Republican lawmakers are exploiting the terrorist attacks on Charlie Hebdo in order to strengthen their argument that Washington is still in the middle of an active war on Islamist extremism. To put the message more alarmingly: If it could happen in broad daylight in Paris, it could happen in DC or New York.
Just as the gruesome beheadings in Syria rallied a once war-weary public to support the deployment of US troops in both Iraq and Syria, the brutal assault at Charlie Hebdo could have the effect of convincing more Americans that US intelligence should keep the power they have in order to detect a similar act of violence.
It takes a lot to say that Senate conservatives have just made their most craven move in many years, but that's exactly what is happening. In an effort to force a vote on increasing sanctions on Iran, the Senate Minority is trying to attach the measure to an otherwise non-controversial bill that would help veterans, immensely.