The Obami don’t believe in their heart of hearts that we are on a war footing. The president wouldn’t label Fort Hood, where thirteen died, as an act of jihadist terror. His administration has systematically worked to denigrate the sense of urgency that the Bush administration displayed and to propound policies that treat these instances as discrete, ho-hum, and unexceptional. The Bush administration was scorned for reacting with a sense of alarm or out of fear following a terrorist attack — one which killed 3,000. Not the Obami. They told us they’re above all that and have an entirely new approach.
Arrest him, book him, Mirandize him, call the FBI — what’s the big deal? It is not a mystery at all as to why Obama behaved as he did. This is his anti-terror policy on full display. What we now see (and what the “shocked, shocked to see there is cluelessness” crowd is reacting to) is what that bizarre stance toward the war on terror looks like up close and in real time when played out in the context of actual events. Think it’s odd for the president to call Farouk Abdulmutallab a “suspect”? Think it’s weird that the terrorist isn’t being interrogated but has lawyered up? Well, that’s the Obama anti-terror policy. It isn’t supposed to be a big deal when these events occur. For if it were, we wouldn’t be treating the terrorists like criminal suspects.
It turns out that the Obami’s approach is entirely off-putting and inappropriate to virtually everyone. That the media has finally clued in to just how politically untenable it is, tells us something about the media’s own willingness to ignore the implications of Obama’s declared policy and previous rhetoric. The solution is not to make sure after the next incident that the president puts on a tie, drops the grumpy-guy demeanor, and orders Janet Napolitano to stay off the air (although all that would be swell): it is to get a new policy on the war on terror – a policy that regards these incidents with the gravity they deserve and employs responses appropriate to the war in which we are engaged.