The Christmas-day terror attack on a Detroit-bound Northwest Airlines plane by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab reveals the wide chasm of discord that exists in American political thought today regarding terrorism. That his attack was not successfully carried out does not mean it was not a terror attack—the attempt was made unimpeded; it was just blind luck that allowed us to avert catastrophe.

President Obama’s first, instinctive reaction was to characterize the incident as “isolated,” and to describe Abdulmutallab as an “extremist,” rather than using the “T” word. It’s apparent that he wanted to promote the idea that terrorism—especially Islamist-based terrorism— is not a major, overriding issue confronting America.

Then instead of treating him as an enemy combatant and interrogating him under military jurisdiction, he was instead Mirandized and appointed a lawyer, as if he were a common criminal who had just robbed a convenience store. This is the classic pre-9/11 “terrorism-as-a-law-enforcement-matter” mentality for which Liberals are criticized by Conservatives. For the second time in only two months (the first being the Ft. Hood shooting in Texas by an admitted al-Qaida sympathizer), the Obama administration has demonstrated a distinct lack of “toughness,” an astonishing aversion to even acknowledging that Islamic terrorism exists as a threat to our country.

And the LEM (Liberal Elite Media) is eagerly complicit in their support of that position—hardly questioning President Obama’s characterizations or actions. The Democrats’ and the LEM’s reluctance to confront the Islamist terrorism issue is both sadly predictable and dangerous.

Here’s why: The “War on Terror” is seen by Democrats as a Republican issue, one that Democrats would rather ignore for three very specific reasons:

First, the public generally perceives that Republicans handle the issue better. As the adult “Father” party, Republicans are regarded by the populace as being better equipped to keep everyone safe. Democrats are regarded by many as being overly concerned with ‘inclusive’ political correctness. One gets the impression that they would rather not have the need for national security even exist, so that people wouldn’t prefer the Republicans.

Second, the entire issue of the War on Terror is a reminder to everyone of the George W. Bush presidency. Given the level of hatred for every aspect of President Bush—both politically and personally—still held by virtually all Democrats, they’d like to see this one possible area where President Bush was correct be permanently removed from the public’s consciousness as fast as possible.

Third, the existence of the War on Terror drains resources away from the Democrats’ desire to create and fund vote-bribing entitlement programs such as Federally-funded abortion, Federally-backed mortgage loans for blatantly unqualified borrowers, and National Healthcare for illegal immigrants. It becomes very difficult to justify debt-producing domestic spending in place of funding enhanced national security measures when the country as a whole doesn’t feel safe from attack.

Buried in the Democrats’ refusal to see this attempted bombing as terrorism is the implication that since Abdulmutallab had perhaps only peripheral contact with outside terror groups, this incident is therefore, by definition, not terrorism.

This is false. If his mindset and attitudes were influenced by radical Islamic anti Western/anti American thought, then this is an act of Islamic terror—whether or not Abdulmutallab engaged in specific contact or planning with an outside group. Logic would dictate that he did engage in such contact and planning—the acquisition of the explosive materials and the knowledge of how to use them were not likely to be Abdulmutallab’s alone.

However, from a political standpoint, the Democrats (for the three aforementioned reasons) will try anything they can to decouple this incident from Islamic Terror. The possible success of such an approach may benefit the Democrats in the short term, but it is a disservice to the county’s long-term well-being and a shortsighted political strategy for them, one that will solidify to the point of immutability their reputation as the soft “Mommy” party—unable and unwilling to defend this country. President Obama would do well to take note.