing about the mentality that leaps immediately to partisan politics upon hearing war news.

Michelle Malkin notes a couple of examples of this mentality. The crass college kids chanting “Yes, we can!” and “Four more years!” outside the White House might almost be excused their immaturity from relative youth, but DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz — who overtly demanded credit for Pres. Obama — and Rep. Gary Ackerman — who twice commented that this is the “mission accomplished” moment Pres. Bush “fantasized” about –really ought to be old enough to know better.

The childish “mission accomplished” jab was by no means limited to Ackerman. ThinkProgress, run and funded by the top echelons of the Democratic Party, was tweeting it during or just after Pres. Obama’s announcement. Prominent lefty blogger Atrios beat them to it. For TNR’s self-confessed Bush-hater Jonathan Chait, it was downright personal: “May 1: Hitler dead, OBL dead, Jonathan Chait born. Bush tried to ruin my b-day w/Mission Accomplished photo-op, but failed.” Chait makes the subtext of the “mission accomplished” jabs explicit, reminding us how many on the left were angry over the idea of “mission accomplished” in 2003 and how happy they were to oversimplify Pres. Bush’s speech that day (which spoke of the “difficult work” left to do in pacifying parts of Iraq, hunting down Saddam’s regime, and transitioning to a democracy) to inflict political damage on the war effort during the insurgency in Iraq. That’s why the immediate reaction of FireDogLake’s Marcy Wheeler was: “In 2006, when they got Zarqawi, I had to remind the nutters on the plane celebrating that OBL was the guy we were REALLY after.” Her co-blogger, David Dayen, reached further back for his dig: “Was GHW Bush sitting with a member of the bin Laden family this time too?”

Although I already mentioned ThinkProgress (and alluded to the Center for American Progress that runs it), one of its star bloggers, Matt Yglesias, deserves special mention for at least blatantly announcing that he was engaging in “some political point scoring.” It deserves that mention in part because Yglesias has previously entertained the idea that John Ashcroft was a bigger threat than bin Laden and even yesterday suggested that bin Laden was not a big deal in his “serious” take on the news, except as a pretext for pulling out of Afghanistan. It’s also worth noting that at least a couple of the commenters to his point-scoring post were seemingly uncomfortable with how narrow and cheap Yglesias was. One can imagine that the reaction of the typical swing voter to the atttitude of people like Yglesias, Markos Moulitsas and Michael Moore is even worse. The left is lucky that independents likely won’t see this infantile behavior directly.

These leftosphere reactions are ultimately as stupid as they are shameless. For example, Bill Sher (of HuffPo and OurFuture) can snark: “Middle East democracy and Al Qaeda: two things President Obama took more seriously than President Bush,” which will come as news to the Iranians and Egyptians. Grist magazine’s David Roberts gloated: “We booted the cowboy and elected a black, liberal urbanite, and he’s the one who tracked down the bad guy. It’s just too, too delicious.” How does that look in light of the news that the intelligence ultimately leading to bin Laden’s death came from the harsh interrogation of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Abu Faraj al-Libi? Indeed, what does it do for any progressive’s credibility to be cheering a unilateral, targeted assassination? Do they think that in Pakistan and other countries, Pres. Obama isn’t looking a lot like Sheriff Bart? The lefties highlighting the fact that Obama said during the 2008 campaign he would conduct such an operation — and criticizing Sens. Hillary Clinton and John McCain for disagreeing — are now siding with people like Andrew McCarthy, which is fine by me, but the blatant hackery involved should be embarrassing to the left.

Scraping the bottom of the barrel of stupid, however, is Peter Daou (Internet guru to the Kerry and Hillary Clinton campaigns) and Dave Weigel (fmr. JournoLister and current Slate blogger). Daou’s instant reaction: “That giant sucking sound? The air coming out of the entire GOP field tonight.” Weigel asked, “So, uh, who wants to run against this guy?”, suggesting the job would be left to Buddy Roemer. Nate Silver may have joined in the instant political pile-on, but was at least smart enough to notice that winning the first part of the Gulf War didn’t propel Pres. George H.W. Bush to reelection in 1992. That election turned instead on the economy and the deficit… which sounds awfully similar to today.

Of course, not everyone on the left was this crass. The Nation’s Ari Melber tweeted this morning: “Political experts are analyzing Obama’s “Osama Bounce” – proof that being a politico can warp your brain & your heart.” Moreover, I am sure that examples of kneejerk shamelessness can be found on the right. However, MoJo’s David Corn went looking for them and turned up a handful of blog commenters and a milblogger I never heard of — which may be why Corn stooped to lumping them in with angry jihadis. Corn apparently found no pundit as prominent as people like Chait, Kos, Moore, Yglesias, Sher, Roberts, Daou or Weigel — something for which the right can be proud.


