While my own, personal feelings on the execution of Osama Bin Laden weren’t quite as black-and-white as most, it’s inarguable that it was a major political victory for the Obama Administration, from the perspective of the American electorate. This is why I find it ridiculous that practically every candidate in the Republican Primary (with the exception of Ron Paul) apparently insists on sticking with the ol’ Conservative standby, “[Democratic candidate] is weak on defense!”
Are they planning on using this line in the eventual debates with the President? All he has to do in response is hold up a copy of one of the most-viral images of 2011. It’d be like yielding the floor for Obama to crow about presiding over Bin Laden’s death in whatever terms he wants, except worse because at least the latter strategy might make him look like a braggart, as opposed to merely responding to his opponent.
The tradition of attacking Democrats for being “weak on defense” goes back to at least Reagan/Carter, and I figure it’s even as old as the Democratic tactic of calling Republicans dangerous warmongers. The truth is that Presidents from both parties have been excessively and overzealously attentive towards military force for far longer than I’ve been alive–a look at the “defense” portion of the federal budget clearly confirms that. Republicans on the campaign trail this cycle have asserted that Obama has cut the defense budget, which is not true: In fact, all his Administration has done (by request of the Pentagon itself, if I’m not mistaken) has been to ease back on the rate at which the defense budget will be allowed to grow. Growth, however, remains assured.
If the artwork in this cartoon looks any different, it’s because I got the stylus for my new Wacom back, which I’d previously left on a friend’s coffee table in Bellingham, Washington. I’m hoping this’ll eventually lead to a more painterly style in my coloring, though I am definitely still getting the hang of even the basics.