I tuned in to Rush Limbaugh this afternoon expecting what I got, but hoping otherwise. Sure enough, Limbaugh spent the first half-hour of his broadcast mocking President Obama for taking “single-handed” credit for Osama bin Laden’s death, counting the number of times the President uttered the words “me,” “I,” “my,” and “mine,” and minimizing any credit due to the Chief Executive and Commander-in-Chief when the nation he leads finally accomplishes something it has been trying to do for a decade.
The President of the United States gets the blame and is held accountable for gas prices he cannot control, international upheavals, incompetent local disaster management after hurricanes, economic meltdowns caused by lazy regulators, irresponsible investors, unqualified homeowners and greedy business executives, the botched clean-up of unprecedented oil spills, the abuse of prisoners by hillbilly soldiers thousands of miles away, and every other social, societal and economic ill imaginable. That’s his job, and he wanted it: fair or not, he has to take it.
But when the United States has good news, and achieves something of historic importance, the man in the White House has every right to expect and be given full credit for leading us to the right place. If the mission to get Osama bin Laden had failed miserably, as did President Jimmy Carter’s ill-fated attempt to rescue the American hostages in Iran, Obama would have had to accept responsibility and criticism. It is nothing but sour grapes, a lack of graciousness, a deficit of respect, and general unfairness for Rush Limbaugh or anyone else to begrudge the President of the United States a victory lap when a complex operation under his authority finally achieved justice for the 2001 terrorist attacks after ten frustrating years.
Shut up, Rush.