Six Ways to Think About bin Laden’s death

1. Hurrah! Good riddance to bad rubbish.

2. Obama’s success, after seven years of failure under Bush, won’t change the minds or the mouths of anyone who has been thinking or saying that the President is soft on terrorism. I bet it won’t move the polling data enough to notice.

3. The Republican line is that Bush deserves as much credit for promising to get bin Laden as Obama does for actually getting it done. (Bush’s statement barely a year after 9-11 that getting bin Laden was no longer a priority has been dropped down the memory hole.)

4. The President was wrong to say that “justice has been done.” Being killed in a military raid is a fitting fate for a man of violence, but justice is done in courtrooms, not on battlefields. This was revenge: and a good thing, too.

5. The speech made some good points, but at times the President’s flat affect and level tone don’t fit the circumstances. If you didn’t know English, you might have thought that he was announcing a set of new high-speed rail projects. Surely there’s some happy medium between hubris on a carrier deck and the reading of a laundry list.

6. Obama was polite enough to call Bush before making a public statment. Bush was rude enough to issue his own statement before the President spoke. Typical, twice.

[Cross-posted at SameFacts]

Mark Kleiman

Mark Kleiman is a professor of public policy at the New York University Marron Institute.