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The 'ridiculous' politicization of the bin Laden kill
Presumably, almost all Americans are glad that Osama bin Laden has been relegated to the history books. So why the partisan bickering over his death?
 
President Obama and his national security team monitor the bin Laden mission as it unfolds Sunday: The issue of how much credit Obama should get for taking out Public Enemy No. 1 has become the subject of partisan bickering.
President Obama and his national security team monitor the bin Laden mission as it unfolds Sunday: The issue of how much credit Obama should get for taking out Public Enemy No. 1 has become the subject of partisan bickering.
CC BY: The White House

In his statement on the killing of Osama bin Laden, President Obama urged Americans to remember "the sense of unity that prevailed on 9/11." Within hours, though, commentators on the Left and Right were already accusing one another of politicizing bin Laden's death — a sad turn of events that some are calling "ridiculous." Liberals blamed the Right for slighting Obama in favor of heaping praise on former President George W. Bush and the military, while conservatives like Michelle Malkin insisted that liberals were just trying to hog all the credit for taking out Public Enemy No. 1. Is this just isolated partisan sniping, or it is indicative of a political divide so deep that Americans can't even unite to celebrate something we almost universally applaud?

Sadly, the brief honeymoon is over: "Capitol Hill was awash in unity Monday in the immediate aftermath of Osama bin Laden’s killing," say Jake Sherman and Manu Raju at Politico. "But unlike the post-Sept. 11 environment, the feel-good moment might not survive even the next 24-hour news cycle." That may hurt Washington in the end. "By snapping so quickly back to partisan warfare when the rest of the country is still waving flags and celebrating, Congress also risks showing, once again, why voters have such a low opinion of Capitol Hill."
"Back to politics on domestic front"

No, it's just that squeaky wheels get the most attention: It seems the lesson here is that people have already decided on partisan narratives, and they're sticking to them, says Doug Mataconis at Outside the Beltway. Hopefully most of us are still in the middle somewhere, but "the nature of our political discourse, which itself is part of the reason that things have gotten so bad, makes it inevitable that the most vile commentary will rise to the top."
"So does this mean an end to Obama Derangement Syndrome?"

So why not ignore the bomb-throwers? "I suppose the political haymaking is inevitable," but this is a victory for all Americans, says Rob Port at Say Anything. We can all agree that the U.S. operatives who pulled this off deserve most of the credit, and that "Bush started this manhunt, and when the time came to give the order to pull the triggers Obama made the right call." I say "kudos to all of them," and I imagine most Americans agree with me.
"The politicization of bin Laden's killing beginning already"

 

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