I do think, though, that Obama is a step beyond relativism. Tommy Vietor, who has spent hours discussing the issue with Obama in private, suggests that the president thinks the fight against Islamic terror would be harder if he called it what it was. Osama bin Laden himself said that Obama’s refusal to join the language fight made it more difficult to generate recruits.
So — is it a problem that Obama has decided to be more careful? Or is it a media-driven tic, an irritant, but nothing more? Hard to say. It gives his political opposition ammunition, which won’t help his request to Congress for its blessing over his policy. It does help him (marginally) work with allies in the region.