I'd like to think that my President would be the bigger man - or woman. I'd like to think that the person holding the highest office in the land wouldn’t think it necessary to release gory death photos, even if said photos are of someone who has proven himself a monster.
So far Barack Obama hasn’t let me down. Sarah Palin, however, is another matter. (And I’m not sure if that matter is made of animal, vegetable or mineral. Probably potato.)
Always ready to fan the flames of reason into a full blown bonfire of insanity, Palin said this on Twitter:
Show photo as warning to others seeking America's destruction. No pussy-footing around, no politicking, no drama; it's part of the mission
~ Here’s what a few responded:
@SarahPalinUSA it wasn't a hunting trophy. it was a man with powerful allies that already want to destroy the US - it’s not a bragging tool.
@SarahPalinUSA You gave George W. Bush all the credit in the world for Bin Laden's death...have him release the pictures.. #goodluckwiththat
@SarahPalinUSA I thought the mission was to capture or kill Osama. Didn't know we were going to make greeting cards.
Sarah - if you’re OK with simply rising to the level of a terrorist, that’s fine. But I'm not. I’d like to think I’d be the better person. Not the person showing the gory photos of my sworn enemy. Clearly that’s not you. You think it’s “part of the mission” to release a photo that will then be Photoshopped with wild abandon; Dead Osama with a thought bubble saying one of a myriad of catchy phrases. Dead Osama holding a dildo, Dead Osama next to the President holding a thumbs up and standing under a MISSION ACCOMPLISHED SIGN, Dead Osama Coffee Cups and t-shirts...
And this WILL happen. Why? Because this is what we have become. (Lest we forget the picture of Obama’s face on a baby monkey recently e-mailed widely by Marilyn Davenport, Tea Party activist and elected member of the Orange County Republican Central Committee.)
This is the face of America. Do you actually think the crazies out there screaming for photos want them because they somehow think Osama is still alive? I don’t. At its core, it's about something much more base. It's rubbernecking as you slowly drive by a bloody seven car pile up, gawking at the gal with the severed head who’s being wrenched out with the jaws of life.
I like how Obama has handled this, but if he bows to the pressure of rabid extremists on either side who, for some reason, simply must see graphic photos of a man shot in the head, I will be disappointed in my President. He knows it isn’t right - I assume that’s why he made the decision. Okay, so the “official” reason is that they are inflammatory and could create retaliatory situations. But I’d bet, in his heart of hearts, he knows it’s wrong. He knows that we're better than that.
I can’t say the same for Sarah Palin. That there are many who would have preferred it if we strapped Osama’s corpse to the grille of a NYC fire truck and took him on a whistle-stop tour around the country… well I think that disturbs me most of all.
I asked someone at the store today how they felt about the Osama pics, and they were apathetic. “I didn’t like the guy. I don’t care if they release them or not.” That, I can live with. But someone who revels in seeing bloody pictures of a monster - doesn’t that kind of make you a monster, yourself?
I think it does.
So that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it. Don’t agree with me, that’s fine. But save the nasty e-mails for someone who gives a ripe, squirty one. On this, you won’t change my opinion, and I’m certain if you’re that other type, the one I’ve illustrated above, I’m not going to change yours.
But, I'll leave you with this: How about we make a deal NOT to let the terrorists' past bad actions dictate what our future actions will be.
(…and sorry for the “downer” blog post, folks. I know you usually expect humor from me, but sometimes, you just have to get shit off your chest, or you’ll find yourself pondering the inhumanity of humanity while dipping into a hopeless state of malaise, with a empty bottle of wine in one hand, and a dull Lady Bic to your carotid.)