There'd always been a point of curiosity as to how Republicans would have behaved had it been President Al Gore on September 12, 2001. Well on September 12, 2012, we know for sure: they would have dispensed with any of that pesky sympathy for the bereaved/national unity business and gone straight to saying it's all the President's fault. Above we have Paul Ryan speaking in Green Bay yesterday indicating that the problem was the absence of a "peace through strength" strategy and a president that in public statements communicates weakness and equivocation to "adversaries." In the Wall Street Journal, it's Liz Cheney with a similar line of attack --
Nor do our adversaries any longer fear us. Ask the mobs in Cairo who attacked our embassy, or the Libyan mobs who killed our diplomats at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. Ask the Iranians, who make unhindered daily progress toward obtaining a nuclear weapon.
The basic problem with this reasoning is that by its own logic, the ability of the US to intimidate "bad guys" should have peaked in 2003-2004, with 2 seemingly successful invasions under George Bush's belt. Instead it saw the, yes, weakness, of getting pulled into two prolonged insurgencies and the emergence of Al Qaeda 2.0, some later edition of which likely carried out the Benghazi attack. Note by the way the willful confusion of the Cairo mob with the Libyan militias in much of the post-Benghazi commentary from the right. Their prescription seems to be that the US should invade some Arab country, but only when it could look tough doing so.