Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘deathers

Tuesday Night Links

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* Closing Pandora’s Box: Obama should use Osama Bin Laden’s death to declare victory and end the legal war on terror.

* The right is already embracing deatherism.

* The snap polls are mixed in the immediate aftermath of bin Laden’s killing, but Steve Benen and Josh Marshall seem right (and Ezra Klein needlessly paranoid). Here’s Josh:

The Republican critique of the president has been that he’s a hesitant and vacillating figure, one who fundamentally misunderstands the nature of power politics and the threats the country faces. In the days just before bin Laden’s death, commentators on the right were having fun with a line from one of Obama’s advisors that on Libya Obama was “leading from behind.” Indeed, that looked to be the one-liner the Republicans planned to use to capture or bumper-stickerize their broader critique of the president’s foreign policy.

But that critique, regardless of its merits, simply doesn’t fit with what we know about how this operation unfolded. Whatever gilding of the lily may have happened on the margins, we know with some confidence that the president was presented with three choices: bomb the compound from the air, send in a commando team or wait for more evidence that bin Laden was there.

His advisors were split, with some supporting each option. But Obama himself opted for the most aggressive and riskiest option. And it worked. That simply doesn’t sound like the caricature Republicans have been trying to paint. It simply doesn’t. And presidents, inevitably, are judged both by results and results that are intuitively graspable and simple to understand. Here both measures apply.

* Meanwhile, William J. Dobson declares final escape from the Carter gravity well.

* If all that’s not full-throatedly partisan enough for you, have this:

President Obama revealed the entire Bush team to be the incompetents and dolts we always knew they were, and in doing so single-handedly destroyed the myth that Democrats are soft on national security. What will Republicans do with that?

Already, the Republican Party, with miserable choad Andrew Breitbart in the lead, is showing signs that it doesn’t believe Bin Laden is dead. These “deathers”—most of whom were probably birthers just over a week ago—are symptoms of a deep-seated rot in the Republican Party. They are people committed to gut feelings and scare tactics over facts. The real reason George W. Bush was so uninterested in catching Osama bin Laden was because the Qaeda leader was a useful concept for conservatives, a fright mask to slip on when the American people needed to be put back in their place. Dick Cheney wore the Bin Laden mask at every opportunity, hinting at secret disasters that were always right around the corner if Democrats ever took a leading role in government again. Bush would tell spooky Bin Laden stories to get what he wanted from the American people. So now Republicans are trying to dig Bin Laden out of the grave and wheel his corpse around, Weekend at Bernie’s–style. It’s the only trick they have left.

* Canadian election news: the conservatives win a majority, but an apparent structural shift to the NDP seems promising in the long-term. How a couple of college kids got elected to Parliament. More from TPM.

* And in education news: Kevin Drum reports on the education reform backlash, with a bit more in the New York Times from David Eggers and Ninive Clements Calegari.

A Few Links People Following My Twitter Feed Have Mostly Already Seen

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* Aaron Sorkin directs the White House national security team as they watch the mission unfold. Hat tip to Angus Johnson for reminding me just how Sorkiny the last week has been.

* Also, how LOLcatty.

* zunguzungu: Bin Laden’s Code Name Was ‘Geronimo.’

* Traxus: The death of Osama bin Laden is the one kill the official ‘narrative,’ or blood-soaked montage rather, can justify as unquestionably righteous, and is at the same time its proper conclusion. And thus America celebrates the end of a narrative that no one could ever really accept, a joke from the moment Dubya made the “dead or alive” crack, simply because it’s the only one we can address with the full force of the rich world’s media infrastructure — it’s the only celebration we will ever be allowed to have for this neverending war.

* Here come the deathers. I couldn’t resist arguing with a deather-curious commenter somewhere in the middle of this endless MeFi thread.

* And in lighter news: Philanthropist offers $300 million to any city that hires someone beside Gehry to design its art museum. Awesome.