You know that temporary bump in approval rating that everyone has been expecting President Obama to get for overseeing the death of America's arch nemesis? It's here! According to a Washington Post poll taken last night, 56 percent of Americans approve of Obama's presidency — a nine-point boost over his numbers in mid-April and the best poll results he's seen since 2009. It definitely won't last.
Meanwhile, we're getting pretty fed up with the debate in the media about whether President Bush deserves any credit for bin Laden's death/how much credit he deserves/whether it's more or less credit than Obama deserves, etc. It wasn't all Bush. It wasn't all Obama. In fact, it was mostly neither of them. Can't we just say they both deserve some credit and just be happy about this huge victory without devolving into the standard partisan bickering?
No, we can't. Because partisanship is ingrained our brains. This same Post poll showed a stark divide between Republicans and Democrats over which president should get credit for bin Laden's demise. Only 61 percent of Republicans say Obama deserves at least "some credit," while 81 percent say that Bush deserves "some credit." That 20 percent, the one that thinks Bush deserves more credit than Obama, is probably the same 20 percent that wouldn't like Obama even if he cured cancer, diverted an asteroid headed for Earth, and jumped in front of a bullet for Glenn Beck. Meanwhile, Democrats are being kind of stingy with the praise as well, with only 35 percent willing to give the Bush administration any credit at all, even though the intelligence that eventually led to the raid on bin Laden's compound began during the Bush administration, with detainees captured under Bush.
Also, 4 percent of American adults had not heard of Osama bin Laden's death at the time that they were called for the poll. So just mull that over a bit.
Update: A CNN poll only gives Obama a negligible one-point boost.