GOP Playing Politics with Terror

Chief political reporter Adam Nagourney's "ArrestsBolster G.O.P. Bid to Claim Security as Issue" suggests Republicans, but not liberal Democrats, are playing politics with the news of the foiled terror plot in Britain.

"The arrests were announced less than 24 hours after Vice President Dick Cheney and other Republican officials suggested that Mr. Lieberman's defeat reflected the world view of a Democratic Party that was not prepared to lead the nation in such dangerous times.

"Mr. Cheney, who a spokesman said had been kept abreast of the investigation, suggested in his remarks Wednesday that the outcome of a Democratic primary in Connecticut could embolden 'Al Qaeda types.'

"Republicans, facing tough midterm elections - and with a history, as Democrats noted, of spotlighting terrorist threats in election seasons - used the news from England to try to pound home their message that they were doing everything possible to keep the nation safe.

Later: "Republicans have successfully portrayed Democrats as weak on terrorism for two national elections in a row. Still, before this threat, Democrats showed signs that they were viewing problems in Iraq and the unpopularity of the war as ways of undermining Republicans on their signature issue. And some Republicans were concerned that the party might not be able to go to the well on national security a third time."