"We Blame George W. Bush" is a recurring category in James Taranto's "Best of the Web Today" column at the Wall Street Journal. The meme mocks the penchant of progressives to blame the former president for everything under the sun.
The phenomenon was illustrated in an ugly way on last night's Rachel Maddow Show. Dem Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut blamed the existence of the Charlie Hebdo terrorists on, yup, W. Oh, Murphy didn't call 43 out by name. He didn't have to. Instead, Murphy went out of his way to claim that the murderers weren't radicalized by ISIS [which might thus be attributable to Obama's neglect], but instead as a result of "the invasion and occupation of Iraq," which he described as a "decade-long mistake." Got it? Iraq not ISIS. Decade-long, not recent. Not Obama's fault. All together now: We Blame George W. Bush.
Maddow had teed Murphy up, asking whether ISIS was inspiring terrorists [whom she used the neutral term "fighters" to describe] such as those in the Paris attacks. So how did Maddow respond to Murphy's move to smear W over the Hebdo massacre? Crickets. She moved right along, asking Murphy whether he thought there'd be a congressional vote authorizing current action in Iraq and Syria.
RACHEL MADDOW: Do you see a meaningful connection between the military fight against ISIS on the ground in Iraq and Syria and the international threat posed by ISIS both through propaganda, perhaps through directly organizing foreign attacks and inspiring the kind of fighters who we saw strike last week in France?
CHRIS MURPHY: I clearly think that you're seeing a flow of foreign fighters back and forth into Syria and Iraq that's presenting real problems and threats to our allies in Europe and potentially here to the United States. But I think it is important just to recognize that the individuals who carried out these attacks in Paris were originally radicalized not by ISIS but in coordination against the United States' invasion and occupation of Iraq. That's what initially brought them into this fight, and it's worth repeating that those who would call for another insertion of U.S. ground troops to fight ISIS would be essentially repeating the very mistake that radicalized thousands of Muslims all across country during our ten-year occupation of that country. So I certainly think that ISIS poses a threat to the United States and to our allies, but we're living with a decade-long mistake in Iraq that radicalized thousands already no matter whether or not ISIS was present in that region.