The anti-Obama campaign slogan "you didn't build that" has reached its inevitable extension into the foreign policy arena. But this may be its worst application yet.
Last night, Reuters' Mark Hosenball reported that a group of former U.S. intelligence and Special Forces operatives are launching a media campaign including TV ads and a 22-minute film that criticize President Obama for taking credit for the death of Osama bin Laden. The group is called the Special Operations OPSEC Education Fund Inc, and calls itself a non-partisan social welfare group. The folks over at OPSEC were kind enough to give Hosenball a sneak peak of the film (it comes out today) and its rallying cry goes like this:
"Mr. President, you did not kill Osama bin Laden, America did. The work that the American military has done killed Osama bin Laden. You did not," Ben Smith, identified as a Navy SEAL, says in the film.
In the context of this presidential campaign, the attack line draws a striking similarity to the "you didn't build that" slogan derived from President Obama's speech emphasizing the social importance of the community in relationship to the individual. It was not lost on the Twittersphere:
We wouldn't say this is the worst Navy SEAL-inspired attack against Obama. That award goes to the tea party group in Elkhart, Ind., that paid for this billboard to get out the vote. But it may be the worst incarnation of the "you didn't build that" meme, and that's a competitive field. The previous heavy weight champion was the response to the Mars Rover landing earlier this month:
That was a problematic campaign because while the president indeed failed to construct the Mars Rover by hand (slacker!), it was a product of the federal government, which gets to the heart of that whole public vs. private, community vs. the individual debate that Obama was talking to when he said that government roads help American businesses.
But as for the bin Laden raid. Wow. Not only was it a function of the federal government, but it was an operation that required the explicit authorization of the commander-in-chief. Was he supposed to join the SEALs on the mission and put the bullet between bin Laden's eyes himself? And, in this instance, we have plenty of direct evidence that the free market approach to hunting bin Laden was a dismal failure.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.