According to a PPP poll of likely Ohio voters, 15% of Republicans in Ohio believe that Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney is “more responsible” for bin Laden’s death than Obama. 47% of Republicans are “not sure” whether Obama or Romney deserves more of the credit. Six% of the overall respondents gave Romney credit where credit is not at all due. Aside from the obvious meth problem in Ohio, this is problematic throughout the Republican party — it’s not just Ohio folks. This confusing element of the Republican Party highlights their problem in never giving President Obama credit for his accomplishments, then promptly forking the credit over to ‘their guy.’
George W. Bush stated that Bin Laden was not his priority. More than once. After Americans danced in the streets, relieved to hear that the greatest terrorist threat to our nation was killed by SEAL team six — on Obama’s watch — credit by prominent Republicans was generously afforded to Bush.
We’ll review just a few choice snippets.
House Majority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) said in a statement:
“The man with the blood of more than 3,000 Americans on his hands, the man who forced us to begin to think the unthinkable – is now dead,” Cantor said in a statement. “I commend President Obama who has followed the vigilance of President Bush in bringing Bin Laden to justice.”
Rep. Steve King (R-IA) tweeted, “Wonder what President Obama thinks of water boarding now?” — an allusion to the fact that the nickname of the courier who served bin Laden may have been elicited under tortured interrogation.
Last year: Karl Rove said on Fox & Friends this morning: “I think the tools that President Bush put into place –- GITMO, rendition, enhanced interrogation, the vast effort to collect and collate this information — obviously served his successor quite well.”
Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld stated that the critical intelligence that led to bin Laden’s death “very well could have been partly a result of the interviews that took place at Guantanamo.”
Heritage Foundation President Edwin Feulner, wrote in a post, “Bin Laden’s elimination vindicates U.S. strategy in the region, started under President George W. Bush.”
With bin Laden’s death, which came by way of a small, covert strike force, there will be an impulse to believe that this action validates that covert operations are a cheap and simple answer to the most vexing national security problems. They are not. They are just one tool in the tool box. Among those tools, too, is the strategic and lawful interrogation of detainees, including those at Guantanamo Bay. President Obama and Congress should not use bin Laden’s death as an excuse to turn back the clock on the counterterrorism tools we need, like the PATRIOT Act.
Conservative pundits weighed in.
Conservative blogger Michelle Malkin tweeted, “U know who Obama forgot 2 thank? Bush-era interrogators&detention staff who dvlped intel re couriers.” [Link]
Conservative radio host Laura Ingraham tweeted, “BHO turning this into a campaign speech. He should have thanked GWB, not reminded us OB escaped.” She was also suspicious of the timing of the announcement, asking, “Did Obama WH wait to announce on anniv of Bush ‘Mission Accomplished’?!” [Link, link]
Tea Party Nation head Judson Phillips “said that the death of Osama bin Laden happened in spite of President Obama and criticized the President for announcing the breaking news during Donald Trump’s ‘Celebrity Apprentice.’” [Link]
This clusterfuck of narcism is epidemic in the Republican Party. One last example.
Sarah Palin — the woman unleashed upon America by John McCain, wrote about bin Laden’s kill, without mentioning President Obama once.
On Facebook, Palin wrote, “Americans tonight are united in celebration and gratitude. God bless all the brave men and women in our military and our intelligence services who contributed to carrying out the successful mission to bring Bin Laden to justice and who laid the groundwork over the years to make this victory possible. It’s a testament to the hard work and dedication of these brave Americans who relentlessly hunted down our enemy.”
On Twitter, Palin reacted this way: “Thank you, American men and women in uniform. You are America’s finest and we are all so proud. Thank you for fighting against terrorism.
Sarah Palin garnered significant support from the Republican base by declaring, “Obama pals around with terrorists.” And she just keeps on going. And going. And going.
Thank you President Obama for making the tough decisions — with undying gratitude to SEAL team six.
How difficult was that?
Big thanks to Think Progress
The Hill and those linked above.