I'm not certain the Democrats abhor militarism, America's military budgets have more than a whiff of bipartisanship about them. Still Obama is winding things down in a manner that is prudent. America can't unplug its military hegemony, it's got to be replaced with something else. Still I have to say it's good to see an anti war wing in the Republican party. This could be part of their evolution into something less odious (although it probably isn't). However that's not to say that I'd want it's current cheerleader in chief anywhere near the levers of power.
The first point is fair enough, certainly Obama is hardly a pacifist and the Dems have more than their share of hawks... nevertheless, you know as well as I do that when nonviolent activists find their way into organized politics they are most likely to become Democrats, when a politician proposes the creation of a Peace Department they are most likely to be a Democrat, when you hear prioritizations of diplomacy and foreign aid over armed intervention you are likely to be listening to Democrats, that critiques of militarism and budgets skewed to Defense are made mostly by Democrats. All this makes a difference that should make a difference.
Your second point I'm a bit more ambivalent about. I don't know that I agree that all "anti-war" positions are made equally. I think Ron Paul's anti-war stance is ultimately superficial when viewed as premised on a repudiation of foreign policy as an instrument to solve shared planetary problems altogether (and hence only incidentally disapproving of war-making like all other foreign policy interventions, including sensible problem-solving and democratizing ones) and on an anti-civilizational war of all against all handwaved fancifully into a "spontaneous order" of virtuous and optimally efficient markets that always only accidentally amounts to plutocracy, dear.
That is to say, I think it is wishful thinking to hope for something "less odious" to emerge (discourse does not "evolve," but that is another discussion) from such assumptions and aspirations -- it just won't. Only by actually understanding the indispensable connections between nonviolence - consent - welfare - democracy - diversity can advocates nudge public discourse hegemonically to a place that will make the political parties, Democratic, Republican, whatever, less odious more generally.
The first point is fair enough, certainly Obama is hardly a pacifist and the Dems have more than their share of hawks... nevertheless, you know as well as I do that when nonviolent activists find their way into organized politics they are most likely to become Democrats...
Which is of course a handicap the Democrats always struggle under, even when they're in power. They're always liable, when reining in war-fever or defense spending, or attempting foreign policy through diplomacy, to be accused of being, at best, defeatist wusses and at worst traitors. Or Communists, or anti-American, or crypto-sympathizers with America's enemies. For "wuss" you can substitute weak, unmanly (to the point of effeminacy or homosexuality), cowardly, etc. For "anti-American" you can substitute ungodly, immoral (to the point of evil), imprudent (if not loving of the destruction of tradition and authority just out of spite or out of the ressentiment of the sissy for the he-man), etc.
These stereotypes **always** play into the hands of right-wingers, and tie the hands of left-wingers even when they're in power. So it goes.
We won the Culture Wars. I say it again and again. This matters!
Nobody who devotes energies like I do to lgbtiqq issues or who struggles personally with the ruinous imbrication of America's rampaging anti-intellectualism with its sex-gender system could believe for a second that we have "Smashed The Patriarchy!" obviously, my point is not to indulge in wishful denialism... But I really do think it is important to point to a real (if obviously incomplete) accomplishment and insist that we grasp its implications and act on them: It's ever more and more okay to be gay in this society, homophobia and misogyny are ever more and more likely to signal a threatened and defensive phony-masculinity than to signal and bolster "true masculine" agency.
As you say, sexist stereotypes **always** play into the hands of right-wingers... right up until they don't.
The patriarchal underpinning of militarism is undeniable -- which is part of the reason ending DADT and having strong women and "effeminate" men treated as normal parts of the cultural landscape on tee vee are far from the superficial changes they may seem.
America is wholesomely browning and secularizing and queering... and the right-wing playbook will have to be re-written altogether into a semblance of something like sense sooner than you think and sooner than the assholes can stand. Serves them right!