Leading Democrats had two immediate, and inadequate, responses after an Islamist terrorist failed in his attempt to detonate explosives on a flight approaching Detroit on Christmas Day.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told CNN that "the system worked." In fact, as even President Barack Obama himself admitted later, our security measures suffered a "catastrophic breach."
The only security that worked on Christmas Day was an alert, courageous Dutch citizen who overpowered and disarmed the terrorist. We literally dodged a bullet — i.e., a bomb — by luck and pluck.
And Obama, like his leftist lackeys, continues that failure by refusing to articulate that this attacker was a terrorist and an Islamist, a Muslim who interprets his faith as a radical imperialistic political ideology bent on violent global conquest.
We now know that the U.S. government had intelligence from Yemen before Christmas that al-Qaida leaders there were discussing a terrorist attack that "a Nigerian" would perpetrate, as reported in The New York Times.
We now know that 23-year-old suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's father, who has been a high government official in that West African nation, warned the U.S. Embassy there that his son had become a radical Islamist — and that the Central Intelligence Agency had prepared a report on his son.
(ABC News has reported that two al-Qaida leaders behind the attempted Christmas Day airline bombing had been released from Guantanamo Bay and sent for rehabilitation to Saudi Arabia. But President Obama has not altered his plans to close down Guantanamo and disperse its terrorist prisoners.)
But somehow Napolitano's "system" failed to put Abdulmutallab on our no-fly list — or to negate his visa, as the United Kingdom did.
Napolitano, remember, found ample time in 2009 to issue a confidential document to America's law enforcement warning that patriotic military veterans, Second Amendment activists, and anti-abortion activists should be monitored as potential domestic terrorists. She went further in this document, warning that pretty much anybody who criticized the policies of Obama for any reason should be watched as a likely racist and threat to commit terrorist violence.
This established the precedent for wiretapping and spying on all who criticize the Obama administration.
If Obama is serious about defending America against terrorism, he should fire Napolitano immediately.
The second prominent Democratic response to the Christmas Day near-slaughter of almost 300 airline passengers and crew came from Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, a longtime member of the socialist-aligned Progressive Caucus and chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.
Thompson suggested that the incident somehow occurred because Erroll Southers has not been confirmed to head the government's Transportation Security Administration (TSA), for which Obama nominated him in September.
Republican Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina has put the confirmation on hold, because he wants Southers to say under oath that he will not unionize the TSA's 50,000 baggage and passenger screeners.
Such forced unionization of government employees is a terrible idea in this case for several reasons.
Unionization often leads to violence. Ask the black conservative who was severely beaten in St. Louis a few months ago by goons of the Service Employees International Union or the anti-Democrat protesters Teamsters thugs beat in Philadelphia.
In recent decades, the government has been the only growing sector of organized labor, but when unions have been imposed upon government workers, it has produced at best no improvement and at worst, much trouble.
Unionized government employees generally are under contracts that prohibit strikes — but this seldom prevents work slowdowns, blue flu strikes, and an atmosphere of hostility between workers and management.
In some of the European welfare states Obama wants us to emulate, even the military is unionized. Yes, workers can go on strike against fighting certain enemies or can bargain for no fighting on Sundays and holidays.
Do you want to see American national security controlled by leftist union bosses, who often use union dues for contributions to curry politicians' favor?
That is what the Democratic Party and President Obama now seek for the TSA and beyond.
Republicans could raise this issue in some imaginative ways. They could demand that any TSA union be prohibited from endorsing or funding the campaigns of any politician.
Republicans also should insist that no one involved in committing union violence or mayhem, and no one who has belonged to radical organizations involved in threats or violent protests, be permitted to work for government in any capacity.
Lowell Ponte is co-host of NightWatch, a radio talk show that airs nationwide from 10 p.m. to midnight Eastern Time Monday through Friday via gcnlive.com.
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