After flirting with doves, the GOP returns to the hawks

Well, the GOP’s drift away from international involvement was a longstanding trend, resulting from two decade-long wars and, undoubtedly, because the commander in chief is now a Democrat whose foreign policy the vast majority of Republicans dislike. Through a series of overseas conflicts that didn’t directly involve the United States, including the Arab Spring and Russia’s incursion into Ukraine, that newfound non-interventionism largely stuck.

Today, though, things have changed. Faced with a deteriorating situation in Iraq following the withdrawal of U.S. troops, Republicans have changed their tune and, according to this poll, reverted to a more hawkish foreign policy – one more reminiscent of where things were during the Bush administration, when the GOP for years defended the case for war in Iraq, even as the larger public grew more and more skeptical.

While this new poll might make it appear that the GOP has quickly changed course, though, it’s probably just reflecting a reality that never really went away. And that reality is that the GOP was and is the more hawkish of the two major American political parties — even as many Republicans like the idea of separating themselves from the Bush administration’s wars.