There’s been much talk of how Obama has “spiked the football” by utilizing the death of Osama Bin Laden for political gain in a campaign ad. John McCain has even gone so far as to cast shame on Obama for politicizing the event:
This is the same President who said, after bin Laden was dead, that we shouldn’t ‘spike the ball’ after the touchdown. And now Barack Obama is not only trying to score political points by invoking Osama bin Laden, he is doing a shameless end-zone dance to help himself get reelected.
This is empty bluster. The Obama campaign’s use of Osama Bin Laden’s death for political gain is quite possibly the most predictable politicization of a policy decision at any time in recent history. Does anyone seriously believe that a Republican president would not have used OBL’s death for political gain had one been sitting in office when OBL was killed? Such doubts beggar one’s sense of reason.
More importantly, this is coming from the same party that has invoked the tragedy of 9/11 for political gain so many times that it became a joke on Family Guy. The same party who has been silent in the face of the unrepentant widespread profiteering thereof, which has occurred in the decade since, and even in the immediate aftermath:
Within minutes of the tragedy, Web entrepreneurs snatched up internet domain names like attackonamerica.com, later demanding prices that reportedly reached $75,000. A month after the attacks, Columbia Records rushed to market a compilation of patriotic songs called “God Bless America,” selling more than a million copies. More recently, a Port Chester mint has been hawking coins allegedly made of silver recovered from Ground Zero… A few days after the attacks…more than a dozen vendors [were] selling hats, t-shirts and photos outside Ground Zero.
I cannot take any of these people seriously. Not for a moment. Is it craven for Obama to politicize the death of Osama Bin Laden for political gain? Sure it is. But no more or less craven than using the memory of 9/11 to scare voters into voting Republican, or to paint dissenters of any stripe as unpatriotic. The Democrats are hardly innocent on this front (particularly since 2008). But I’d be hard pressed to say that there’s anything resembling parity when it comes to these sort of shameless appeals; particularly when they come from utterly ridiculous quarters.
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- jgreendc said: At least he isn’t running on “changing politics” this cycle. I like the new, straightforward Obama
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