It was clear Monday that Gerecht spoke for many of his ideological comrades, who generally believe that military force can be a positive tool and not always a dreaded last resort, and that Iran in particular is likely to back down when confronted with strength. Many of them are collectively known as neoconservatives, or neocons, even if not all of them accept the label.

Many of those hawks have long applauded Trump’s sanctions-based “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran, but they had come to doubt the president’s willingness to use military force and were delighted to see him take action against someone responsible for consolidating Iranian influence at the expense of many American lives.

Other frequent Trump critics who cheered the strike against Soleimani include Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, a frequent critic of Trump’s foreign policy who posted on Twitter shortly after the Iranian commander’s death that Trump was “was right to order decisive action to kill” him.