Aw, come on! Have a little grace, Gov. Perry!

Got this release today from Rick Perry about the death of al Qaida leader Anwar al-Awlaki:

I want to congratulate the United States military and intelligence communities – and President Obama for sticking with the government’s longstanding and aggressive anti-terror policies – for getting another key international terrorist.

Come on, Governor Perry! You can have a little more grace than that. Talk about bending over backwards to make sure you don’t pay an actual compliment to your opposition…

This is what the rest of us hate about political partisanship.

I, too, have expressed my gratitude that the president has generally maintained continuity in our military operations — from the very first decisions he made. I’m also grateful that he has gotten much more aggressive in going after our enemies in Pakistan (something he said he would do as early as 2007, although I think a lot of his base wasn’t listening). President Bush had good reasons to tread carefully there, but I appreciate that his successor has pushed harder, because it needed to happen. (Things have changed, as Admiral Mullen has noted so clearly.)

All you had to say, all you should have said, was “I want to congratulate the United States military and intelligence communities – and President Obama.” Period.

13 thoughts on “Aw, come on! Have a little grace, Gov. Perry!

  1. Bryan Caskey

    You’re objecting to the phrase: “sticking with the government’s longstanding and aggressive anti-terro policies”? I thought you were going to object to the order or the dash.

    Meh. Doesn’t really move the needle with me, but maybe I’m numb to it. I will be surprised if anyone else picks this out as partisan. Seems pretty straightforward to me.

  2. Steven Davis

    How much do you want to pat a guy on the back for giving an order to take a person out and then having little or no involvement? It’s not like Obama was sitting in a war room barking orders.

    For all we know Obama was handed a memo with the following:

    Permission to take the following out: (please circle)
    Osama Bin Laden – Yes or No
    Anwar al-Awlaki – Yes or No
    Rush Limbaugh – Yes or No
    Glenn Beck – Yes or No

  3. Mark Stewart

    I must be a different kind of Republican; I would say that the extra-legal killing of an American is a BFD (this particular guy’s history notwithstanding – he deserved what he got).

    I don’t have problems with this case, but the next?

    This is a Bush-era thing and should have a shelf-life.

    It probably wouldn’t be a bad idea for us to shift back to the old ways on this one.

  4. Barry

    Disagree Brad – and I am not really a Perry fan.

    Heck, he didn’t have to even mention Obama at all. Even mentioning the President didn’t help Perry with his audience.

    So he deserves credit for doing something that has no benefit to him at all with his base – the group he’s trying to win over right now in the primary process.

    On the other side of the argument, MSNBC can’t go 15 minutes without asking if what we did was right, or if this terrorist was really a bad guy after all.

    and then of course you have Ron Paul who, I assume, would like to see the terrorist excused for his behvavior.

  5. Karen McLeod

    If he were handed such a memo, I’m not sure but that the greater dangers to our country and our freedoms would be Mssrs. Beck and Limbaugh.

  6. Brad

    Barry, you seem to be analyzing this in terms of what would or wouldn’t be politically advantageous to Perry. I suppose, in a sense, I’m thinking the same way but on a smaller scale. I think in terms of what might make one voter — me — more or less likely to vote for a guy. And this kind of refusal to give the president credit for his own decision — and there’s little question in my mind that Obama has gone far beyond “sticking with the government’s longstanding and aggressive anti-terror policies” — is unacceptably petty.

    He’s much more aggressive than Bush, and much less inclined to have a debate with other nations before acting. This of course runs counter to public perception of him and Bush, but it’s the pattern I see.

    I’ve written about that pattern here, and here and here and here.

    As Mark notes, this is the first such deliberate killing of an American citizen (although I disagree that it is “extra-legal;” even though it did not involve due process). Over the course of nearly 8 years, Bush didn’t do that. I’m not saying he wouldn’t have — his administration argued that it could — but this still, at least on that technical point, charts new ground.

    To get back to my point, the way for a classy politician to comment on this would be either not to mention the president, or, preferably, to acknowledge what he did without trying to belittle it by saying he was just following a track laid down for him. A proper response is that of Republican Peter King, who called this action “is a tremendous tribute to President Obama and the men and women of our intelligence community.”

    As much as Perry and his base might not like it, as commander in chief, President Obama is at the very least a full-fledged member of our national security team.

  7. Ralph Hightower

    What Would Newt Say?

    I saw a few compliments towards Obama for the killing of bin Laden, but there were more left-handed congratulations and that came from those pushing their own agenda and campaigning against Obama.

  8. David

    How was this not extra-legal? The arguments that it was not are not obvious — at least not to me.

  9. bud

    The N—–head travesty may be Perry’s final undoing. That alone drops him from a 2-1 longshot to 3-1 in the “bud” GOP POTUS odds assessment and perhaps lower. It will be interesting to see how the Christie decision affects the various polls.

  10. Tim

    Due Process is something broadly defined in circumstances such as this. In effect, Due Process in this instance WAS provided by a Justice Department review, which probably reached the conclusion that, since the Awlaki was in an essentially lawless land, any hope of affording him any other due process was impossible. Therefore, he received all the due process he could be given in the circumstances. Its different if you have them under your control in a jail cell, or even if he had been in a civilized country with effective governance.

  11. Phillip

    Perry’s “lack of class” has nothing on Dick Cheney, whose reaction to the Awlaki/Kahn killings was to demand an apology from the Obama Administration for dissing the Bush-Cheney pro-torture stance, on the grounds that Obama is now following the same path that Bush charted.

    While there are certainly troubling issues about the Awlaki killing, it is a different issue from the torture one. And thank goodness that one Republican of conscience had the grace to say so, and to basically tell off Cheney on this issue:

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