The recent spate of horrific terrorist incidents in Europe, including the gruesome slaughter Tuesday of a priest in France, underscores the degree to which the Islamic State has become a daily menace for our allies. CNN reports:

A deadly hostage-taking at a Catholic church in Normandy, in which a priest was killed and another person seriously wounded, was a terror attack committed in the name of ISIS, French President Francois Hollande has said. Speaking to journalists in the northern French town of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, where two men took five people hostage during morning Mass Tuesday, Hollande said the attack was a “cowardly assassination” carried out by “by two terrorists in the name of Daesh” — another name for ISIS.

The 86-year-old priest’s throat was slit in his own church. The Vatican condemned the barbarity, as did the French prime minister. A U.S. national security council spokesman — not his boss or the president — managed to put out a written statement:

The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms the horrific terrorist attack today at a Catholic church in Normandy, France. We offer our condolences to the family and friends of the murdered priest, Father Jacques Hamel. Our thoughts and prayers are with the other victims of the attack as well as the parishioners and community members of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray.
France and the United States share a commitment to protecting religious liberty for those of all faiths, and today’s violence will not shake that commitment. We commend French law enforcement for their quick and decisive response and stand ready to assist the French authorities in their investigation going forward.

Alas, this reads like a crime report, silent on mention of the attack’s connection to Islamic attacks. There is no suggestion that our half-hearted approach to fighting the Islamic State will change.

Republicans took a different tack. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) put out a statement:

“This is the face of evil. To invade a sanctuary open to all—a place of worship and refuge—to kill and terrorize innocent people who devoted their lives to the teachings of Christ lays bare the barbarism of radical jihadism.” He continued: “I am outraged for the families of the victims, for our ally France, for the Catholic Church, and for humanity. This attack joins a lengthening string of jihadist attacks around the world, and it should steel our collective resolve to defeat ISIS abroad before they attack us at home and put an end to this madness.”

Democrats, as Republicans pointed out, on Monday night entirely omitted mention of the “Islamic State” or “ISIS.” They do so — and remain silent on the latest monstrosity — at their peril. Speaking to the Veterans of Foreign Wars on Tuesday, Hillary Clinton mentioned the topic, but only briefly: “We have to protect ourselves against terrorists. To do that, we need to lead other countries in stopping ISIS, al-Qaeda, and other radical jihadist groups. We shouldn’t leave that to the rest of the world to figure out on their own — that won’t keep us safe.” Perhaps she or someone on the podium tonight will find time to make a more complete statement of American determination.

The media covering the convention did not find it odd or did not choose to cite the Democratic National Committee’s silence on national security, but then foreign affairs ordinarily gets subsumed in horse-race political coverage of elections.

In any other election cycle, Republicans would be running away with the national security issue. With Clinton, the co-architect of at least some of the Obama administration’s foreign policy blunders, she should be vulnerable. Instead, however, Donald Trump is failing to capitalize on Democratic reticence or snatch the national security issue away from Clinton. A candidate who wants to ban all Muslims (or now, immigrants from the countries they come from), thrust the shiv into our NATO allies, potentially back away from the World Trade Organization, renege on NAFTA, and buddy up to Russia as it asserts itself in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, is in no position to claim the advantage on matters of international leadership.

National security should have a far more prominent spot at the Democrats’ convention if Clinton wants to convince us that she is tougher and more aggressive in her approach to defeating jihadists. If not, she’ll lose a rare advantage to run to the GOP nominee’s right on national security.