“I assume we’re angered by use of military successes for political campaigns because none of us were alive in 2008 or 2004.”- Republican consultant and former Bush speechwriter Josh Trevino.
This is exactly what I was thinking as I was listening to all the Republicans criticize the Obama campaign for using the bin Laden killing in political ads. Although the GOP probably did not invent the idea of using military and foreign policy successes for political purposes, they certainly perfected it during the Bush/Cheney years. In 2003, George W. Bush actually pranced around in a flight suit on the deck of an aircraft carrier muttering "mission accomplished" and then declared the end to major military operations in Iraq -- and the war resulting from that colossal foreign policy fuck-up would continue on for another eight years!
Christ, GOP operatives would even make shit up in order to tout their party's national security "successes" while criticizing their opponents. Remember the Fort Hood shootings in late 2009, when Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan killed 13 people and wounded 29 others? Republicans went out of their way to brand that event as a "domestic terrorist attack" and then the GOP Echo Chamber followed up that effort by going on television in a desperate attempt to re-write history.
After the Fort Hood shootings, Rudy Fucking Giuliani appeared on Good Morning America and actually stated: "We had no domestic attacks under Bush. We've had one under Obama." In November 2009, former Bush White House Press Secretary Dana Perino similarly commented on FoxNews that "we did not have a terrorist attack on our country during President Bush's term." Not to be outdone by all this bullshittery, GOP political consultant Mary Matalin stated on CNN in December 2009 that the 9-11 attacks occurred during Clinton's presidency: "We inherited a recession from President Clinton and we inherited the most tragic attack on our own soil in our nation's history. And President Bush dealt with it."
For those of you who were sleeping during the last decade, the 9-11 attacks occurred on Bush and Cheney's watch, nine months into their presidency. These attacks took place after Bush and Cheney were repeatedly warned by outgoing Clinton people that Al Qaeda would be the incoming Bush Administration's top national security priority and then after being specifically warned by the CIA in August 2001 that bin Laden was determined to strike targets in the United States.
And if that isn't enough GOP failure for you, Bush and Cheney then let bin Laden escape at Tora Bora, took their eyes off the ball in Afghanistan by deciding to invade Iraq, then -- in 2005 -- actually dissolved the CIA unit focused on the capture of bin Laden. Obama, of course, re-started our effort to get bin Laden, and then actually killed that sonofabitch, accomplishing in less than two-and-a-half years what Bush and Cheney couldn't do in eight.
Face it GOP: You guys fucked up big time when it came to protecting our country from terrorists, and Obama succeeded where you failed. You all need to deal with the fact that this truth will come up from time to time during the run-up to the General Election.