If the attacks in Paris have dramatically reshaped the national conversation surrounding the presidential race, it may be news to Democratic ad makers.
At least three Republican candidates or their super PACs have gone up on television with hard-hitting ads focused on national security in the days since the ISIL assault on Paris — most recently Marco Rubio, in a 30 second, straight-to-camera spot called “A Civilizational Struggle” — but recent spots from the leading Democratic candidates have remained zeroed-in on domestic policy, highlighting the divergent tracks guiding the two primary races.
What the Republican candidates and their PACs are doing could be dismissed as mere opportunism by cynics, but that isn’t what is going on here.
The GOP candidates, however disparate and/or crazy, are, on their shallowest days, the adults in the 2016 campaign room. None of them believe that incandescent light bulbs are a bigger threat to the planet than ISIS, which is a position from which all of the Democrats are operating. They are responding to what happened in Paris more intensely and openly because America and the world need a strong president to emerge from the next election.
Sure, the Democrats gave perfunctory speeches, but they can’t handle the ongoing strain of faking concern about national security and the safety of American lives. Their party’s ideology has devolved into a birthday party clown that gives out overpriced and useless goodies to their voters that the real grownups have to pay for. Hillary is chasing social justice Twitter hashtags for votes and Bernie Sanders just belches the word “Free!” like a street corner drunk.
The bad people in the world are counting on the American electorate being mesmerized by the Democrats’ snake-oil pitch.
They just may get their way.