I won’t tread into the domain of superfluity by actually mounting a case that overshadowing Tim Pawlenty, Mike Huckabee, Rush Limbaugh and Donald Trump is a feat of height. Still, events of the last week have put into breath-snatching relief the leadership, intellect, temperament, effectiveness, purposefulness and fundamental seriousness of our president in relation to the festively costumed Ringling Brothers little people dangling off the Republican elephant.
Not that the parking lot amusement park on the right ever was in danger of assuming a little whiff of significance, much less gravitas. But observing the president masterfully juggle meetings with heads of state and budget debates, attend to the aftermath of tornadic obliteration in the South, calmly pluck, eviscerate and debone the likes of Donald Trump at the White House Correspondent’s dinner, all the while as we now know, managing and directing the mission to kill bin Laden, reminded us all of his cool effectiveness and focused intelligence in contrast to his detractors’ babbling along with their various inane conspiracy theories and catty and petty hostilities.
In fact, what we got this past week was a revealing and useful snapshot of a moment in time, a moment when our president became ever more dominant in the foreground of the nation’s politics, while the cacophonous, grossly unserious opposition dropped deep into a background of the carnivalesque and facile.
By the end of the week the greasy, gaudy, featherweight Trump really did look like an overstuffed Thanksgiving turkey. Rush Limbaugh’s plaintive and sour attempt to detract from, minimize and dismiss the President’s accomplishment in finishing off Osama squeezed his full girth even more tightly into the role of the biggest voice on behalf of the smallest among us, in heart, mind and humanity. Like Trump’s, his public persona by the end of it all had made its full transformation to that of a little dirty pool of battery acid.
The killing of bin Laden smothered many ongoing mythologies, caricatures and lies about Barack Obama, and more broadly Democrats. It is a major accomplishment that cannot be minimized and will remain a monumental and magnificent landmark in this presidency, one as immovable and unwieldy for his detractors as the aforementioned Rush’s rotundity.
Let’s face it: it’s so deep in the conservative bloodstream now to offer crazy proposals, foolhardy threats, and cockamamie conspiracies that the only two possibilities remaining for them are, that with their macular distortions they continue to wrongly see the rest of America as being like them; or they continue as jihadists, bent on remaking the world in their own image whether the world likes it or not. In comparison, Obama is elevated to a virtual Rushmore while the right, in its din of silliness and negativity still tries to sprout something worth growing out of the brown, unforgiving dirt beneath him.