In the spirit of post-bin Laden peace, love and harmony, President Obama has asked all Americans to "harness" national good will and stand together. The commander in chief could practice what he preaches — by inviting President Bush to stand with him at Ground Zero in New York City on Thursday.
It would be an extraordinary — dare I say "unprecedented," to borrow one of Obama's favorite words — act of political maturity, good faith and transcendent unity against our common jihadi enemies.
Last night, some reported that Obama had invited Bush — who declined. If that's true, Dubya needs to change his mind — for America's sake.
Stay with me, folks. Suspend your disbelief, cue John Lennon's "Imagine," and wave your olive branches in the air like you just don't care. Now, picture the uplifting, patriotic post-partisan scene:
Side by side, the Democratic commander in chief and his GOP nemesis would join hands at the former site of the World Trade Center towers; pay heartfelt tribute to the thousands of victims of Osama bin Laden here at home and around the world; and pledge continued support for our military, intelligence and homeland security personnel in the U.S. and across the globe.
Bush would graciously reiterate his congratulations to Obama for a "momentous achievement" in "the fight against terror."
Obama would sincerely reiterate what he told Capitol Hill lawmakers at a dinner Monday night: "Obviously we've all had disagreements and differences in the past. I suspect we'll have them again in the future. But last night, as Americans learned that the United States had carried out an operation that resulted in the capture and death of Osama bin Laden, we, you know, I think we experienced the same sense of unity that prevailed on 9/11. We were reminded again that there is a pride in what this nation stands for, and what we can achieve, that runs far deeper than party, far deeper than politics."
And then, instead of merely paying lip service to this renewed sense of unity, Obama would actually lead from the front.
Imagine the Nobel Peace Prize winner, in front of the entire world that reviled George W. Bush for his post-9/11 response, acknowledging his predecessor's love of country.
Imagine Obama acknowledging the daunting challenges that faced Bush-era national security, homeland security and legal advisers in defending our country against enemy combatants waging asymmetric war.
Imagine Obama acknowledging Bush's unwavering support for the troops and grace under eight years of fire from radical leftists bent on sabotaging every last counterterrorism measure — from immediately arresting thousands of illegal alien fugitives from terror-coddling nations after the attacks, to tearing down the Clinton-era wall between intelligence and law enforcement agencies, to grappling with thorny detention and interrogation policies that bore fruit years after he left office, to weathering endless cries of "fascist," "bloodthirsty war-monger" and vengeful "cowboy."
Imagine Obama condemning the unhinged accusations of "war crimes," "racism" and "Islamophobia" leveled by progressives at Bush's top Pentagon and Justice Department officials over two divisive terms.
Imagine Obama rising above the din of poll-obsessed liberal opportunists — from Democratic N.Y. Rep. Gary Ackerman (who crowed that bin Laden's death is "the 'Mission Accomplished' moment President Bush only fantasized about"), to incoming Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida (who squawked that Obama "deserved credit" in a partisan press release just hours after the bin Laden announcement), to the ladies of ABC's "The View" gabfest (who are all ready to cancel the 2012 election and anoint Obama king), to a race-baiting Grist magazine writer who exulted, "We booted the cowboy and elected a black, liberal urbanite, and he's the one who tracked down the bad guy. It's just too, too delicious."
And then, before departing Ground Zero with President Bush, visualize President Obama making clear to the nation that the rally for "unity" should not be used — as "civility" was after the Tucson shooting massacre — as a tool to silence political opponents and squelch dissent.
Yes, you may say that I'm a dreamer. But wasn't it Obama who urged us all to "expand our moral imaginations"? Let the healing begin.
Michelle Malkin is the author of "Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies" (Regnery 2010). Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.