President Obama traveled to Dover Air Force Base early Thursday morning, where he met with family members and paid his respects as the bodies of 18 Americans killed this week in Afghanistan were returned to the United States.(emphasis added, for reasons shortly to be clear)
It was the president’s first trip to the Delaware air base, the main point of entry for the nation’s war dead to return home. The trip was a symbolic one for Mr. Obama — intended to convey the gravity of his decision as he moves closer to announcing whether he will send more troops to Afghanistan.
The overnight trip was not announced in advance. The president, wearing a dark suit and long overcoat, left the White House at 11:44 p.m. A small contingent of reporters and photographers accompanied Mr. Obama to Dover, where he arrived at 12:34 a.m. aboard Marine One. He returned to the South Lawn of the White House at 4:45 a.m.
A simple, dignified, and low-key acknowledgement of one of the most terrible days to befall US combat troops since Vietnam.
You'd think the entire nation, as one, would stand beside Obama for this one moment and acknowledge he did the right thing.
Um, well, you'd be wrong.
Nevermind "support the troops". Nevermind the quiet dignity afforded a group of courageous men and women who lay their lives on the line in defense of this great nation. Nevermind that, in symbolism, we see the toll these wars are taking upon us all.
(Side note: I wonder how bad this economic downturn would have been had we not spent ourselves silly fighting, as Vizzini put it, "involved in a land war in Asia"? Just a thought to chew on.)
It's not enough. There's some dark mystery, a hidden meaning, a shade lingering, over each and every action of President Barack Hussein Obama.
A "black shadow" administration, as it were.
Now, it's true: every President has to be conscious of the impact and meaning of his gestures. Presidents are, like it or not, role models and trendsetters.
Imagine, if you will, George W Bush actually successfully riding the Segway. Undoubtedly, it would have been given a marketing boost (and no doubt, Segway had hopes for that).
Unfortunately he fell off, thus propagating the myth that the Segway is difficult to master and putting a crimp in its acceptance and certainly losing the chance to market is as "so simple a moron can use it".
Presidents acknowledging the loss of soldiers, however, is hardly a political novelty, and is often accompanied by frills and ceremony when he does it (as in laying the wreaths on Memorial Day in Arlington).
One has to question the...patriotism...of those who question this gesture.