It was only a matter of time, really, before the Obama SEAL doll became a reality. And with the disturbing dead Osama swag that's cropped up since bin Laden's death, an action figure of President Barack Obama dressed in military fatigues and toting an M1-A4 being sold by Herobuilders is almost a welcome reprieve. Almost, but not quite.
This Rambama action figure ($34.95), representing the president as a member of SEAL Team 6, is an insult to the actual members. The fact is, despite Facebook statuses that have taken over the site proclaiming the president should not get credit for the take-down of America's Public Enemy Number One, Obama was a pivotal figure in the death of Osama bin Laden. But so were the real Navy SEALs, the men who put their lives on the line as they entered Pakistan on stealth helicopters while Obama was back in the situation room.
They, not the president, the head of counterterrorism, or any of the Washington bigshots, infiltrated the bin Laden compound and got the job done. They are American heroes.
Yes, Obama is president and commander in chief of the armed services. He made some tough decisions here. But the Navy SEALs are an elite military force who undergo years of intensive training to bear the honor of serving our country in that capacity. It takes 30 months in the program before a SEAL is ready to deploy. To even be considered, the warriors need to fit very strict criteria, including not just physical fitness, but mental aptitude.
The name Navy SEAL and the insignia that comes with it represent not just dedication to our country -- something Obama has proven he has in spades -- but hard work, discipline, and a lot of talent. Before the bin Laden raid, I confess I knew as much about the SEALs as most Americans; what little I'd picked up from watching the Demi Moore flick G.I. Jane and shreds of media reports over the years.
But in addition to the satisfaction of knowing bin Laden is gone, the raid in Pakistan had the added bonus of putting the SEALs on the radar of millions of Americans who might otherwise have never given these guys the credit they deserve. According to the Navy, a SEAL is "a common man with an uncommon desire to succeed." They're hardcore. They're incredible.
Obama, on the other hand, is their boss. He is a man who sent them in to do a job that made a difference in the way America operates. He's an important man in America with his own job to do. He's not a member -- he's another entity entirely. To portray him in this doll, in essence, is insulting to BOTH parties.
Would you buy this doll? Should it be pulled or stay out there?
Image via Herobuilders