A war is raging in the Republican party

Updated
U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) speaks during a news conference June 13, 2013 at the Capitol Hill Club on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) speaks during a news conference June 13, 2013 at the Capitol Hill Club on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Let me finish tonight with this.

There’s a bar- restaurant on Capitol Hill called the “Hawk ‘n Dove.” It’s a statement of the chief division of politics in this city since the 1960s. Are you for the war or against it?

In the 1960s, the war was Vietnam. Hawks like Robert McNamara defended the war until they couldn’t any more. Lyndon Johnson was planning to run for re-election in 1968 ‘til he couldn’t.  

First Eugene McCarthy and then Robert Kennedy campaigned against the war until Bobby was killed and Gene just didn’t have the fight in him. 

In this century the war was Iraq. The hawks - “W,”  Cheney, and the self-styled “neo-cons” and other conservative Republicans backed it to the hilt.

Then, slowly the real conservatives - like William F. Buckley and George Will - realized it was not a conflict they could support with full heart. There were others like Rich Lowry who also changed their minds. 

And then a lot of the hawks in the Republican party simply began to melt away, stopped writing their op-ed pages, drifted off into wherever people go when anything they say will be used against them.

Now, there is a war in the Republican party between the hawks and the doves. The doves are folks like Rand Paul who think getting engaged in Middle East wars is not in our national interest - not a bad thought there - and those who are steady at the ramparts - like Chris Christie of New Jersey. I’m not sure what wars either of the gentlemen are used to, but they’ve got one now - between each other. 

Let’s sit back and enjoy the show. As long as the “R’s”are staging a war over whether to fight, we’ve got a decent chance of averting another real one.

A war is raging in the Republican party

Updated