David French laments this today at National Review:
I can’t recall a better time to be an enemy of the United States. The message to the jihadist world is clear: Not only is it open season on Americans wherever they live, work, and play, but jihadist attacks will have the added strategic benefit of further dividing a polarized country.So what happened? My guess: Politics, of course.
Remember what followed 9/11: Democrats joined Republicans in passing the Patriot Act. A year later, Democrats helped Republicans pass the resolution that essentially approved the invasion of Iraq — a minority of Democrats in the House, admittedly, but their help was needed to pass the resolution; a majority of Dems in the Senate signed on — and for this they got what? Karl Rove and Republicans painted them as "weak on terror." They even ran an ad painting Max Cleland, an Army vet, as a would-be ally of Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein.
The lesson from that? Unity in the face of disaster is a sucker's game. Use disaster to your political advantage — because if you won't, your opponent will.
It's unfortunate and ugly, but is anybody going to disarm, politically, at this point? Why would they? The spiral always goes down, never up.