Hoo boy. Tonight is national security night at the Democratic convention. Retired General John Allen just gave a stemwinder of a speech delivered in the tones of a drill sergeant and about as hawkish as anything you’ve ever seen at a Republican convention. As Paul Begala put it, he opened up a huge can of whup-ass on Donald Trump. Allen’s speech came right after a very good speech from the father of a Muslim soldier who died in Iraq, and right before a speech by a Medal of Honor winner. The convention floor was practically shaking for all three.
Given Donald Trump’s wishy-washy attitude toward military intervention, the Democrats have really stolen the national security mantle from the Republicans, who own it outright in most years. From an electoral standpoint, this is obviously great for Democrats. From an overseas intervention standpoint, it might be a little scary. It’s great to steal the GOP’s thunder, but do we really want to encourage Hillary Clinton’s already hawkish instincts?