Despite the partisan squabbles in Washington, President Barack Obama’s recent speeches on countering extremism could have been given by a Democrat or a Republican. The neo-cons of the Bush era called for the same five-point strategy: confronting extremism, promoting democracy, addressing public grievances, creating opportunities for disillusioned youth, and dignity for all.

Indeed, the two presidents have given speeches with almost identical language on the subject—and the various components of U.S. policy.

Six days after the 9/11 attacks in 2001, President George W. Bush spoke at the Islamic Center of Washington.

“These acts of violence against innocents violate the fundamental tenets of the Islamic faith. And it’s important for my fellow Americans to understand that,” he said. “The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. . . . Islam is peace. These terrorists don’t represent peace.  They represent evil and war.”

Speaking Wednesday, at the White House summit on violent extremism, President Obama said, “We are not at war with Islam. We are at war with people who have perverted Islam. . . . [T]he terrorists do not speak for over a billion Muslims who reject their hateful ideology. They no more represent Islam than any madman who kills innocents in the name of God represents Christianity or Judaism or Buddhism or Hinduism.”

Nothing different.

Both presidents have also promoted democracy—meaning political participation, equal justice, and basic freedoms–to counter extremism.

President Bush discussed democracy promotion in the Middle East at the National Endowment for Democracy in 2003.

“Successful societies limit the power of the state and the power of the military–so that governments respond to the will of the people, and not the will of an elite,” he said. “Successful societies protect freedom with the consistent and impartial rule of law, instead of … selectively applying the law to punish political opponents. Successful societies allow room for healthy civic institutions–for political parties and labor unions and independent newspapers and broadcast media.”

On Thursday, President Obama said that democracy is an essential part of the cure for extremism.

“When people are oppressed, and human rights are denied–particularly along sectarian lines or ethnic lines–when dissent is silenced, it feeds violent extremism,” he said. “And so we must recognize that lasting stability and real security require democracy.  That means free elections where people can choose their own future, and independent judiciaries that uphold the rule of law, and police and security forces that respect human rights, and free speech and freedom for civil society groups. And it means freedom of religion–because when people are free to practice their faith as they choose, it helps hold diverse societies together.”

Almost identical language.

In his 2001 speech at Washington’s Islamic Center, President Bush pointedly lauded Muslims in the U.S.:

“America counts millions of Muslims amongst our citizens, and Muslims make an incredibly valuable contribution to our country. Muslims are doctors, lawyers, law professors, members of the military, entrepreneurs, shopkeepers, moms and dads. And they need to be treated with respect. In our anger and emotion, our fellow Americans must treat each other with respect.”

On Wednesday, President Obama noted that, “to their credit,” there are “respected Muslim clerics and scholars not just here in the United States but around the world who push back on this twisted interpretation of their faith.”

The same show of respect.

There is no meaningful gap on the guiding principles. So it’s time–for the good of both sides–for petty political bickering over U.S. policy on extremism to stop.

The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author. 

This article was originally published in The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire.