Appearing on Fox News Sunday this morning, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) used the recent failed attempt by a Nigerian man to blow up an airliner at the Detroit airport as an opportunity to attack the Obama administration for “appeasement,” as well as to attack unions and collective bargaining.
Asked by host Chris Wallace whether he was concerned that “the Obama administration has not done as good a job as it should have in connecting the dots,” DeMint replied “Chris, I am concerned, because it’s related to another issue that we’re dealing with now in the Senate. The administration is intent on unionizing and submitting our airport security to union bosses’ collective bargaining”:
DEMINT: And this is at a time, as Senator Lieberman said, that we’ve got to use our imaginations, we’ve got to be constantly flexible, we have to out-think the terrorists. And when we formed the airport security system, we realized we could not use collective bargaining because of that need to be flexible. Yet that appears now to be the top priority of the administration. And this whole thing should remind us, Chris, that the soft talk about engagement, closing Gitmo, these things are not gonna appease the terrorists. They’re gonna keep coming after us, and we can’t have politics as usual in Washington, and I’m afraid that’s what we’ve got right now with airport security.
Actually, “politics as usual” is what we’ve got with Sen. DeMint’s blatant attempt to exploit a failed terrorist attack to go after two conservative bugaboos, “appeasement” and unions. But neither engagement nor closing Gitmo represent anything like “appeasement.” Obama’s engagement with Iran, while it hasn’t yet produced an agreement on Iran’s nuclear program, has done a lot to forge the international unity that will be necessary if and when the administration chooses to go the sanctions route.
On Guantanamo, General David Petraeus, among others, has recognized that closing the detention center is a wise and necessary step in the ideological battle against extremism, one that “sends an important message to the world” regarding “the commitment of the United States to observe the Geneva Convention when it comes to the treatment of detainees.” DeMint’s deriding these measures as “soft talk” shows that he still subscribes to the failed Bush-Cheney policies that Americans rejected in 2008.