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Opening Arguments

The hawks are soaring


A new poll from CNN/Opinion Research is the best we've seen to date bearing out this point. The poll asks Americans to identify themselves as either hawks or doves -- hawks being someone "who believes that military force should be used frequently to promote U.S. policy" and doves being those who think "the U.S. should rarely or never use military force."

Overall, it's close, with 50 percent picking the doves and 45 percent picking the hawks.

Among Republicans, though, it is decidedly not close. About seven in 10 (69 percent) say they are hawks, while just one-quarter (25 percent) side with the doves. That's nearly three-to-one.

Buh, bye Rand Paul presidential hopes? Then there is this:

A host of Democratic Senate hopefuls who rode anti-war sentiment into office in the past decade are running for reelection now as hawks, staking out hard-line positions on the latest upheaval in the Middle East. The candidates are quick to note the differences between then and now — a years-long military mission with boots on the ground versus the airstrikes President Barack Obama has launched in Iraq and Syria in the past month.

But it’s also true that that no one wants to get tagged as soft on terror in a conservative-tilted election year that’s seen foreign policy jump unexpectedly to the fore.

Kinda restores your faith in political integrity, huh? You want a hawk, you got a hawk. But check back with me after the next poll. In case no one has noticed, though, even Rand Paul is sounding sorta like a John McCain interventionist these days.