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Boy, that escalated quickly

From NBC's Mark Murray
Politico run a story today observing that -- in contrast to past successful and unsuccessful terrorist plots -- this Christmas Day incident has quickly turned in a partisan battle, with several Republicans already pouncing on the Obama administration.

"Republicans have wasted no time in attacking Democrats on intelligence and screening failures leading up to the failed Christmas Day bombing of Flight 253 — a significant departure from the calibrated, less partisan responses that have followed other recent terrorist activity. The strategy — coming as the Republican leadership seeks to exploit Democratic weaknesses heading into the 2010 midterms — is in many ways a natural for a party that views protecting the U.S. homeland as its ideological raison d'etre and electoral franchise."

The article also notes -- as we did yesterday -- that the partisan attacks could backfire on the GOP, given that Republican Sen. Jim DeMint has been blocking the administration's pick to head up the Transportation Security Administration. Moreover, dozens of House Republicans, including GOP critic Pete Hoekstra, voted against the Homeland Security appropriations bill, which contained more money for airport security and screening.