When Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) voted against the authorization of military force in Syria earlier this week in committee, he joined the other leading GOP contenders for president in 2016 — Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) — in opposing military intervention.

It's an interesting and stunning reversal that it's now considered the politically safe decision for Republican lawmakers to vote against war. They may have noticed how Hillary Clinton's presidential hopes were dashed in 2008 after she voted to authorize the Iraq war.

They may also have seen how Paul has pulled much of the party toward his non-intervention philosophy. In the process, he's won the support of many younger voters.

However, with three lawmakers lining up against intervention, it does create a rather big opening for another Republican from the Establishment-side of the party in the event that the military strikes do actually achieve their goal.

That person could be New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), though he's trying very hard not to take a position.

The crisis in Syria has kicked off a serious and important debate within the Republican Party that will ultimately play out in the 2016 GOP primaries. It's going to be fascinating to watch.