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Malkin should probably keep quiet. She mocked Obama when he suggested doing exactly what was done this weekend.

The far Right needs to police its own stupidity first.

lexhamfox on May 2, 2011 at 8:18 PM

What I think, though, about the Obama pronouncements as to the OBL takedown is that he’s a very, very nasty and bitter little power-hungry guy (and I’m referring to Obama) (while OBL is/was evil and hideous, I think that’s well agreed upon by now by most).

Obama SHOULD HAVE and very easily COULD HAVE made a speech with AT LEAST a few words in gratitude and appreciation for former President Bush about the means by which OBL was “found” and rooted out.

Yet Obama went before the world and pronounced “I” and “me” numerous times and blatantly said he’d “organized” the plan/the operation…I mean, talk about a dictator and a crazy person! Would it have been so difficult for Obama to so much as praise the military, particularly the Navy Seals, and to acknowledge that former President Bush’s practices (Gitmo, interrogations, Patriot Act) had more to do with eventually “resolving” the OBL situation than anything else?

And the Seals could very easily have performed the entire operation without Obama trying to claim he’s some Seal expert now.

Lourdes on May 2, 2011 at 8:20 PM

The far Right needs to police its own stupidity first.

lexhamfox on May 2, 2011 at 8:18 PM

Yeah, agreed.

Lourdes on May 2, 2011 at 8:21 PM

Let’s pull out of Afghanistan NOW and stop all funding to Pakistan. Isn’t that what you liberals have been screaming about for years?

Timothy S. Carlson on May 2, 2011 at 6:23 PM

It’s what Hamas wants, I can tell you that much.

Lourdes on May 2, 2011 at 8:22 PM

The Commander in Chief did the job that needed to be done. He did it well, end of story.

All this he said, she said is garbage.

harry on May 2, 2011 at 8:27 PM

I bet he is laughing his ass off from hell.

HalJordan on May 2, 2011 at 6:22 PM

I doubt seriously that Obama is laughing. My guess is he has now realized what a waste of life he was.

I’m thinking instead of laughter there is weeping and knashing of teeth. And deep deep shame.

petunia on May 2, 2011 at 8:32 PM

The Commander in Chief did the job that needed to be done. He did it well, end of story.

All this he said, she said is garbage.

harry on May 2, 2011 at 8:27 PM

No, he did not. Even HRH Prince William had the manners enough to pause after his grand wedding and say, “well done, all” to the “employees” of Buckingham Palace. And he’s not even King.

Obama, not King, of course (thank Heaven for that), didn’t even have the composure adequate enough to include a minor thanks to the Seals and to President Bush (as I’ve already explained).

And I’ll never believe that Mr. Obama somehow sprouted Seal-Intelligence and Know-How adequate enough to have organized the run into Pakistan to get OBL. He may THINK he did all that, but he didn’t.

No, he didn’t perform as Commander, he performed as an insecure guy in great need of gargantuan praise for which he doesn’t merit realistically.

Lourdes on May 2, 2011 at 8:35 PM

Just a quick historical reminder. In April 1980, Carter greenlighted Eagle Claw–which was at least as daring an operation as this raid. Ironically, the obstacle that led to mission failure at Desert One was the loss of air assets, the exact obstacle that was overcome in this mission. God bless the Delta boys and other servicemen who had The Guts To Try in rescuing American hostages, but our success yesterday speaks volumes at how far our Special Operations capabilities have come in 30+ years.

My point? Greenlighting Eagle Claw was a ballsy move by Jimmy Carter… but does anyone here think he would have been re-elected had it succeeded?

Regardless of our Commander in Chief, I view this mission as a vindication of the guys who flew out into the Iranian desert in 1980. Here’s to the Operators.
/soapbox

hungrymongo on May 2, 2011 at 8:36 PM

The far Right needs to police its own stupidity first.

Do you choose not to read what you comment on, or do you lack the ability to read? You have long since demonstrated your stupidity here.

Jaibones on May 2, 2011 at 8:37 PM

harry on May 2, 2011 at 8:27 PM

The one Senator who voiced angry opposition to the Patriot Act (including to Gitmo) was then-Senator Barack Obama. And now look how his pitiful ego has profited from the Patriot Act, Gitmo and just about every policy and practice that former President Bush set into motion (also Rumsfeld, not to omit him).

