RICHMOND -- You would think that instead of excoriating President Barack Obama, Republicans would be clasping him to their bosoms while chanting "He's our boy. He's our boy." After all, they loved George W. Bush while he was OKing the torture of prisoners and sending them off to foreign countries where they were treated to the full hammer without consequences. And probably without gaining any useful information.
But here we have a president who has kept our Guantanamo prison at its Dick Cheney standards right into his second administration, who has a kill list of enemies that is updated every week, who loves to shoot skeet, and the Republicans persist in giving him a hard time. The belligerence of the Republican Party has made them popular with a large segment of the masses. They are all for guns, any type of guns, the bigger, the better, and they are comfortable with gun magazines that have 30 to 100 bullets available for immediate use no matter what the target.
They also would like to take the vote away from the untutored masses who only know how to take, take, take. And taking note of their leaders, such as Boehner, McConnell, Ryan and Cantor, do you think you will ever catch one of them smiling? Obama, on the other hand, smiles a lot and is always ready with a quick laugh. Enough of the public likes and trusts him enough to give him a second shot at being president of all of us. He delivers great speeches, has a loving wife and daughters and obviously gets along just fine with his mother-in-law.
But he is also the president who supervised the killing of Osama bin Laden, who had eluded President George W. Bush for his two terms. The Bush gang has been fruitlessly telling the public that it was its methods of interrogation that developed the lead to bin Laden, but it was Obama and his staff who sat in the ready room and watched the kill. If only we had a copy of the telephone conversation when Obama called Bush to tell him of the successful mission without the loss of one American. If only we had a videotape of Bush after he disconnected the call.
And we have practically completed the shutdown of our Iraq mission and seem to be adhering to the timetable for the withdrawal from Afghanistan. Things have also calmed down a bit in Pakistan but that is probably due to the sword-rattling with India rather than any softening of its attitude toward the United States. All in all, the president is doing well.
Oh yes, except for one thing. He had the gall and guts to order the killing of an American citizen living abroad. The man, Anwar al-Awlaki, moved to Yemen about five years ago, became a leader of al-Qaida and preached jihad (struggle) against the United States. Yemen tried him in absentia and issued a "capture or kill" order on him. Obama got a "get home free" document on al-Awlaki from his Justice Department and put him on the death list. A drone caught up with al-Awlaki's car and a Hellfire missile did the trick. A few weeks later, al-Awlaki's 16-year-old son, one of his five children, met the same fate.
Civil libertarians are terribly uncomfortable with this president's power to kill Americans in foreign countries. They feel strongly that in the future some unscrupulous U.S. president might arrange for one of his personal enemies to take a vacation trip abroad and then have him droned. The American Civil Liberties Union is suing to get the paperwork that went with these killings. It claims that the killings violated the constitutional rights of al-Awlaki and his son. Republicans have been silent on this, letting the Democrats twist in the wind for a while. But how do you think they feel about this deep down in their guts? It's almost from the Republican playbook.
So here we have Obama acting more and more like a Republican every day.
Except for the guns. And the poor, the sick and the elderly. And minority groups. And the economy. And the deficit.
Who's on first. What's on second. I Don't Know is on third. I Don't Give a Damn is shortstop. Tomorrow is the pitcher and Today is the catcher.
Now give me the names of the outfielders and the men who are running to replace Sen. John Kerry.
Milton Bass is a regular Eagle contributor.