The narrative from the left during the last years of the Bush presidency was that America was the problem in the world, that jihad was our fault, that the war was unwinnable, and that American leaders were somehow "terrorists" or "war criminals" who should be arrested for their actions against Muslim terrorists.
One woman tried to handcuff and "arrest" former presidential adviser Karl Rove. The Vermont hamlets of Brattleboro and Marlboro voted to have George W. Bush or Dick Cheney arrested if they stepped foot in town. Professor Francis A. Boyle of the University of Illinois College of Law in Champaign filed a complaint with the International Criminal Court in The Hague to indict Bush administration officials. A court in Holland once had to turn down an effort to arrest Bush.
The isolated threats and acts of conservatives in the wake of health-care reform look like Sesame Street compared to the bile that liberals reserved for America and President Bush: depictions of the president in a noose were some of the more civilized images. Protesters actually urged the killing of President Bush. One said, "Death to extremist Christian terrorist pig Bush." Another said: "Bush the only dope worth shooting." Another said, "I'm here to shoot Bush (shoot me)." Yet another: "Bush is the disease; death is the cure."
And one more: "Kill terrorists; bomb there (sic) house; kill Bush; bomb his f-----g house."
Of course, no outrage from the evening anchors at that. Can you imagine the horror on the nightly news if such vitriol were directed at President Obama?
Speaking of Mr. Obama, here's what he said back in 2007 in calling for an immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq: "Let me be clear: There is no military solution in Iraq and there never was. The best way to protect our security and to pressure Iraq's leaders to resolve their civil war is to immediately begin to remove our combat troops. Not in six months or one year -- now."
Yet, fast forward to today. Fresh shoots of reality seem to be sprouting underneath some folks' feet -- including Mr. Obama's.
Russia was hit again Monday by two suicide bombers from Chechnya, its breakaway Muslim republic. Oddly, the attacks seemed to have nothing to do with the United States or George W. Bush.
And over the weekend, President Obama declared in a visit to Afghanistan: "The United States of America does not quit once it starts on something. You don't quit. The American armed services does not quit.
"We are going to disrupt and dismantle, defeat and destroy al-Qaida and its extremist allies. That is our mission."
We applaud the president's newfound sense of determination. But it certainly stands in stark contrast to his pre-election stance -- when he led the call for quitting. As president, he now sees the importance of finishing the war on terror.
Reality has a way of making itself known.