Obama was cheap, CHEAP, in avoiding an acknowledgement to former President Bush and why, AND in emphasizing his own self to such a degree that it overshadowed the actual talent involved and responsible.

Lourdes on May 2, 2011 at 8:38 PM

The far Right needs to police its own stupidity first.

Do you choose not to read what you comment on, or do you lack the ability to read? You have long since demonstrated your stupidity here.

Jaibones on May 2, 2011 at 8:37 PM

I’m not familiar with that original poster (quote, above) (which I also responded to), but I took that point as the Right needing to cease ratting on it’s own and to try to quiet those who do so.

Which I agree with.

Lourdes on May 2, 2011 at 8:40 PM

You’ve never heard of Blackfive?

disa on May 2, 2011 at 8:10 PM

Oh, I’ve heard of Blackfive, but Corn only quoted a commenter there. The actual milblogger whose tweets Corn quoted I had not heard of.

Karl on May 2, 2011 at 8:50 PM

1. The goofy kid chose the right option the military put in front of him. He deserves credit for that.
2. Yes, he will now win in 2012 because the Left has no core nor principle that will stand in the way of siezing power and holding it; they will vote for him no matter what he does. They are joyful becuase they now have reason to think the Independents will come back to O, not because they approve of the action.
3. Hillary is pi$$ed. Obama had a great week; found the missing birth certificate and killed Osama. So much for the insurrection she was hoping for within the party.
4. It’s clear to me that even if Obama had been beaten in 2012 it would make no difference at all. The economy, at long last, is doomed. The nation can’t pay the Chinese or the retirees. Amazingly, even the Rs talk as if they have a plan to find $99 TRILLION to fund our obligations.
5. Costa Rica, Switzerland. Check them out. They have their faults, but on balance you can survive there in old age better than you will here.

FalseProfit on May 2, 2011 at 9:12 PM

It has long been a custom for Arab leaders to give an address (in Arabic), then present “prepared remarks” to the Arab and English press agencies that were 180 degrees opposed.

How fitting it would be if the same tradition were carried forward to Osama’s funeral:

“Here’s to a complete scumbag”

“who is surely destined for hell.”

“May he suffer torments everlasting”

“where each second is as traumatic as the sum of all of his thousands of victims’ last moments, simultaneously.”

cthulhu on May 2, 2011 at 9:58 PM

Oops. Well, that was surely destined for tag purgatory. Let’s try that, again.

It has long been a custom for Arab leaders to give an address (in Arabic), then present “prepared remarks” to the Arab and English press agencies that were 180 degrees opposed.

How fitting it would be if the same tradition were carried forward to Osama’s funeral:

“Here’s to a complete scumbag”
/May Allah preserve our brother/

“who is surely destined for hell.”
/and forgive him of his weaknesses./

“May he suffer torments everlasting”
/He shall pass into Paradise/

“where each second is as traumatic as the sum of all of his thousands of victims’ last moments, simultaneously.”
/and be greeted with *er* raisins?/

cthulhu on May 2, 2011 at 10:00 PM

There’s a good possibility that the left’s ugly and intense political freak show over this will blow up in their faces. Most of the people shouting “U-S-A!” aren’t doing it out of partisan venom.

The left’s conduct now will be remembered in the months and years to come as events are digested and people won’t look back on it with respect or good will. I say let ‘em show who they are.

Django on May 2, 2011 at 10:00 PM

lexhamfox on May 2, 2011 at 8:18 PM

Gander, meet goose. The sauce is waiting.

gitarfan on May 2, 2011 at 10:55 PM

As always, the first casualty of war - and politics, is truth.

OldEnglish on May 2, 2011 at 11:17 PM

It’s just too, too delicious.”

That’s just so, so gay. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

yubley on May 2, 2011 at 11:27 PM

The far Right needs to police its own stupidity first.

lexhamfox on May 2, 2011 at 8:18 PM

Yeah, agreed.

Lourdes

I’ll take Moby for $200, Alex.

chimney sweep on May 2, 2011 at 11:46 PM

Obama doesn’t know what the word ‘we’ or ‘us’ means.

DANEgerus on May 3, 2011 at 12:21 AM

Here’s one more, from the over-wrought Mark Morford (who called Obama a “light-bringer” in 2008.)

YehuditTX on May 3, 2011 at 12:45 AM

Let’s pull out of Afghanistan NOW and stop all funding to Pakistan. Isn’t that what you liberals have been screaming about for years?

