NEWSFLASH: PRO-WAR PARTY STILL PRO-WAR (RAND PAUL NOTWITHSTANDING)
A new New York Times/CBS poll says that only 42% of Americans think the U.S. has a responsibility to get involved in Iraq. Only 29% think President Obama should do more, and a majority think that what's going on in Iraq will have no impact on terrorism against the United States, or will actually cause terrorism here to decrease.
Guess which political group is on the hawkish/terrorized side on each of these three questions? Go on, take a guess!
Folks like Conor Friedersdorf and Ross Douthat keep telling us that Republicans really, really might nominate Rand Paul in 2016 and go after Hillary Clinton from the left on foreign policy.
Er, no, I don't think so. The party of war is still the party of war.
There isn't a huge difference on the "responsibility" question, but I think that's because a lot of Democrats are expressing loyalty to the president, who's taking some responsibility. The difference on the other two questions is huge. You'd expect Democrats and Republicans to split on the "do more" question, but Republicans are all alone -- independents aren't pounding the war drums. And it's Republicans far more than others who are feeling that delicious frisson of absolute terrorist fear. (They love that feeling of fear because it justifies the belief that their enemy is pure evil, which they love even more.)
As it is, Rand Paul is seriously damaging his chances for the Republican nomination by saying inadequately hard-line things about immigration; Cantor-killer Laura Ingraham has been calling him on this. Paul is definitely not going to be the nominee if he continues to be an apostate on both of these issues. He's much more likely to be the Giuliani of 2016, with war and immigration as his abortion and gay rights.