A president earns the right to use the power of the office to further the country’s agenda, but President Obama’s decision to swoop into Afghanistan today and make a live speech to the nation this evening to mark the anniversary of the death of Osama bin Laden is overkill.
It’s reminiscent of President Bush's secret trip to Baghdad in 2003 to serve Thanksgiving turkey to 600 shocked soldiers. Mockingly, Bush thanked the soldiers for inviting him to dinner.
The reality: advanced word of the trip would have cancelled the visit. Critics, like me, panned Dubya's two-hour turkey soiree. Six months earlier, Bush declared major combat operations had ended.
We all know how that turned out.
Obama’s triumphalism over the killing of Osama has the potential to bite back. It’s not like the president pulled the trigger of the weapon that splattered Osama brains and sent him to hell. For that, he would have deserved a victory lap.
The struggle against terror is far from over. Earlier today, five homegrown losers were rounded up for conspiring to blow up a bridge 15 miles of Cleveland. CNN reports that the trove of documents seized at Osama's secret lair called for plans to seize cruise ships and stage strikes against soft targets in Europe. Osama’s death undoubtedly represented a major win for the U.S. The president though shouldn’t be dusting off the “Mission Accomplished” banner.
Tonight’s victory lap is out of character for the “way too cool Obama. It’s an ill-advised blatant political act that may come back to haunt the president—and the rest of us.