We have been through five election cycles since 9/11 and in every single one of them Republican candidates and Fox News has done their best to label every Democratic candidate, no matter if they were liberal, moderate, or conservative, as weak on terrorism. It had worked moderately well until the 2006 and 2008 elections where Democrats swept into power in Congress and then into the White House. However, this has not stopped the Republican machine from pushing the claim that Democrats were weak on terrorism. They even went as far as claiming that not only were Democrats weak on terrorism but that they were supportive of the terrorists or in the worst, most despicable moments claiming that Democrats sided with the terrorists and were hoping that they would win.
Naturally, none of it is true. Sure, Republicans could point to wildly taken out of context quotes in their efforts to push the idea. What they were participating in was playing the fear card. Both parties have done it with limited success throughout the years, but the Republicans continually dipped into that well election cycle after election cycle. They could have been doing this because they feared that the American population really did not buy into their social plans for the country, one that could potentially turn this country from the a democracy to a theocracy. Whatever, their reasons, they continued doing so. They played this fear care especially hard in 2006 when it looked like the Democrats could take back Congress.
The Democrats won control either because their message rang more loudly with the voters or because the voters had enough of the fear card.
In 2008, they tried it again by attempting to not only paint Barack Obama as a Muslim, but an un-American (or even in certain cases as not even American) sympathizer of the terrorists. Despite these claims he still became President.
These charges did not stop. Anytime Obama visited a foreign country they made it out as Obama's apology tour where he apologized to all the Muslims in the world. This they said was even more proof that Obama was a secret Muslim that was trying to bring Sharia law to the United States and secretly give aid to the terrorists.
Then, on April 29, 2011 the United States believed they had found Osama bin Laden (the mastermind behind 9/11) and Obama gave the order to take him out. Keep in mind there was only a 50/50 chance that Osama was in the compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. On May 1, Navy SEALS stormed the compound (and in one instance crashed into the compound, fortunately no one was injured) and killed Osama bin Laden.
Then a funny thing happened. All those Republicans that had been claiming for close to three years that Obama was weak on terrorism changed their minds and suddenly began leaping praise on Obama for finally taking Osama out ...
Naw, just kidding.
Instead we have more of the same, he is still being called soft on terrorism. Some Republicans have even come out and said that Obama should not get any of the credit but the military and specifically former President Bush should get the lions share if not all the credit for Osama bin Laden finally getting justice. Not surprisingly, some of these same people are the ones who for years claimed that President Bush should not receive any fault in 9/11 but that former President Clinton should get all the blame for 9/11.
I hope you see the disconnect there, if not let me explain it. The same people who sought to blame the sitting President for the events that led up to 9/11 happening but a former President are the same ones now not wanting to give any credit to the current President for finally making the call to get Osama but would rather give all the credit to a former President. In other words, don't blame the bad stuff on Bush just give him the credit when something good happens.
The Presidential Election of 2012 will cover a great many topics. Here is hoping that the Republicans (whoever they might be) that make a run at the Presidency will not make one of those topics terrorism. As it stands right now it is a losing issue for them.