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Hullabaloo


Friday, December 11, 2015

 
Republican lawmakers rejoice at the rise of ISIS

by digby

Sure they have to hype threats and behave like barbarians to achieve their goals. But they figure it's worth it.

And I'm talking about the Republicans.
Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) on Thursday suggested that the national debate about the Islamic State and terrorism has likely strengthened the Republican party recently.

During an interview on Bloomberg's "With All Due Respect," Portman was asked about the state of the GOP.

"I think the party is strong for a couple reasons. One, we’re in a period in our country’s history, sadly, where we have a threat from abroad again. And people tend to look to Republicans to help protect the country," Portman said in response.

"I’m certainly finding that back home. It’s probably the top issue I'm getting. I had a tele-town hall meeting yesterday with seniors about, you know, issues like Social Security and Medicare, but what came up, you know? ISIS," he continued. "And I think that, probably based on the polling I've seen, what I hear, it probably helps the Republican Party."

That IS the conventional wisdom. And some of us knew quite a while ago that they were going to take advantage of any opportunity to turn up the fear factor so they could win this election. From last April:

So where does this leave Hillary Clinton? She seems to have as good a resume for the Commander in Chief job as any woman could have with her close proximity to power in the White House for eight years, her eight years as senator and four years as Secretary of State. The only thing missing is a stint in the armed forces — which is also missing on the CV of most of the Republicans presenting themselves as fierce warriors, so it should be no harm, no foul there. (The exceptions being Texas Governor Rick Perry, a pilot in the Air Force, and South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham, a member of the Air Force JAG corps.) But stereotypes are very hard to dislodge; even with her reputation for toughness, and despite her sterling resume, Clinton will be pushing against something very primal. The Republicans know this, which is why some of us have been pretty sure they would try to frame this election as a national security election if they could. And they are.


That piece highlighted and interesting piece by national security expert Heather Hurlburt who wrote that nation security crises often brought women over to the Republicans due to raised anxiety about many things, but safety in particular. (Recall the "national security moms" of yore.) The thought was that her advantage among women might be offset by a national security crisis.

Unfortunately for the GOP, "Daddy Trump" with his crazy talk has made it quite a bit more complicated than they'd hoped. It's just possible that Daddy being makes Clinton seem less of a risk.

Meanwhile, you have Ted Cruz saying this:

"You look at Paris, you look at San Bernardino, it's given a seriousness to this race, that people are looking for: Who is prepared to be a commander in chief? Who understands the threats we face?Who am I comfortable having their finger on the button? Now that's a question of strength, but it's also a question of judgment. And I think that is a question that is a challenging question for both of them."

All I can say is that it wouldn't be the guy who said this:

We will utterly destroy ISIS. We will carpet bomb them into oblivion. I don’t know if sand can glow in the dark, but we’re going to find out.

At this point we can only hope that 51% of Americans don't support summary executions, torture, targeted killing of wives and children of suspected terrorists, deportation of millions of Latinos and their American children along with Syrian refugees who are already living here, denial of entry into the country of all Muslims or nuclear war. Those of the policies of the top two frontrunner for the GOP nomination.

This is what the political "advantage" on foreign policy brings in 2016.

.