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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Bin Laden’s End Strengthens Obama, Dems

I doubt anyone could script a better closer for the ‘birther’ idiocy than President Obama’s announcement that Navy Seals have killed Osama bin Laden as a result of a raid he personally green-lighted. No, the hard-core birthers aren’t going away, and the more paranoid among them will surely find fault with the President’s long-form birth certificate.
But what was behind birtherism from the get-go was a conscious attempt to raise questions about the President’s patriotism, and an effort to discredit him as somehow unamerican, actually alien. No doubt most birthers, like an absurdly high percentage of self identified conservative Republicans, also embrace the equally-ignorant/paranoid notion that the President is a Muslim, along with the bigoted subtext that all Muslims are anti-American. It’s a warped form of neo-McCarthyism, designed to discredit a progressive president’s patriotism and smear an entire faith.
That President Obama ordered the raid that finally ended the life of the top Islamic terrorist should put an end to most of this paranoid speculation. It should marginalize the adherents to the dark corners, where political lunatics dwell. No doubt, some will come up with conspiracy theories faulting Obama for not getting bin Laden sooner. But not many sensible voters will give them any credence.
From this point forward, few serious political candidates will continue to parrot the birther, Obama-as-secret-Muslim theories. GOP Presidential candidates will now pretend they always disdained such talk.
The most interesting question that now arises is will the President begin pulling our troops out of Afghanistan at a much faster rate? I certainly hope so, since he is not likely to have a better opportunity to do so with the cheering support of a grateful nation, putting him in even better position for reelection and strengthening Democratic candidates in 2012.

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