Jonah Goldberg: White House Has Rule To "Never Overreact To Terrorism," Obama Doesn't Buy Into War on Terror


JONAH GOLDBERG, NATIONAL REVIEW: I mean, look, first of all, the guy with the Greek columns, the guy who campaigned in Berlin that somehow he doesn't like the the theater of politics strikes me as a little ridiculous. The pattern here is that whenever they blow it with their communication shop, the pattern is to then say, 'well, we're just too good for the optics,' but other times they're perfectly happy to exploit optics and do theater, just sometimes they're bad at it and say -- It's like when you trip and you say I meant to do that.

Look, everyone agrees that this was a mistake. The question is why this is a mistake. Part of it is incompetence. Never rule out incompetence as an explanation for anything in Washington. But part of it also is that it fits into a pattern that this president and this White House has an ideological rule that has gone forth that says we're never going to overreact to terrorism.

We're never going to make a big deal about the war on terror if we don't absolutely have to. We always say it's a lone [wolf], it's an isolated incident until it's way too late. We call it workplace violence when it was a terror attack. Time and time again, and I think that ideological climate was one of the things that probably contributed to the reasons why they misread this moment so terribly...

I think at this point six years in it's pretty clear that Barack Obama doesn't like buying into the logic of the war on terror. We've encountered this many times on this panel where rhetorically, politically, ideologically he's very reluctant to lend creedence to the idea that this is anything more than a surgical targeted police action in effect, a law enforcement issue, not a clash of civilizations -- which I think is a fair thing to resist -- but anything approaching a real war.

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