We previously discussed the unease that many of us felt with the celebrations that occurred over the killing of Bin Laden and the later use of the killing to bolster the Obama campaign. This discomfort increased recently with an Obama commercial that unfairly suggested that Governor Mitt Romney would not have ordered the operation to go forward. Just in case anyone thought that was a tasteless and baseless campaign pitch by an overzealous Obama aide, the President himself just reaffirmed that message in a press conference with the Prime Minister of Japan this afternoon. It appears that, while the Administration will again bar the release of photos to the media and the public of the operation, they are eager to drag the body of Bin Laden behind the presidential limo to every possible campaign stop.
Recently, Vice President Joe Biden called the President’s ordering the operation as the most audacious plan in 500 years — apparently dwarfing Washington’s crossing of the Delaware and a number of other minor skirmishes. The thrust of these comments is that the President was the brave one to risk the political fallout of an unsuccessful operation.
We previously saw a squabble between Bush and Obama on who can claim part of the scalp of Bin Laden. It is clear that the President has decided to abandon his promise not to engage in excessive celebration or self-aggrandizement over the killing. I suppose there is now regret in the White House that they decide to forgo the taxidermist option in favor of the ocean disposal.
In the press conference, Obama seemed eager to suggest that Romney doesn’t have the guts to kill people, even our most hated enemies.
“I’d just recommend that everybody take a look at people’s previous statements in terms of whether they thought it was appropriate to go into Pakistan and to take out bin Laden. I assume that people meant what they said when they said it. And that’s been at least my practice. I said that I would go after bin Laden if we had a clear shot at him–and I did. If there are others who have said one thing and now suggest they would do something else, then I’d go ahead and let them explain it.
I suppose that explanation will now trigger a contest on how more willing each man is to order killings like some natural-born killer. With Obama recently claiming the right to kill citizens on his sole authority, that could be a dangerous race to the bottom. Romney is already insisting that he would have ordered the same killing.
Former and current Seal members criticized the President for using the operation in a political ad. Here is the commercial that ran in the last week:
The concerted attack appears to be based on Romney’s statement in 2007 that he believe that it was “not worth moving heaven and earth … just trying to catch one person.” That was a reasonable statement and one that many in the military appeared to agree with.
The use of the killing of Bin Laden as a campaign trophy is as unfair to Romney, unseemly of Obama, and unbecoming to the presidency. The President’s remarks this afternoon should be condemned by every citizen regardless of party affiliation.
Here is the press conference: