Peggy Noonan: At Least Bush Kept Us Safe, Except For That Whole 9/11 Thing
Nooners attends a "sparkling" Republican Christmas party, where she undoubtedly consumed a prodigious amount of Bombay Sapphire, and files this report from the bunker:
There was no grousing about John McCain, and considerable grousing about the Bush administration, but it was almost always followed by one sentence, and this is more or less what it was: "But he kept us safe." In the seven years since 9/11, there were no further attacks on American soil. This is an argument that’s been around for a while but is newly re-emerging as the final argument for Mr. Bush: the one big thing he had to do after 9/11, the single thing he absolutely had to do, was keep it from happening again. And so far he has.
Unless you lived in New Orleans after Katrina. . . or were killed by anthrax. . . or were shipped off to Iraq or Afghanistan.
But anyway, why does Bush get a total freaking pass on the first worst attack in US history that killed 3,000 people on his watch, especially since the 9/11 Commission concluded that 6 of the 10 major missed opportunities to prevent 9/11 occurred under Mr. Kept Us Safe’s watch?
We’re just supposed to give him a mulligan on that?
There’s a rough justice with the American people. If a president presides over prosperity, whether he had anything to do with it or not, he gets the credit. If he has a recession, he gets the blame. The same with war, and terrorist attacks. We have not been attacked since 9/11. Someone—someones—did something right.
So I guess we can conclude from Nooner’s "no 9/11-style attacks on your watch mean you’re awesome" rule here that both Clinton and Carter — and pretty much every president ever — were better presidents than the Decider.