The first skirmishes of the 2012 Presidential Campaign are now taking place. The disingenuous complaints of the Romney campaign regarding the politicization of the Obama success in the assassination of Osama Bin Laden is just the politics of politics. It seems that it is not appropriate for the Obama Administration to acknowledge the one year anniversary of this great national security achievement. To do so is for the administration to take credit for something that should be looked upon as positive for the nation as a whole. If this kind of logic is confusing to you, don’t feel bad, it would confuse even the inhabitants of George Orwell’s 1984. Under this logic, to discuss any accomplishment of the Obama administration is to politicize it and that is just not right according to the Romney campaign.
What we are witnessing is the politics of politics. That is, the accusation that anything said by the opponent is inappropriately taking it out of the realm of normal governance and placing it in the realm of politics. During the past several weeks the Obama administration has been accused of creating a false “war against women”, making an issue out of the various new voter registration laws that have been passed in many states, inappropriately using speeches by the President to highlight industrial job growth, and politicizing the energy programs. What’s a President to do when everything he says or does is seen through the prism of politics.
In a campaign year, and let’s face it, this one has been going on for three and a half years, everything is political. By accusing the President of politicizing something, the opposition makes it political. It is a world of mirrors, and strange ones at that. The Republicans look in the mirror and see themselves as the protectors of the national security. When Obama achieves some national security successes, they see his reflection as just a continuation of their success. The purpose of the accusation of politicization is to make petty the need to celebrate success. In so doing the opposition is politicizing politics.
Naturally the Republicans have never lowered themselves to self aggrandizement, unless we remember the great “Mission Accomplished” spectacle on an aircraft carrier as President Bush celebrated in his flight suit. They have never politicized and demeaned accomplishments, that is unless we recall the “swift boating” of John Kerry. They have never politicized national issues, that is unless we remember their attacks and lies about health care reform. They have never used national security as a facade, that is unless we remember our entry into the Iraq war. And of course they have always been open and willing to work on behalf of the well-being of our Nation, that is unless we remember McConnell’s commitment to his number one goal at the beginning of this legislative session, to defeat President Obama in any way possible.
We live in a political and polarized environment. To accuse the other side of politicizing any issue is naive and disingenuous. It is merely playing out the politics of politics.