If that glorious clap of gunfire and splintering open of Osama bin Laden’s skull was the most thrilling moment yet of the Obama presidency, then the nadir came just hours later.
That was when Mr. Obama shed the gleaming stars of a commander in chief and hustled back into his favorite professor’s gown and mortarboard to give us yet another insufferable lecture.
This one was about how we Americans should not celebrate the bloody slaying of the pernicious dragon.
“We don’t need to spike the football,” Mr. Obama scolded, sewing new doubts about whether he really was born in America.
As everyone knows, spiking the football was invented here and is one of our favorite pastimes. Few things are more thoroughly American than obnoxiously strutting over our victories.
Professor Obama and his crowd call this being an “ugly American.”
We call it, just, you know, winning.
Of course, no lecture from Professor Obama would be complete without a fat stripe of hypocrisy running right through the middle of it.
And so after telling all of us ugly Americans not to “spike the ball,” he promptly embarked on a week-long dance in the endzone featuring enough ball spikings to have him benched for the rest of the season.
There he was spiking the ball at ground zero and then he was in Kentucky, grinning from ear to ear and spiking the ball. Then he met behind closed doors with the Navy SEALs who actually carried out the operation for a little private ball spiking.
The guy was suddenly so enthused about the whole war on terror one might forget his administration’s efforts to ban the phrase “war on terror,” close Gitmo and generally apologize to the Muslim world for all these ugly Americans.
The hypocrisy of Mr. Obama’s lecture was no more brazen than usual. What is alarming is how insultingly — and even dangerously — he is handling the whole aftermath of the killing.
His suggestion that releasing a photograph of bin Laden dead is somehow spiking the ball reveals a stunning misunderstanding of America and the form of justice upon which we are based.
We are a nation of laws where justice is determined by facts and evidence. Our only faith is in God, not government or president.
We want to see the photo because justice is served only after bin Laden is killed and we have seen the evidence proving it. That is why people are tried in open court and executions are witnessed by citizens — so that justice is not carried out under the cover of darkness solely at the hands of the government.
You would think that a great constitutional scholar might know this.
But what is downright terrifying is not Obama’s hypocrisy, disdain for ugly Americans or infantile misunderstandings about American justice.
It is the grave damage he is now doing to our national security. For more than a week, he and his administration have gloated over the huge cache of intelligence taken from bin Laden’s compound that they claim is giving us all kinds of leads in the direction of all kinds of bad people.
How dare he compromise these treasures that good men risked their lives to collect. How dare he go blabbing to the world what should be our most guarded state secrets. And how dare he alert our worst enemies that they better run and hide while they can — or hurry and commit their suicidal missions before we get to them.
All this, of course, so President Obama — not us ugly Americans — can spike the ball.
• Charlie Hurt’s column appears Wednesdays. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.