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"O" Is No "W": Presidential critics are worlds apart

by: daniel clark | published: 01 21, 2010

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Having spent seven years doing all they could to hinder the War on Terror, liberals are now seeking absolution. Their method is to accuse their conservative counterparts of behaving the same way they did, now that a Democrat is Commander-in-Chief. Their basic argument is that, since Democrats who disagreed with George W. Bush's policies were called anti-American (which they seldom were), then Republicans who now criticize the way Barack Obama is conducting the war must be disloyal also.

The underlying assumption is that the two presidents have been equally committed to fighting terrorism. It follows, then, that the words and actions of both men's detractors cancel each other out, giving liberal Democrats a clean slate. To test the accuracy of that assumption, let's take a look at the scorecards.

Bush: criticized by liberal "privacy advocates" for intercepting wireless communications entering the United States, from known terrorists overseas.

Obama: criticized for his TSA's plan to equip all airports with extremely graphic full-body scanners, in spite of the obvious conclusion that no Muslim who objected would ever be forced to go through one.

Bush: took two months before ordering a troop surge in Iraq, because he needed time to devise the plan, and sell it to his reluctant Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Obama: took three months, for reasons only he knows, before ordering a surge in Afghanistan, and then announced the troops' withdrawal during the same speech.

Bush: agreed to close the prison at Guantanamo, just as soon as all of the detainees had been processed through military tribunals.

Obama: actually signed an executive order to close Guantanamo two days into his presidency, without first deciding where to put all the terrorists.

Bush: coined the phrase "Global War on Terror."

Obama: renamed the Global War on Terror the "Overseas Contingency Operations," and terrorist acts "man-caused disasters."

Bush: embarrassed himself in a creepy, though proper, exercise in protocol, when he walked hand-in-hand with Saudi Prince Abdullah -- an act that Arabs regard as a sign of mutual respect.

Obama: violated protocol and debased the American presidency by bowing to the Saudi king, as if he, the president, were a royal subject.

Bush: accused of provoking Russia by deploying a missile defense battery to Poland and the Czech Republic, to guard against the developing nuclear threat from Iran.

Obama: accused of appeasing Russia by abandoning those missile defenses, despite rapid advancements in Iran's nuclear capabilities, while leaving our trusted Polish and Czech allies holding the bag.

Bush: accepted a bust of Winston Churchill for the White House, as a token of friendship from Great Britain.

Obama: offended the Brits by sending the Churchill bust back, but accepted an America-slandering book as a gift from Hugo Chavez.

Bush: gave Khalid Sheikh Mohammed a cot at Guantanamo, and an occasional snootful of water.

Obama: is giving Khalid Sheikh Mohammed a trial in New York, a lawyer, and a platform for his terrorist-recruiting anti-American bloviations.

Bush: falsely accused of ignoring a pre-9-11 report that said, "Bin Ladin [sic] Determined to Strike in U.S." -- when in fact it was he who had ordered the report, and was angered by its lack of actionable information.

Obama: appointed a Homeland Security secretary who expresses surprise at al-Qaeda's determination to strike in the U.S.

Bush: never held a campaign event at the home of domestic terrorists who had bombed the Pentagon and the Capitol Building

Obama: did exactly that, although he flatly denied it during his last debate with John McCain.

Bush: never received spiritual guidance from a crackpot Marxist minister, who curses America from the pulpit and blames it for terrorist attacks against itself.

Obama: oh, yeah -- he did that, too.

On those rare occasions when President Obama acts in America's interests, Republicans support him almost unanimously, as in the case of his resumption of drone strikes into Pakistan. Many conservative pundits have even praised his otherwise deplorable speeches, just because he manages to cite redeeming qualities in America every so often. The ones who castigate him in those situations are among his usual supporters. Left-wing bloggers have even begun referring to any element of continuity between administrations as "The Bush-Obama Doctrine." You can't get much more insulting than that, as far as Democrat activists are concerned.

Many liberals, including elected Democrats, have spent years slandering our soldiers, while acting as defense attorneys and publicists for our enemies. For that, they owe us a more substantial explanation than to childishly and dishonestly taunt that the other side does it too.

-- Daniel Clark is a Staff Writer for the New Media Alliance. The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets.

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Original Comment


Warner Todd Huston

Neil Stenberg Chicago Sun-Times10: NEIL STEINBERG
Chicago Sun-Times

Liz Sidoti Associated Press9: LIZ SIDOTI
Associated Press


Howard Fineman Newsweek7: HOWARD FINEMAN


Cynthia Tucker Atlanta Journal-Constitution5: Cynthia Tucker
Atlanta Journal Constitution

Chuck Todd NBC News4: Chuck Todd

Paul Krugman New York Times3: Paul Krugman
The New York Times

Joe Klein Time Magazine2: Joe Klein
Time Magazine

Helen Thomas UPI / Independent1: Helen Thomas
UPI / Independent

Thousands of Deadly Islamic Terror Attacks Since 9/11
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Daniel Clark

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Daniel Clark is a writer from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. While earning an M.A. in English at Indiana University of Pennsylvania in the mid-90s, he had weekly opinion and sports columns published in the independent student newspaper. In 1999, he created a web publication called The Shinbone: The Frontier of the Free Press, for which he has written on a wide array of topics, but with a particular emphasis on the need to return to a literal interpretation of the Constitution. He is now a Staff Writer for the New Media Alliance, a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets.



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