In response to Insult to Injury
Rich, it’s telling that the poll numbers you cite show significant Republican movement on national-security issues since 2013. While Libya was a mess in 2013, the Syrian Civil War was raging, and President Obama’s foreign policy was well into its collapse, the world’s largest jihadist army — ISIS — had not yet exploded into public consciousness. It wasn’t just ISIS’s savagery that shocked many Republicans out of their complacency — after all, we’ve seen all that before — it was their incredible military success. ISIS isn’t a small band of extremists, but a bona fide jihadist army, controlling a nation-state-sized chunk of territory and capable of inspiring terrorist acts across the globe (not to mention recruiting thousands of Westerners into its ranks.)
I know this is an over-used and possibly apocryphal quotation, but once again I’m reminded of former British prime minister Harold Macmillan’s description of the greatest threat to governments (and political agendas): “Events, dear boy, events.” Rand Paul’s argument hasn’t survived the events.