A roiling national debate over how to deal with the radical Islamic State and other global hot spots has prompted a sudden shift in Republican politics, putting a halt to the anti-interventionist mood that had been gaining credence in the party.
The change is evident on the campaign trail ahead of the November midterm elections and in recent appearances by the GOP’s prospective 2016 presidential candidates, with a near-universal embrace of stronger military actions against the group that has beheaded two American journalists.
A hawkish tone has become integral to several key Republican Senate campaigns, with a group of candidates running in battleground states calling attention to their ties to veterans and their support for the U.S. military at every turn.
In contests in Iowa, Arkansas and Alaska — where Republicans are running for seats held by Democrats — the GOP candidates are military veterans and focusing much of their time extolling their expertise.
A thirst among many conservative activists for a more muscular U.S. foreign policy was clear over the weekend at a meeting of Americans for Prosperity, the tea-party-affiliated group backed by the billionaire Koch brothers. The loudest applause came when Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), a potential presidential candidate, called for bombing the Islamic State “back to the Stone Age.”
Robert Costa: Paul’s decision to sway a bit on FP and sound hawkish, plus Boehner’s quick move to back O’s broad plan, left little space for dissenters
Robert Costa: watching the non-interventionist House Rs on the floor - mostly sitting idly and watching the board - spoke volumes