Someday, somebody -- not from Hollywood -- will make a movie about President Obama's disastrous Christmas vacation. About how his aides waited for nearly three hours after the Christmas airliner attack to wake him. About how he waited three more days to appear publicly. About how even then, he didn't grasp the seriousness of the situation, racing through a bloodless speech so he could play golf.
Until that film is made, reality is frightening enough. Even the true believers in the White House now realize they blew the response to a potentially catastrophic attack by an Al Qaeda-trained terrorist.
When the alarm first went off -- the 3 a.m. phone call -- they hit the snooze button, putting the president's personal comfort ahead of the country's.
Everything since has been damage control, including yesterday's endlessly advertised meeting with his national security team. Obama's remarks afterward were direct and forceful, but the door of doubt about his national security leadership has been blown off the hinges.
The images that stick are the ones out of Hawaii, with the president in vacation mode -- no tie, a perfunctory appearance on Dec. 28, no questions, then off for more fun in the sun. Behavior doesn't get less serious or more callow.
The images accurately reflect a troubling mindset that borders on religious faith about how to combat terrorism, with Obama himself the high priest. He is a war president who defiantly shuns the mantle.
So be it. The Oval Office and the choices are his. And so is the responsibility.
If America gets hit again, it's on him. All of it.
Obama often complains about the problems he inherited from George W. Bush, but he also inherited a record of zero successful attacks on America after 9/11. If Islamic terrorists succeed on his watch, he can't blame Bush.
Not after he has made a series of important choices that make the country less safe than it was. Dick Cheney is hardly alone in this belief.
From prosecuting CIA agents who acted in good faith to freeing Gitmo prisoners to putting Khalid Sheik Mohammed in New York's civilian courts, Obama is fighting the war on terror his way. His continuing determination to close Gitmo smacks of a dogma untroubled by facts or common sense.
It is his burden. He and he alone will own the results, just as Bush will go down in history as the president who failed to connect the dots that could have prevented 9/11.
In theory, Obama knows as much. In practice, it is hard to imagine how he would live with himself if the vast security apparatus constructed since that awful day failed on his watch, leaving thousands, perhaps tens of thousands dead.
Would he second-guess himself? Would he wonder if there was something he could have or should have done?
He wouldn't be human if he didn't. Yet how then to explain his determined willfulness to test the limits of the enemy's good will? How to explain his trust in a rational reaction from people who have repeatedly demonstrated their fanatical adherence to a murderous cult?
Even now, as he sends 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan, he rolls out the welcome mat at home. The offer of a lawyer and the presumption of innocence to the Nigerian who tried to blow up 300 people over Detroit is exactly what the far-left ideologues of the American Civil Liberties Union would do. That the president of the United States does it means he is operating from the fringes of American society.
No president in modern times has ever strayed so far from the center. No commander-in-chief has ever been as optimistic about a savage enemy.
Barack Obama is flirting with unprecedented disaster. His and America's.
Michael Goodwin is a New York Post columnist and Fox News contributor. To continue reading his column, click here.
Michael Goodwin is a Fox News contributor and New York Post columnist.