Obama, Osama, Romney: What if?

President Obama.

On the eve of the one-year anniversary of America’s successful assassination of terrorist leader Osama bin Laden, President Barack Obama, under whose stewardship the risky attack was perpetrated, released a campaign ad boasting of this achievement and questioning whether his rival for the presidency Mitt Romney would have made the same call.

Republicans, naturally, vehemently opposed this tactic. But then, exactly what has President Obama done that the GOP has not decried in the strongest of terms? Health care reform? “Death panels.”Tackling economic inequality? “Class warfare.” Touting the targeted killing of America’s most notorious international enemy? “Silly” and “politically divisive.”(That’s from Romney.) “Unpresidential.” (Romney adviser and former Bush ambassador John Bolton.) Not “professional.” (Donald Rumsfeld, Bush Sec. of Defense.) “Diminishing.” (Sen. John McCain.)

The question of whether Romney would have acted similarly to Obama is frankly unknownable. Sure, Romney made a few statements suggesting he wouldn’t have, such as one respecting Pakistan’s sovereignty. But most people know better than to hold Romney to his word.

Romney would like to distill this issue to its most basic form: “Of course I would have taken out Osama bin Laden,” he said, as if it was a simple matter of pushing a button. But this wasn’t just a “go or no” operation: Obama had to decide from a menu of options, all of which carried great risk. “Even Jimmy Carter would have given that order,” Romney said on Monday. Actually, Carter did give a similar order — a helicopter rescue operation into Iran that failed, ending in the deaths of eight Americans and ultimately his presidency. Obama acted with this knowledge.

Romney has been campaigning for months on Obama’s alleged foreign policy weakness; it hardly seems fair to condemn Obama for fighting back. Moreover, Republicans have never shied from campaigning on the War on Terror, so why should Democrats? Bush was certainly not shy in this area; where was the disgust back then, when Karl Rove was masterminding the notorious “Mission Accomplished” stunt and accusing Democrats of “cutting and running” in Iraq? Busy, we’re sure.
Sadly, the faux outrage has become an all-too-familiar refrain from the right, and they’ll  sing it until they go hoarse. It’s our job to tune it out.

Follow Brayden Simms on Twitter @metropolitik

Metro does not endorse the opinions of the author, or any opinions expressed on its pages.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

Mets mascot Mr. Met target of Bill Clinton…

Mets mascot Mr. Met has told how he ended up in the crosshairs of a Secret Service sniper rifle. The man behind the Mr. Met…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

National

Chelsea Clinton pregnant with first child

Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child.

National

Divers struggle in search for South Korean ferry…

By Jungmin Jang and Narae KimMOKPO/JINDO, South Korea (Reuters) - Rescuers struggled with strong waves and murky waters on Thursday as they searched for hundreds…

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

Television

Dick Wolf to bring fictionalized world of 'Law…

A&E has ordered a pilot called "D.O.A." from "Law and Order" mastermind Dick Wolf that will focus on real detectives reexamining cold cases. A trio…

Television

Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.

Music

Both feet on the ground with Aimee Mann…

What began with a cool double-bill of Ted Leo opening for Aimee Mann morphed into a full-fledged collaborative project that they're calling The Both. “There…

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox

Sports

2014 Boston Marathon preview: Elite American, International runners…

2014 Boston Marathon: Elite American, International runners to watch

NBA

2014 NBA Finals odds: Ranking which playoff teams…

2014 NBA Finals odds: Ranking which playoff teams have the best shot at a championship. The Thunder, Clippers, Heat and Rockets lead the way.

NFL

2014 Patriots, full NFL schedule release date announced

2014 Patriots, full NFL schedule release date announced

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.