The criticisms coming from the GOP are, of course, completely hypocritical and disingenuous given that their decade of craven use of 9/11 to push for war, win elections, and browbeat dissent stopped just short of literally clubbing opponents with 9/11 widows. But I try my best not to fall victim to the election season strain of Partisan Civil Liberties Disorder in which we ignore things the Democrat does wrong because WHAT DO YOU WANT REPUBLICANS TO WIN?!
If John McCain had won the election, killed Bin Laden, and made the very same ad Obama did except directed at a Democrat, liberals would be howling about how cynical, unfair, and exploitative it was. Using imagery of New York City firefighters cheering the news would be easily dismissed as “playing politics” while the Navy SEALS complaining about the ad would be trumpeted across liberals blog.
Obama’s chest beating about his military accomplishments should give liberals a moment of pause. The Bin Laden killing involved entering the airspace of a nuclear armed nation without permission for an extrajudicial assassination. The expanded use of drone killings in at least six countries is unprecedented, as is Obama’s newly-invented presidential power to kill US citizens abroad without charges or a trial. The Surge in Afghanistan? Hardly a brilliant strategy I feel like touting while not having to serve the endless tours of duty it requires.
I’m young enough to remember when many of those things were plainly opposed by Democrats, even during election years.