The notion that Democrats are weak on defense has been an accepted mainstream narrative for decades. In fact, nearly every Republican campaign over the last decade was predicated on the idea that Republicans are tough on matters of national security while Democrats are weak and frail.
How either party actually handled of matters national security was beside the point though, because the real purpose of this argument was to simply paint one party as strong men who chew tobacco and shoot guns, and the other party as a bunch of pussies who sip lattes with their pinkies sticking out.
As Keith Olbermann so eloquently explains, this narrative is now "just as dead as Bin Laden."
Given the volume of right-wing asshattary that has transpired since the campaign of 2008, it would be easy to forget that the Republicans argument during that time period could basically be boiled down to "Vote for me. Not the secret-Muslim, terrorist fist-jabbing, Manchurian candidate."
The couldn't win on the economy, they couldn't win on their prosecution of the two wars, they couldn't win on character, and In 2012, they won't even have the "tough on national security" argument to fall back on.
They can't win on the issue of budget-cuts either, because President Obama hijacked it from them while baiting them into voting for wild entitlement cuts which are vastly unpopular even among their own base.
I will have no sympathy as they flail around looking for something that will stick next year.