Earlier this week, noted Republican columnist George Will wrote an op-ed piece entitled “Republicans Need More Than Rhetoric on Defense,” which appeared in the February 9 edition of the Washington Post. Among other topics, Mr. Will noted that – given the robust track record of President Obama’s administration – it is becoming increasingly difficult to suggest that the current strategy has failed and that any of the suggestions made by Mitt Romney as to how he would manage foreign policy would improve our results in Afghanistan, Iran or any of a number of other areas.
Predictably, any praise for President Obama needed to be spun somehow into a negative by the right wing shepherds, lest the sheep rebel. Also predictably, one of the easiest places to find an anti-Obama retort was the Heritage Foundation’s blog.heritage.org site.
In his response, “George Will Makes a Point on Defense“, James Carafano concedes that Will is onto something (hence the title), but that the issue is that Republicans haven’t explained (spun) the issue to Americans well enough. The issue? That the Obama administration has only kept the politically expedient portions of the Bush counterterrorism strategy and has let the rest lapse. You know, the old “Obama Hates America” rhetoric – he’s going to make you think he’s doing good to push his radical social agenda.
I could burn 5,000 words on a response to how idiotic this line of crap is, but many smarter and more well versed than me have said it much better than I ever could. However, Mr. Carafano decided to include a chart to illustrate just how great Bush foreign policy was and how the results under Obama are strictly because of procedures put in place by Bush & co. And naturally, the sheep ate it up.
Here’s the thing….he missed something pretty damned interesting. Take a look at the chart below:
So, basically, anyone without a radical anti-Obama slant would interpret this chart as clearly illustrating that Reagan and Bush both really sucked at counterterrorism, only to see Clinton make nearly a 90% improvement from the peak of the HW Bush years. When W. Bush took office, we see a massive spike – over 200% in the first year alone, peaking in 2004 – the worst year for terrorist attacks since 1991.
Granted, the 2nd Bush presidency saw really low numbers for terrorist attacks, but only after he, Cheney and Rumsfeld stripped everyone’s civil liberties to do it. Still, the chart suggests that Republican Presidents suck at preventing terrorism and Democrats – like with everything else – have had to come in and clean up the mess.
Again – the source was the Heritage Foundation. You can’t make shit up like this….