The political fallout of the Bin Laden Raid

by Datechguy | May 5th, 2011

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The political fallout of the Bin Laden Raid

Ok It’s been a few days lets look at the polit­i­cal impli­ca­tions of the Bin Laden Raid in terms of 2012.

First of all let’s repeat what I’ve already said. Remem­ber Bush 1991? Remem­ber 89%? It’s a long way to Novem­ber 2012 from here, just like the dis­tance between Nov 2008 and Nov 2010 was considerable.

The MSM is going to try to push the Meme “the pres­i­dent unbeat­able over this”. I like that because they are delud­ing them­selves. Fans of the admin­is­tra­tion of course hope to cap­i­tal­ize on this and if they do so while under self-​delusion make mis­takes.

In your day jobs, do not let Repub­li­cans turn this into con­tin­u­ing the Bush legacy. This has to be about Obama’s deci­sive lead­er­ship,” the guid­ance said. “He is the one who over­saw bring­ing bin Laden to jus­tice, much like how Bush failed to do so at Tora Bora and then claimed Osama wasn’t a priority.”

For Democ­rats, the argu­ment is crit­i­cal because they don’t want to let cred­i­bil­ity on national secu­rity issues slip back into their post-​Vietnam home in the Repub­li­can Party. And they need to fight the insin­u­a­tion, fed by recent NATO action in Libya that one offi­cial char­ac­ter­ized as “lead­ing from behind,” that Obama is a weak leader.

Yup a known attempt to spin this will play well and as we can see Lawrence O’Donnell got the memo.

The pres­i­dent cer­tainly deserves pri­mary credit, he was in charge and he acted con­trary to his base to con­tinue Bush poli­cies so he also gets points for that. The han­dling of the post raid PR how­ever has been at best dis­jointed and dis­or­ga­nized which sug­gests it wasn’t really thought through.

Now for my money I’d rather be talk­ing about a per­fectly exe­cuted raid and atro­cious hand­ing of the post raid PR vs a botched raid and strik­ing exactly the right tone in defeat but this post is about the polit­i­cal after­math. The ever-​changing sto­ries and the deci­sion to with­hold pho­tos (by the same admin­is­tra­tion that lifted the ban on pho­tos of GI coffins) is inept. It has the poten­tial to squan­der what should be a legit­i­mate bump for the admin­is­tra­tion. As Mid­night Blue puts it:

Pro­tect the pri­vacy of a dead ter­ror­ist and expose our own mil­i­tary to pub­lic scrutiny. The duplic­ity of this admin­is­tra­tion is astounding.

I guess this means the pub­lic won’t be treated to 47 days of New York Times front page images of the com­pound attack and death of OBL?

Where is Philly Inquirer’s Dan Rubin? He should be scream­ing from the rooftops to release the pho­tos. Oh wait…it seems he is against post­ing pho­tos of a deceased ter­ror­ist when pre­vi­ously he was for post­ing pho­tos of deceased Amer­i­can sol­diers return­ing home via Dover Air Force Base. Faith­ful to the nar­ra­tive this one is.

Although this was an unabashedly feel good moment (no mat­ter what the Euro­pean press has to say) with new unem­ploy­ment claims unex­pect­edly up, gas at $4 a gal­lon in town and food infla­tion continuing.

Peo­ple being peo­ple are not going to remain focused on a dead body, even Bin Laden body, if they still don’t have jobs and can’t afford to get to the ones they have.

In 1 year if Gas prices are still any­where near where they are now it’s not going to mat­ter if Al Qaeda gives a for­mal sur­ren­der on the deck of the Mis­souri, this pres­i­dent will lose re-​election. Remem­ber Churchill lost after win­ning World War 2. The pres­i­dent will get (and deserves) some good press from the Bin Laden raid for at least another week (unless he squan­ders it) but in the end 2012 is going to be a ref­er­en­dum on the eco­nomic poli­cies of this admin­is­tra­tion and unless there is dras­tic change (or mas­sive GOP stu­pid­ity which isn’t a tough bet) this admin­is­tra­tion will lose.

Clos­ing thought, what are the chances of Hol­ly­wood rush­ing out a “Bin Laden Raid” movie to come out in Oct 2012? I think they’re pretty good once the White House finally set­tles on a script.

Ok It’s been a few days lets look at the political implications of the Bin Laden Raid in terms of 2012.

First of all let’s repeat what I’ve already said. Remember Bush 1991? Remember 89%? It’s a long way to November 2012 from here, just like the distance between Nov 2008 and Nov 2010 was considerable.

The MSM is going to try to push the Meme “the president unbeatable over this”. I like that because they are deluding themselves. Fans of the administration of course hope to capitalize on this and if they do so while under self-delusion make mistakes.

“In your day jobs, do not let Republicans turn this into continuing the Bush legacy. This has to be about Obama’s decisive leadership,” the guidance said. “He is the one who oversaw bringing bin Laden to justice, much like how Bush failed to do so at Tora Bora and then claimed Osama wasn’t a priority.”

For Democrats, the argument is critical because they don’t want to let credibility on national security issues slip back into their post-Vietnam home in the Republican Party. And they need to fight the insinuation, fed by recent NATO action in Libya that one official characterized as “leading from behind,” that Obama is a weak leader.

Yup a known attempt to spin this will play well and as we can see Lawrence O’Donnell got the memo.

The president certainly deserves primary credit, he was in charge and he acted contrary to his base to continue Bush policies so he also gets points for that. The handling of the post raid PR however has been at best disjointed and disorganized which suggests it wasn’t really thought through.

Now for my money I’d rather be talking about a perfectly executed raid and atrocious handing of the post raid PR vs a botched raid and striking exactly the right tone in defeat but this post is about the political aftermath. The ever-changing stories and the decision to withhold photos (by the same administration that lifted the ban on photos of GI coffins) is inept. It has the potential to squander what should be a legitimate bump for the administration. As Midnight Blue puts it:

Protect the privacy of a dead terrorist and expose our own military to public scrutiny. The duplicity of this administration is astounding.

I guess this means the public won’t be treated to 47 days of New York Times front page images of the compound attack and death of OBL?

Where is Philly Inquirer’s Dan Rubin? He should be screaming from the rooftops to release the photos. Oh wait…it seems he is against posting photos of a deceased terrorist when previously he was for posting photos of deceased American soldiers returning home via Dover Air Force Base. Faithful to the narrative this one is.

Although this was an unabashedly feel good moment (no matter what the European press has to say) with new unemployment claims unexpectedly up, gas at $4 a gallon in town and food inflation continuing.

People being people are not going to remain focused on a dead body, even Bin Laden body, if they still don’t have jobs and can’t afford to get to the ones they have.

In 1 year if Gas prices are still anywhere near where they are now it’s not going to matter if Al Qaeda gives a formal surrender on the deck of the Missouri, this president will lose re-election. Remember Churchill lost after winning World War 2. The president will get (and deserves) some good press from the Bin Laden raid for at least another week (unless he squanders it) but in the end 2012 is going to be a referendum on the economic policies of this administration and unless there is drastic change (or massive GOP stupidity which isn’t a tough bet) this administration will lose.

Closing thought, what are the chances of Hollywood rushing out a “Bin Laden Raid” movie to come out in Oct 2012? I think they’re pretty good once the White House finally settles on a script.

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