Beinart, senior political writer at the Daily Beast, begins:
President Obama isn't nearly as scared of the terrorists as Bush was—and that’s precisely why al Qaeda is falling apart.
Republicans think about terrorism the way Democrats think about poverty. Democrats know their anti-poverty policies don’t always work. But they tell themselves that at least their hearts are in the right place, at least they care about the problem.
That’s the way Republicans think about terrorism. In unguarded moments, honest Republicans will admit that not all of the Bush administration’s anti-terror policies worked. But they tell themselves that at least they know America is at war; at least they know the terrorists are evil; at least they really care about the problem.
It’s precisely because Obama doesn’t see the terrorist threat as quite so epic that al Qaeda is falling apart.