Joe Biden talks tough

Donald Lambro and David Frum report the return of a national security gap between the Democrats and Republicans according to a Democratic focus group study by pollster Stan Greenberg. “Old doubts about Democrats on security, after diminishing during 2006-2007, have begun to re-emerge,” says a memo on the study, conducted for Third Way, a centrist Democratic advocacy group.

Among the study’s chief findings, quoted by Lambro: “Voters see Democrats as indecisive in the face of threats and afraid to use force to protect the nation; they see Democrats insufficiently supportive of the military; and they see Democrats following public opinion, rather than adhering to a consistent principled view of the country’s best interests.” Lambro also notes the study’s findings that Republicans now lead by 14 points on which party will better handle national security issues, and by 15 points on who would better combat terrorism.

Perhaps these findings explain Joe Biden’s uncharacteristic commitment to the use of force yesterday. In the same appearance at which Biden paid tribute to Hillary Clinton’s possibly superior qualifications to be vice president, Biden discussed Republican attack ads. Referring to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth campaign against John Kerry in 2004, Biden declared he’s not going to let that happen again: “Swiftboating is not going to work this time, and the reason it’s not is No. 1, I’m going to smack ‘em right square in the chops.”

And all this time I had thought that Biden was just an extreme example of senatorial gasbaggery. But the man can also issue a threat that might scare off Pee-wee Herman.

PAUL adds: The revival of the national security gap between Democrats and Republicans, which had diminished in 2006-2007, reflects the difference between doing poorly in a war and doing well.

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