Yet Washington Dems have been working to prevent Republicans from nationalizing the election around dishonest right-wing terrorism frames.
They got in Bush's face when he sought to exploit the five-year remembrance of 9/11 to again conflate the Iraq War with the Al Qaeda attacks.
Bill Clinton made news by not just defending his own pre-9/11 actions, but by reminding the public that the Bushies "did not try" to get Bin Laden before 9/11.
Dems are driving the story that a classified National Intelligence Estimate from April found that "the Iraq war has made the overall terrorism problem worse."
All of these events disrupt the White House narrative, and the long-held perception, that Republicans can be trusted more than Dems to make us safer.
Having said that, there's six weeks until Election Day, which is plenty of time for Republicans to push back.
For example, we're already seeing Bush's National Intelligence Director John Negroponte enlisted to spin that NIE, to help argue that we have to stay the course (read: keep digging the hole) to defeat the terrorist threat.
If Dems succeed in instigating a tangle on national security six weeks out, they have to prepare for the argument to advance -- towards a discussion of future goals, strategies and tactics.
Tactical shifts Dems seem happy to discuss. Big picture shifts in strategy and goals, less so.
Yet as noted here last week, the public is beginning to question how good Republicans are on national security.
The more Dems can show the public about where they would take our foreign policy, the easier it will be for the public to answer their own questions