Republican lawmakers are exploiting the terrorist attacks on Charlie Hebdo in order to strengthen their argument that Washington is still in the middle of an active war on Islamist extremism. To put the message more alarmingly: If it could happen in broad daylight in Paris, it could happen in DC or New York.
The last two years of "lame duck" actually present an opportunity for executive leadership to truly drive policy change without fear of re-election politics. If caveats are included, here is where Obama may truly leverage his power as someone who has freedom to really pursue an agenda without worrying about spending political capital
That starts with saying that Islam and Muslims are not the enemy, they are part of the solution. We need to emphasize and acknowledge that there is prejudice against Muslims because of recent events and to emphatically oppose it. But we also must not hesitate to point out that those who suffer the most from radical Islam are Muslims themselves.