Republicans and Democrats clashed over the war on terror on Thursday within hours of the disclosure of a thwarted terrorist plot in Britain, each side accusing the other of doing too little to deter the threat of attack.

“We must implement the strong recommendations of the independent 9/11 commission to improve airport security screening at checkpoints,” said House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, stressing one of the party’s principal campaign-year promises in its drive to gain control of Congress.

Ohio Republicans said the Democratic candidate for the Senate, Rep. Sherrod Brown (news, bio, voting record), had voted against money “for the very types of programs that helped the British thwart these vicious attacks.”

“I don’t question his patriotism, but the fact is if Sherrod Brown had his way, America would be less safe,” said Bob Bennett, chairman of the Ohio Republican Party.

Brown, who is challenging Republican Sen. Mike DeWine (news, bio, voting record), mentioned the billions on the Iraq war and said the thwarted attacks “underscore the need to refocus our resources on fighting the war on terror.”

Bless them. The Dems on the offensive, not holding back for fear of politicizing the terror alert, as they surely would have been accused were it not for the GOP using it as well. And the AP gives them pretty much equal billing. What a difference a win makes.