The double standard defense works to deflect criticism, but not to defend yourself on the merits.
The Democratic National Committee is circulating Mike Allen’s report that shoe-bomber Richard Reid was read a Miranda warning five minutes after he was taken into custody. No doubt this will become the Democrats’ latest talking point on why Republicans and conservatives cannot criticize the decision to mirandize Christmas Day bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab after 50 minutes of questioning.
But the fact remains that it was a mistake to mirandize Abdulmutallab–just as it was a mistake to mirandize Reid. At what point will Democrats realize that the Bush administration’s mistakes are not an excuse for the Obama administration’s failures?
Is “Bush did it too” going to be Obama’s defense if his administration responds poorly to a hurricane?
Yes, it’s fair to point out that Bush didn’t face criticism for the decision to mirandize Reid. Perhaps 3 months after 9/11 the Bush administration didn’t have a complete grasp of all its options. But at the end of the day that doesn’t really matter.
Obama’s the president now. The fact that his allies are trying to argue about double standards is a sign that Obama’s decision can’t be defended on its merits.
Okay, Obama, you got your mulligan. Everybody deserves a second chance. So we promise never to criticize you again for mirandizing Abdullmutallab if you promise not to mirandize anymore terrorists. Deal?