Marc Thiessen, formerly employed as George W. Bush’s speechwriter, had an idiotic Op-Ed in today’s Washington Post, rolling out the familiar defense of Bush’s national security record that, “When President Bush left office on Tuesday, America marked 2,688 days without a terrorist attack on its soil.” If we leave alone for a moment the fact that the claim is false, and leave aside for the moment that thousands of US soldiers have died because of terrorism in Iraq, the claim raises an interesting problem. That is, if we assume Thiessen doesn’t believe Bush should be blamed for the attack 2,689 days before the day Bush left office, then he also shouldn’t receive credit for preventing terrorist attacks during the duration of his presidency. You don’t get to pick and choose for which moments you are accountable.
Besides, how can anyone even remotely take seriously an argument following the formula, “Since [TERRIBLE EVENT X], no more [TERRIBLE EVENT OF THE SAME VARIETY] has taken place. Therefore, the record is good.” Try it out yourself, you can fix virtually anyone’s record on anything.
“Since Mike Tyson was convicted of raping Desiree Washington 6,191 days ago, he hasn’t been convicted of raping another woman.”
“Since O.J. (allegedly) committed double-homicide 5,338 days ago, he hasn’t engaged in double-murder since.”
Now, obvioulsy I realize there are differences between Bush’s record on national secuirty and O.J.’s (alleged) record on murdering people, but the basic point stands that time ellapsed since a horrible failure does not erase the horrible failure from one’s record, much less transmute it to one worthy of applause.