Fineman: Obama Killing Bin Laden Proves 'In Almost Biblical Terms' He's Effective Commander-in-Chief
As we watched President Obama tell us Sunday evening of Osama bin Laden's death, we knew the media would be starting the Mother of all victory laps.
Not surprisingly out ahead of the cheering throngs was Huffington Post's senior politics editor Howard Fineman with his Monday love letter "Obama Gets Osama: Goodbye Vietnam":
By calmly and meticulously overseeing the successful targeting of Osama bin Laden, President Barack Obama just proved himself -- vividly, in almost Biblical terms -- to be an effective commander-in-chief of the armed forces of the United States.
Good night, Vietnam. Goodbye, George McGovern's anti-war campaign of 1972. Goodbye, Jimmy Carter's pathetically inept hostage-rescue mission in 1980. Goodbye, Bill Clinton and the draft.
Or so Democrats have at least some reason to hope.
"This is a definitional moment for voters," said Democratic polltaker and strategist Geoffrey Garin. "There's no question that the Republicans will make a 'national security' run at the president in 2012," he said. "But the most tangible thing for voters will be that Obama got the central job done. A lot of people were involved in baking the cake, going back years, but the cake turned out well and voters will notice."
In Fineman's view, the murder of bin Laden Sunday erased decades of failed military strategies and policies by Democrat presidents going back to Lyndon Baines Johnson, and voters can now rest assured that a liberal Commander-in-Chief can be just as strong on national defense as a conservative one.
He even found a few Democrats to support his fakakta theory:
"This was done for national security reasons, not political ones," said Democratic strategist Mark Mellman, "but the political impact is clear. "No one is going to be able to run on a theme that the president is 'weak on defense' or 'weak on terrorism.'"
To be sure, Obama deserves a lot of credit for what happened Sunday, but what Fineman and the Democrat strategists that helped him create this love letter forgot was that it appears quite likely policies the former junior senator from Illinois opposed - like torture and waterboarding at Guantanamo Bay for example - may have led to information about bin Laden's whereabouts.
If the current White House resident and much of his Party had their way, and such practices didn't exist, it's quite conceivable America's public enemy number one would still be alive and well in that Islamabad compound, and Fineman along with the rest of Obama's sycophants in the media would be looking for other ways to express their affection for the man they lifted into his current position.
While media do their predictable victory lap, and more information comes out about this mission, it's not a certainty Americans will be so quick to see this as an almost Biblical transformation of liberals into trustworthy experts on national defense. And, without appearing overly cynical, it's also not a certainty taking out bin Laden was that big of a deal almost ten years after 9/11.
Stocks actually went down slightly on the news Monday, crude oil dropped a meager 41 cents, and gold rose by 70 cents. If traders across the globe saw the removal of bin Laden as an almost Biblical improvement to international security, stocks would have exploded in value as oil and gold plummeted.
Let's understand that there is a terrorist/security risk premium in such things as oil and gold, as well as a terrorist/security risk discount in stocks.
What this means is that stocks trade far lower than they should due to the fear of a terrorist event or war while oil and gold trade significantly higher. This became quite evident after 9/11, and has dramatically reappeared since hostilities began in the Middle East and Africa earlier this year.
Gold is up $250 since January, oil almost $25. Some of the rise in both is due to our budget deficits and threats of a downgrade on our debt, but the worsening international security condition caused by uprisings throughout the Muslim world are also a huge factor.
The man seen by some as the biggest threat to international security was taken out Sunday, and markets collectively yawned. Quite contrary to Fineman's raves, this was hardly Biblical. Traders of oil - and, in particular, gold - certainly didn't feel our world suddenly became safer without bin Laden's existence.
But that's not going to stop Fineman and his ilk from doing their victory lap; I don't know what would.