arteejee

A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Wednesday, May 09, 2012

High Five for the President


President Obama has started his campaign for a second term in earnest with an ad touting his greatest foreign policy accomplishment: the death of Osama bin Laden by US Navy SEALs. The ad also takes a swipe at Obama’s apparent challenger, Mitt Romney, questioning if the Republican candidate would have made the same tough decision to take the terrorist leader out. The Obama campaign made this conclusion from a statement Romney made in 2007 about his unwillingness to “move heaven and earth” to hunt one man.

No, Romney would probably not have killed bin Laden; he would have fired him. 

I’ve heard that he likes to fire people. I can only imagine how that exit interview would have unfolded, “I’m sorry Osama, but you haven’t produced anything lately. It’s been over ten years since 9/11, and, frankly, I can’t score any political points if you don’t give me the chance to defeat you and put you in your place. I can’t rattle my saber at the image of an aging lunatic on a video.  It makes me look ridiculous.”

Naturally, the Obama critics pounced when the president dared to take full credit for bin Laden’s death and use it against his political rival. Since that time, the administration has gone to great lengths to recognize the contributions of others to the raid — the years and efforts of intelligence gathering, the actual on-the-ground actions of the SEALs themselves, and all the other troops on the ground in Afghanistan. On the other count — criticizing Romney for what he might or might not have done for a situation which he was in no position to do anything about anyway — may  have been a stretch. After all, their argument is based on something Romney said five years ago, and Lord only knows how Romney’s position has evolved since then. Remember the word evolve, readers; we’ll be returning to it later.

To be fair, we should let Obama savor this moment on the first anniversary of bin Laden’s demise. As president, he is held accountable for many things that are beyond his control: the economy, gasoline prices, and a Christmas tree dying on the front lawn of the White House (don’t worry, they will eventually pin that on Obama too). He has also endured the extreme conspiracy wackos that claim he wasn’t even born in this country, and another set of wackos that claim he is a Muslim. Face it, the man has put up with a lot of crap in his first three years as President. Yet he knows that this is all part of the territory that comes with the Oval Office. So let him have this one moment of victory for himself.

On the other hand, he has disappointed his liberal base on a several other issues. Let’s start with the classic liberal cause célèbre: gun control. This issue has risen again with the Trayvon Martin case and Bill Cosby’s sage wisdom that it wasn’t about race, but the availability of guns for many people who shouldn’t have guns is the real problem. Yet the NRA maintains that Obama is an enemy of lawful gun owners everywhere.

Really? Based on what? Based on the fact that he has a “D” after his name? Based on his signing of legislation which expanded the rights of gun owners to carry weapons into national parks? How has he curtailed gun rights in his first three years?

Here’s an ugly little skeleton in the NRA’s closet: at one time, the NRA championed gun control! There, I said it! Granted, this might have been a youthful indiscretion when the gun lobby was still an adolescent, but as they matured they adopted a cherry-picking interpretation of the Second Amendment to justify their existence. So be it! The NRA and its rabid allies (yes, Ted Nugent, this means you) really can’t complain about Obama’s hands off approach to the gun control issue.

Gay marriage is another issue on which Obama has been largely silent; he maintains that his position is — and here’s that “e” word again — evolving. In recent days, senior officials within his administration have voiced cautious support for the concept of gay marriage. Zounds! Even the vice-president weighed in on the subject, leading some commentators to speculate which way the President’s stance is “evolving”. Critics claim the officials are just pandering to the gay community (and their possible monetary campaign support).  

Then also these comments coincided with the controversial Amendment One on the North Carolina ballot yesterday. The amendment not only defines marriage in traditional terms of one man and one woman, but would also outlaw civil unions, domestic partnerships, and just about any other concept that could be thought of as progressive. The campaign for and against the amendment has drawn some high profile celebrities, such as former President Bill Clinton (against the amendment) and aging Christian evangelist Billy Graham (for the amendment).  

The prospective change to the North Carolina state constitution has been endorsed by that champion of monogamy, Newt Gingrich. The former Presidential candidate has told North Caroline voters that they need to come out and save this great American institution. Newt should know; he is so fond of marriage that he’s tried it more than once.

I know: a cheap shot, but sometimes they feel so good.

(BREAKING NEWS THIS MORNING: Amendment One passed. Fear and ignorance win in North Carolina.)

Anyway, Obama has yet to show any definitive leadership on the subject of same-sex marriage. So he gets an A for the war on terror, and Cs for everything else. Don’t get me wrong; I still admire Barack Obama. However, my final opinion on his legacy is still evolving.

(Thank you for reading!  WTF, North Carolina?)

1 Comments:

Anonymous Janey said...

Breaking News: Obama has "come out" (pun intended) FOR gay marriage!!!In a election year!! Really!!! Now he has earned my vote in November, for in the last presidential election, I voted for the Libertarian candidate, Bob Barr, the former Republican(!)congressman from Florida, for he was the only presidential candidate in that race willing to state that he supported gay marriage as an equal rights issue. Because one is either for equal rights, or one is not, and there is little time or tolerance for "evolving" on this issue...

May 9, 2012 at 6:52 PM  

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