Congressional Dems Finally Defend White House Against Crazy GOP Attacks

Democrats are striking back at the absurd Republican attacks against the President's counter-terrorism policies.

Within hours of the attempted terrorist attack last Friday, Republicans had already begun blaming the president for the actions of the madman. Since then, abandoning any sense of reason, GOP officials and their allies have been trashing U.S. officials for ... well, something bad. It's unclear what.

Congressional Democrats have been slow to either defend the White House against baseless attacks or go on the offensive against the Republican attack dogs. That seemed to change this afternoon.

While many Dems stay silent and let the WH lead the way, DCCC chair Chris Van Hollen and Rep. Eric Massa (D-NY) say the previous admin let down their guard.

"In general, we are facing the consequences of the Bush administration's failures to deal with al Qaeda," Van Hollen told Hotline OnCall. "The Republicans have no business in pointing fingers at the Obama administration on terrorism and national security."

"The Obama administration has been much more aggressive about going after al Qaeda than the Bush administration, which turned its focus from al Qaeda to Iraq," he added. The Obama admin has "been on the offense in places where the Bush administration had taken its eye off the ball."

I'd go a little further, but that's not bad. It's probably also worth noting that a) Bush/Cheney released the terrorist plotters into an "art therapy rehabilitation program"; b) failed spectacularly to keep America and its allies safe from terrorism during the former administration's eight years; c) the same Republican lawmakers whining now also opposed funding for the Transportation Safety Administration, including money for screening operations and explosives detection systems; and d) that Obama has succeeded on counter-terrorism fronts that Bush/Cheney only talked about. That said, Van Hollen's message isn't a bad start.

Steve Benen is "blogger in chief" of the popular Washington Monthly online blog, Political Animal. His background includes publishing The Carpetbagger Report, and writing for a variety of publications, including Talking Points Memo, The American Prospect, the Huffington Post, and The Guardian. He has also appeared on NPR's "Talk of the Nation," MSNBC's "Rachel Maddow Show," Air America Radio's "Sam Seder Show," and XM Radio's "POTUS '08."
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