The problem with dealing with terrorism comes down to this: The left and right strongly disagree as to how big of a deal it is.
Now look, I’m not saying that the left doesn’t care about terrorism. But they certainly don’t really seem to care enough about stopping terrorism. For example, in the wake of the failed Christmas Day bombing, Matt Yglesias wrote
The United States could not, of course, be “devastated” by anything resembling this scheme. … It’s attempted murder, it’s wrong, we should try to stop it, but it’s really not much more than that.
It’s not just attempted murder. It’s an act of terrorism designed to cripple United States’s travel infrastructure and terrify its citizens. It’s an act of war, even if the perpetrators are not acting under the aegis of a nation, per se. The difference between how liberals see this conflict (as a matter for detectives and uniformed police officers) and how conservatives see this conflict (as one against a brutal enemy who is willing to circumvent the rules of war to get their way) is a breach too far too gulf.