A flaming bald eagle, donning aviator shades and soaring through clouds of apple pie, baseball bat clenched in one foot, a twelve-inch chili cheese dog in the other…
Certainly, that was the image brought to the minds of millions across this nation Sunday evening as Osama bin Laden was scratched off the international “Wanted: Dead or Alive” list. Turns out a few battle-hardened military men preferred the former.
His death is sure to be one for scores of bulky, overpriced history books. News of bin Laden’s demise washed over the globe almost as quickly as the revelation that the moon-walkin’, groin-grabbin’ King of Pop was no longer with us — and that’s really saying something. But as the reality of the situation begins to set in, so will the partisan divide.
President Obama had barely finished his speech, silently turning from his podium to walk away, when a barrage of condemnations flooded my feed on Facebook: “He made it seem like they just started hunting him because Obama told them to.” “Osama Bin Laden has been killed, but let’s remember to not give Obama the credit for this.”
Now, had bin Laden been taken out under Bush’s watch, that Texan would’ve been promoted to demigod status, bathed in a shower of jelly beans from Reagan on high. But since Barry was sitting in the Oval Office when it happened, well, he’s just being a dick.
Indeed, these feelings and assertions are certain to run rampant by the time the 24-hour news cycle has run its first lap. Just as sure as a Burger King advertisement will work its way into Michael Bay’s next flick, there will always be a fistful of self-interested politicians and hot-headed pundits chomping at the bit to exploit any national triumph or tragedy for agenda-driven gain, no matter the facts. And what a sad, unavoidable truth that is.
But in the end — and as Obama made clear — bin Laden’s death was the result of anything but a one-man job. He never took nor attempted to take responsibility. Bush certainly played a major role in initiating and guiding the manhunt for a number of years. Though seemingly fruitless during his presidency, his efforts, I’m sure, were key. If one can acknowledge the role of W., then certainly one can acknowledge the role of his successor…
… but maybe that’s just asking too much.