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A case of sour grapes

Conservatives had two options in responding to last week’s news that Osama bin Laden had been killed: They could either celebrate along with the rest of America and concede that the Obama administration had done the right thing, or they could lose their minds completely and betray the depths of their hatred for the president. 


Of course, we saw more of the latter. 

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Wall Street Journal columnist Bret Stephens, a conservative, certainly noticed the derangement coming from his team: “There’s been a whiff of sour grapes in some of the right-wing commentary about the president’s speech. Too much emphasis on the first-person pronoun, not enough credit to President Bush, and so on. It’s unbecoming. If ever there was a doubt about just how American Mr. Obama is, Sunday’s raid eliminates it better than any long-form birth certificate. This was his finest hour. It’s for the rest of us, avenged at long last, to rejoice.”

There’s been quite a bit more than just a “whiff” of sour grapes. “Obama bungled [the] Osama killing with too much respect for Islam,” editorialized The Washington Times. “The White House went out of its way to make certain that Osama bin Laden received full traditional Muslim burial rites. Obama officials claimed they did so to honor the Islamic religion, but they were also honoring bin Laden. Such acts are unacceptable on behalf of America’s mortal enemy.” 

Another of the paper’s editors wrote, “[H]is speech announcing the demise of the world’s greatest villain was short on key details and sounded more like an extended pat on the back.” And yet another of the paper’s editors wrote, “He concluded his scripted remarks — which he read from a teleprompter — with soaring, spiritual words. ‘Let us remember that we can do these things not just because of wealth or power, but because of who we are: one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all’ … Talking points aside, the suddenly religious president started his Sunday morning as he usually does: skipping church to go hit the golf links.”

As Eric Boehlert of Media Matters noted, “Yes, The Washington Times unloaded on the president for quoting the Pledge of Allegiance.”

Fox News’s Laura Ingraham tweeted, “BHO calling for unity? Republicans and conservatives must be aware of this trap.” On Fox Business Network, Eric Bolling fantasized on the air about waterboarding Senate Democrats and Obama, while host Andrew Napolitano sparked off the latest conspiracy theory to emanate from right-wing circles, wondering whether Obama was “telling us the truth or pulling a fast one to save [his] lousy presidency.”

Rush Limbaugh, amid a week-long anti-Obama tirade, claimed that if the president were safe for reelection, “Osama bin Laden would still be alive today.” Another conservative radio host, Tammy Bruce, tweeted, “Obama is *not* a generous person — he is a malignant narcissist.” Apparently, her Obama hatred overrode her promise from Sept. 17, 2009, when she said, “If Barack Obama captured those guys [including bin Laden] or killed them, I would be looking at this man slightly differently.” 

I’ll spare you the ridiculousness coming from conservative bloggers. 

As Media Matters’s Boehlert concluded, “[T]his is what happens once their signature, irrational hate gains so much momentum over months and years. It’s difficult for dead-enders to slow it down, even when news breaks that Osama bin Laden’s finally been executed … They’ve become fanatically dedicated to fermenting idiotic Obama claims and put-downs that it’s become like breathing to them: essential and automatic.”

Moulitsas is the publisher and founder of Daily Kos.