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Roy Cooper caught flak from the left when he said Washington should pause before admitting 10,000 Syrian refugees and make sure we balance humanitarianism with security. He’s right, and his critics are wrong. And it’s not a case of “he had to do it politically.” It’s the right thing to do. Period.

It’s wrong for Republicans to say that all refugees and all Muslims pose a threat to America. It’s also wrong for Democrats to dismiss any chance that ISIS would try to sneak in terrorists amidst the refugees. That’s exactly what a gang of brutal, inhuman thugs would do.

The first responsibility of government is to protect the American people against enemies, foreign and domestic. Our leaders not only have to do that, they also have to give us confidence they’re doing it.

Unfortunately, President Obama fails that test. He acts as though anyone who has any fear about terrorists slipping into the country is a bigoted, heartless right-winger. In fact, a lot of decent, fair-minded Americans who aren’t bigoted and aren’t heartless are fearful. They rightly expect their leaders to understand their concerns, take them seriously and address them.

Instead, the President dismisses their concerns with what smacks of contempt. He seems petulant that anyone would even presume to question him.

Hillary Clinton gets it. That’s why she quickly distanced herself from Obama on ISIS. She gave a speech making clear she’d be a lot tougher.

Roy Cooper gets it. He’s been North Carolina’s chief law enforcement officer for 15 years. He takes it seriously when terrorists are blowing up and gunning down innocent people in Paris.

The media was wrong to paint Cooper in the same corner with Governor McCrory. McCrory passed up a White House briefing on the issue and instead started fundraising on it. Cooper explicitly said we have to balance security with compassion. There’s a big difference in tone and attitude.

Roy got it right.

 

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