Robin Toner: “[Congressional Democrats'] aggressiveness and unity on a major foreign-policy challenge to the president is a striking change for a party that has, on many occasions over many years, seemed to be on the defensive on national security issues.”
To me, this is huge. National security is like trying to get a date: confidence matters. A political party that often looked scared of talking about national security (“but what if Rove says we’re weak?!?!”) looked like people who certainly weren’t going to handle any potentially scary problems. It’s a lot easier to seem like a tough, confident political movement in possession of some good ideas when your people are out there saying things they seem to actually believe, instead of offering up a lot of hemming and hawing.