Timothy S. Carlson on May 2, 2011 at 6:23 PM

It’s what Hamas wants, I can tell you that much.

Lourdes on May 2, 2011 at 8:22 PM

It’s what the Taliban want too.

YehuditTX on May 3, 2011 at 12:47 AM

This reminds me of Chris Rock’s routine about… errrr…. Certain Types of African Americans vs Certain Other Types of African Americans.

Rock mentions that one thing he hates about “them” is that they always want credit for SOMETHING THEY’RE SUPPOSED TO DO.

Well, the president is SUPPOSED to give the order to hunt down and kill people like bin Laden. Props to him for not being a complete sissy when it came time to make a decision, but then again the president is SUPPOSED to not be a complete sissy when it comes time to make decisions like this. Anything less would have been a dereliction of duty.

So again, credit to Obama for clearing the bar, but let’s not lose sight of exactly where the bar is set.

greggriffith on May 3, 2011 at 1:15 AM

I give credit for doing the job a president should do. And he did it well. Well done Mr. President. You made the right call.

However, he has a big problem the people around him don’t recognize; he’s a sore winner. The WHCD is an example, and the days before that. Obama doesn’t know how to win graciously, and while it doesn’t matter to his supporters, it’s not his supporters that are going to elect him, it’s the 20% in the middle.

Whatever you feel about Trump, he exposed a flinty side to Obama that made him the darling again with his acolytes. However, instead of taking his victory and showing a little noblesse oblige, he showed a juvenile need to do a little nose-thumbing.

His talking-down to a citizen about gas prices and the birther story that could have easily been diffused a long time ago expose a personality that has difficulty in admitting mistakes and a need for ad-hominen attacks. It will be interesting to see how this latest success translates into presidential acumen. Will independents finally have enough of the sneer in his voice? Time will tell.

itsspideyman on May 3, 2011 at 3:00 AM

So again, credit to Obama for clearing the bar, but let’s not lose sight of exactly where the bar is set.

greggriffith on May 3, 2011 at 1:15 AM

Zactly! Can’t see the bar? Look down…kick some dirt away, it’s there. This is why people like Trump are taken more seriously than they merit (BTW, I like Trump’s bitch-slapping of Obama, but I won’t vote to make him my president). Any low-grade moron couldn’t do worse than Duh Won, so anyone looks attractive by comparison.

SKYFOX on May 3, 2011 at 6:21 AM

Give Obama credit for one thing, he showed some decisiveness on this issue. SInce it’s really not in his character, I’d love to see the whole time-line, but that can wait.

Now, he will be a formidable candidate if he can find a way to be this decisive on the economy. Alas, he appears to be much more ideological on that, which will be his undoing.

bflat879 on May 3, 2011 at 7:59 AM

When Skipy Gates was asked for ID, he accused the investigating officer of being a racist and told him he had “no idea who he was messing with.”

Obama took the exact same tact with the birth certificate.

Gates Obama told the officer America that he was being targeted because “I’m a black man in America.”

Same old, same old.

Obama did the right thing Sunday (possibly forced into actions by Wikileaks), but once again he just can’t get that chip off his shoulder when he opens his mouth. Bush and the Navy Seals deserved to have been lauded Sunday night.

OBL is dead. Yay. All in all (energy, jobs, economy, health care, csars, debt, deficit, etc.), Obama is still a weak and divisive president and needs to be defeated in 2012.

Fallon on May 3, 2011 at 8:40 AM

I have also learned that Pave Lows and Pave Hawks were in orbit in support – thankfully not needed.

We hear that OBL was afforded a washing of his body before burial at sea, one can only fantasize said “washing” was done with a firehose.

PJ Emeritus on May 3, 2011 at 8:48 AM

We hear that OBL was afforded a washing of his body before burial at sea, one can only fantasize said “washing” was done with a firehose.

PJ Emeritus on May 3, 2011 at 8:48 AM

firehose?….no, no….washed/pissed on while lying on the flight deck surrounded by SEALS. That’s a better fantasy.

Renee on May 3, 2011 at 10:36 AM

The far Right needs to police its own stupidity first.

lexhamfox on May 2, 2011 at 8:18 PM

So the right must police all it’s stupidity before saying anything; but the left should get to speak? So you basically are looking to silence half any debate or discussion by attributing different rules to the two sides?

I’m not surprised; I’d just like you to clarify that you’re looking to apply different rules with the express goal of silencing conservatives.

gekkobear on May 3, 2011 at 2:45 PM

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