In the Republican social circles Peggy Noonan swims in, there is much grousing about George W. Bush. These days, however, it’s almost always followed by one sentence: “But he kept us safe.” It’s a meme destined to linger as the final argument for Bush. “There’s a rough justice with the American people,” writes Noonan. Through luck or design there have been no attacks, so Bush gets the credit, deserved or not.
Of course, if the President presides over a disaster, he’ll get the blame, too. Which is why Barack Obama must be quaking over this week's bipartisan congressional report concluding that the odds are high of a biological or nuclear terror attack in the next 5 years. The last thing he wants is for Republicans to finish their favorite sentence with the words “unlike Obama.”