READY TO TRY EXCUSE #2?…. For the purposes of evaluation, the parallels between the Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab plot in December and the Richard Reid plot in 2001 are helpful.

Reid and Abdulmutallab used the same chemical, the same target, the same intended consequence, in same month of the year, with the same twisted ideology. They were both stopped by civilians. Reid’s attempt happened when Bush was away from the White House; Abdulmutallab’s attempt happened when Obama was away from the White House.

Both were read their rights upon being taken into custody, and both were charged with federal crimes to be heard in civilian U.S. courtrooms.

Republicans prefer to believe Reid’s case was handled appropriately by Bush/Cheney, while the Obama administration has made a mistake with Abdulmutallab, the identical details notwithstanding.

But as Newt Gingrich’s appearance on “The Daily Show” helped demonstrate, conservative critics just don’t know what they’re talking about.

After Gingrich assailed the administration for reading Miranda Rights to Detroit undie bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, Stewart drew a comparison to something that happened under George W. Bush.

“Didn’t they do the same with Richard Reid, who was the shoe bomber?” he asked the Republican icon.

“Richard Reid was an American citizen,” insisted Gingrich.

That might be persuasive if Gingrich was right. Except, as is usually the case, Gingrich is clueless — Reid is a British citizen of Jamaican descent.

And yet, the myth of Republican competence on national security continues.

Update: Josh Marshall added that Gingrich’s ignorance is part of “a larger illustration of how much Republicans are flailing to find any ‘fact’ to plug in to explain why the Abdulmutallab arrest was an outrage even though it went down just like every other arrest of a terrorist on American soil in like forever.”

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.