So, Barack, do anything special this weekend?
Boy, What a Difference a
Couple Days Can Make, eh?
By Mark L. Taylor
There was irony to the timing of the conversation.
I had gone to a meeting of the Vernon County Democrats Sunday evening and been challenged a bit on the amount of negative Obama stories running in the “Daily Call”. As I have in the past, I said Obama needs to be pushed from the progressive side to force him to follow through on his campaign promises.
Yeah, maybe, but geez, seems like we should back our guy…
I reminded everyone that while the “Daily Call” is generally supportive of Democratic Party candidates and issues it is not a publication of the party and that one of its purposes is to push the Dems to be more courageous in standing for progressive party principles. I did note a large story was slated for today’s edition on Obama’s courage (see below).
Meanwhile, off in Pakistan
Little did we know that at that very moment a U.S, Navy SEAL team was wrapping up a bold, lightning strike into Pakistan that had taken out international number one bad boy Osama bin Laden with a single shot to the face.
Hell, and I had been pretty much blown away earlier in the weekend by Obama’s pitch-perfect takedown of Republican blowhard (isn’t that redundant?) Donald Trump at the White House Correspondents Dinner.
In retrospect, what makes that event even more amazing is that as Obama flawlessly wound out the jokes – beginning with himself – and then turned the wheel of humor right down the spine of “The Donald” reducing the smarmy hustler into so much political road-kill, Obama displayed the cool charm and dazzling smile that turned the ’08 election into a major chapter in the nation’s history.
We now know that at the moment he was so brilliantly filleting the pompous Rump Roast, he had, or was about to launch one of the riskiest and most audacious military strikes since D-Day. Certainly D-Day was bigger, but the political stakes for Obama and the international standing of the United States at this nexus point in time couldn’t be more critical.
Those of us who remember Pres. Carter’s tragically flawed and fatal special forces attempt to rescue the hostages in Tehran can appreciate that
Obama knew that politically he had everything – absolutely everything - on the line that night as he performed with such easy grace.
Man, talk about cool!
He went on the next day to visit tornado victims in Alabama and that evening delivered a commencement address. Just another ho-hum day on the White House schedule.
The whole time helicopters were being fueled up, weaponry geared up and young men suiting up for what could easily turn into a suicide mission. A mission that, if it were to fail like Carter’s, would hang on the president’s neck and bring him down.
Obama took on the burden
Despite the loss of one helicopter, the mission sounds like it went down with the precision of a computer chip. Not only was Osama taken out, the SEAL team scooped up a treasure trove of al Qaeda computers, disks and thumb-drives. Thankfully, every man who slid down the assault ropes into that hostile compound returned to base.
A few Republicans congratulated Obama. Most in the dominant GOP sour-puss caucus – chief among them Rep. Little Paulie Ryan – did not.
From accounts I have seen, this mission was Obama’s baby. Senior military advisors wanted to bounce the rubble of Osama’s compound with cruise missiles. Knowing the need of verification to eliminate any chance of doubt, Obama wanted Osama – dead or alive – in hand. He also wanted to minimize chance of civilian casualties. Unlike George “Mission Accomplished” Bush, who lost interest in nabbing Osama the moment he realized it would involve actual work, Obama has been involved for months in monitoring the plans.
In those four months, by his intense involvement, Obama showed more respect for our military personnel than Bush could muster in eight years.
A presidential pivot point?
So, while I have many disagreements with Obama, give the man his due. He demonstrated in his role as Commander in Chief, the kind of boldness, clarity and spirit that marked the ’08 campaign. He took – and the SEAL team took – a huge gamble and it paid off.
Barack Obama behaved like a real honest-to-god president this past weekend.
Today, all the potential republican candidates look like, well, like Donald Trump and that road-kill rug he wears on his head.
Could this be the pivot point Obama needs to accelerate his administration and get the ball rolling to 2012?
Can this be the momentum to move him in the direction of the promise of ’08. Let’s hope so because, dammit, given the problems this nation faces, we have no time to fail. We need the kind of president we saw this past weekend: thoughtful; whip smart; cool and – most of all – courageous.
Who knows where things will go in the tomorrows to come. But today, President Obama deserves praise.