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View Diary: Obama Administration Now Saying It Can Attack Syria Even If Congress Votes Against Authorization (51 comments)

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  •  Width versus Depth of Opposition (0+ / 0-)

    Lots of people are against military action over Syria. But how many of those would consider it an impeachable offense? A good chunk (though not nearly as overwhelming a majority, granted) of the public was against Obamacare, but many of those people were still uncomfortable with the lengths to which certain Republicans were willing to go in their efforts to defeat it. I thought George W. Bush was wholly in the wrong on a whole slew of issues, but I never called for his impeachment (the only issue that came close was his presentation of evidence of Saddam's WMDs, and even there I didn't think the case was quite strong enough).

    Certainly, the Tea Party contingent would jump all of over it, but a) there are enough Republicans in Congress who'd prefer to argue that Obama didn't move forcefully and/or quickly enough in using military force in the first place, and b) there are enough Republicans in Congress who have their eyes on future political goals that they won't want to permanently limit presidential powers in so drastic a fashion. It might become a cause celebre amongst the ODS sufferers, but no impeachment resolution will garner enough support to pass the House.

    Of course, we're down to several layers of hypotheticals (if Congress firmly blocks the president, and if the president decides to go ahead anyway), so it's most likely irrelevant anyway.

    •  Oh, is it now? (0+ / 0-)
      so it's most likely irrelevant anyway.

      Is this your professional opinion or your personal one?

      This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

      by lunachickie on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 02:46:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Personal, naturally (0+ / 0-)

        But my personal opinions are, at the very least, informed by my understandings of the political reality.

        It's not at all clear to me that,

              a) Congress won't authorize military action against Syria, or, at the very least, wash their hands of the decision in such way that the President is free to act while preserving Congress's ability to complain about it (or, possibly, take credit for it, depending on how it all shakes out),

              b) Assuming that Congress doesn't authorize military action, that President Obama will go ahead and act anyway.

        That latter point is the biggest one to me: either Obama knows (or strongly suspects) that Congress will ultimately support him in deciding to attack Syria, or he legitimately does not want to act without the cover of Congressional support. If he really wanted to intervene, no matter what, he doesn't need Congressional approval to do so. Realistically, the only reason to seek it is to cover his backside, politically speaking. But that blows up in his face if Congress blocks him, and makes the political downsides of intervention much, much worse for him.

        All of which points to the idea that he's either confident that Congress will support his decision to intervene, or that he intends to abide by Congress's input, even if they don't support him. All of the commenting about how he technically has the power to intervene even without approval is just as easily read with an eye towards future considerations: just because he's gone to Congress now doesn't mean that he feels he has to the next time we're in this kind of situation. He's not giving up his authority in the matter on a permanent basis, he's delegating it in this particular situation. Not that I wouldn't love it if he (and his successors) made a habit of it, but whatever.

        That's no guarantee, of course. It's possible, for instance, that he's already made his mind up to intervene regardless, and he's just flat out wrong in his reading that Congress will support him. But that would be such a bald-faced and pathetic political error that, frankly, he'd deserve all the public backlash he'd get over it (though probably still not articles of impeachment).

        •  There are other students of history here... (0+ / 0-)

           :)

          I wouldn't put all my chips on the "impeachment...ridiculous!" number quite so soon. The American public has a funny way of deciding what is and is not ridiculous...and this is already a Gumby congress as it is.

          Adequate health care should be a LEGAL RIGHT in the U.S without begging or bankruptcy. Until it is, we should not dare call our society civilized.

          by Love Me Slender on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 03:18:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  So are mine (0+ / 0-)
          But my personal opinions are, at the very least, informed by my understandings of the political reality.

          You might consider dialing back the "word salad" approach here. It only reads like you're trying to convince yourself, more than others. Sometimes, less is really more...

          This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

          by lunachickie on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 04:04:21 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Of course. I never implied they weren't. (0+ / 0-)

            And that's just the way I talk. I err on the side of verbosity because I've found that not doing so just means I'm less likely to get my point across clearly. That's the reason (well, one of many) I'd never make it in politics.

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