Goes to James Fallows, who takes on Mitt Romney's claim that "even Jimmy Carter" would have made the same call Barack Obama did with regard to the raid on bin Laden.
Fallows, who worked for Carter, is nevertheless far from a Carter apologist. On the other hand, I think it's fair to say that Fallows likes to give Carter the benefit of the doubt. That's not true about me! I'm a confirmed Carter-basher; I've even had any patience with his post-presidency, which I've mostly read as a long, selfish effort to rehab his reputation. But, fortunately, it's not necessary to defend Carter to appreciate the point Fallows makes, which is that Romney's reference is very much not apt. As Greg Sargent said in a similar point earlier, the historical reference Romney made underscores not what an easy decision it was, but what a difficult one.
There's also the associated point, pushed by the Obama campaign, that Romney specifically criticized Obama in 2007 for suggesting that this kind of raid was a good idea. I doubt the press will buy it, but they really should. One of the oddball outcomes of what was mostly historical happenstance has been to blur a real difference between the two parties over the last 20 years or so over the terrorist threat, with Democrats far more aggressive about going after al Qaeda and bin Laden in particular, while Republicans have focused on state actors. Leading to, for example, the incoming Bush administration in 2001 paying less attention to terrorist threats, and switching resources from Afghanistan to Iraq in 2002-2003.
Hmmm...I'm drifting a bit here. Anyway, it'll be interesting whether Mitt Romney's lack of foreign policy credentials means that the press will punish him for minor foreign policy gaffes, or, as Greg suggests in another (interesting) post that Republicans are automatically assumed to have national security competence by the press.
Back to Fallows: nice catch!