The fact that Obama doesn’t hysterically run around like some sort of frightened chicken with his head cut off every time Al Qaeda sneezes — or swagger to the nearest camera to beat his chest and play the role of protective daddy-cowboy — is one of the things I like best about him. As for Armao’s “point” about how Janet Napolitano probably took it easy because the “boss was away” — and her belief that Terrorists will strike more on holidays if Obama isn’t affixed to his chair in the Oval Office, as though he’s the Supreme Airport Screener: those are so self-evidently dumb it’s hard to believe they found their way even into something written by one of Fred Hiatt’s editorial writers.
What this actually illustrates is that many people are addicted to the excitement and fear of Terrorist melodramas. They crave some of that awesome 9/12 energy, where we overnight became The Greatest Generation and — unified and resolute — rose to the challenge of a Towering, Evil Enemy. Armao is angry and upset because the leader didn’t oblige her need to re-create that high drama by flamboyantly flying back to Washington to create a tense storyline, pick up a bullhorn, stand on some rubble, and personally make her feel “safe.” Maureen Dowd similarly complained today that Obama “appeared chilly in his response to the chilling episode on Flight 253.”
That’s because Obama reacted as though this is exactly what it actually is: a lame, failed attempt to kill people by a fractured band of criminals. It’s not the Cuban Missile Crisis or the attack on Pearl Harbor, as disappointing and unfulfilling as it is to accept that. It merits analysis, investigation and possibly policy changes by the responsible government agencies — not a bright-red-alert, bell-ringing, siren-sounding government-wide emergency that venerates Al Qaeda into a threat so profound that the President can’t even be away from Washington lest they get us all. As always, Al Qaeda’s greatest allies are the ones in the U.S. who tremble with the most fear at the very mention of their name and who quite obviously crave a return of that stimulating, all-consuming, elevating 9/12 glory. [continued…]