In the hours following President Obama’s stunning and exhilarating announcement that U.S. Special Forces had raided a compound in Pakistan and found and killed Osama bin Laden, congressional Republican leaders went out of their way to thank President George W. Bush for his role in the hunt for Public Enemy No. 1.

After two years of insisting that Bush’s responsibility for all things ended the day President Obama was sworn in, now they are pushing the meme that the retired president had a role in an operation that began more than a year after he departed the White House. This is their “none of the accountability, all the credit” messaging strategy.

I’m not attacking President Bush. I don’t think he was a very good president, but that’s not today’s discussion. What I am talking about is that every time someone mentions Bush’s culpability for the brutal recession, the debilitating national deficit and the crushing national debt, Republicans, in a chorus the Vienna Boys Choir would envy, recant the standard pushback that President Bush isn’t running the country anymore and that President Obama must assume responsibility — and blame — for our nation’s troubles.

Today, however, those same leaders are saying the opposite: President Bush, long separated from the daily national intelligence briefing and father of two wars he didn’t finish, somehow deserves at least partial credit for finding and killing Osama bin Laden. Never mind the arguments they made about him not being responsible for anything; he led President Obama down this path — we’re told.


I am sure President Bush should be accorded some credit for something — he started the hunt for bin Laden; he didn’t finish it, though. President Obama finished it. President Obama and his intelligence and military operations deserve the highest honors and all the credit.

Congressional Republicans don’t see it that way, apparently.