Normally, most conservatives would groan at hearing that the Republican response to Barack Obama’s weekly presidential address would be coming from Senator Susan Collins (R-ME). In this case, though, it’s a smart move. If Jim DeMint or Mike Pence had delivered the speech you’ll watch below, it still would have been a fine speech — but we already know where conservatives stand on counterterrorism. However, when a moderate like Collins calls the handling of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab “irresponsible,” “dangerous,” and “inconceivable,” that has a broader political impact. When Collins says that “Foreign terrorists are enemy combatants and they must be treated as such,” and calls the current Obama policies a “charade,” that will make it more difficult for people to write it off as knee-jerk, right-wing contempt for Obama instead of his policies:

Read the entire transcript here, but the closing is terrific:

President Obama recently used the phrase that ‘we are at war’ with terrorists. But unfortunately his rhetoric does not match the actions of his administration.

The Obama administration appears to have a blind spot when it comes to the War on Terrorism.

And, because of that blindness, this administration cannot see a foreign terrorist even when he stands right in front of them, fresh from an attempt to blow a plane out of the sky on Christmas Day.

There’s no other way to explain the irresponsible, indeed dangerous, decision on Abdulmutallab’s interrogation. There’s no other way to explain the inconceivable treatment of him as if he were a common criminal.

This charade must stop. Foreign terrorists are enemy combatants and they must be treated as such. The safety of the American people depends on it.