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This projection from the Washington Post is generally in line with the other media outlets counting votes. Nobody is predicting a win at this point.

House looks ready to kill Syria strike resolution

Meanwhile, Jonathan Allen and Jake Sherman report that House Republicans are not inclined to back President Obama on Syria. “Several lawmakers and aides who have been canvassing support say that nearly 80 percent of the House Republican
Conference is, to some degree, opposed to launching strikes in Syria. Informal counts by Obama allies show that support in Congress for Obama’s plans is in the low dozens.”

House Republican leadership, meanwhile, isn’t inclined to change their members’ minds. “Speaker John Boehner’s spokesman said that he ‘expects the White House to provide answers to members’ questions and take the lead on any whipping effort.’”

The political reality is that phone calls to all members of congress are running in overwhelming opposition to the AUMF resolution. There is also a significant bloc of liberal Democrats who plan to vote no. Only the most loyal supporters of the administration are inclined to stick out their political necks for something that has no public support and very dubious prospects for a successful outcome.

So, if this trend holds over the weekend what happens on Monday? There would have to be some very dramatic events to change the wind on a trend as strong as this. Obama would be left with a choice of pressing ahead to a very embarrassing defeat or of backing down and putting the vote on hold. He of course still claims that he has the authority to launch an attack without congressional authorization, but having submitted the matter to congress he has gone a long way toward tying his own hands.    

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Comment Preferences

  •  Too soon to say anything's likely (6+ / 0-)

    Just wait till they pull out all the stops.

    "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

    by Paleo on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 10:28:06 AM PDT

    •  Likely as of right now. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mr Robert, Duckmg, aliasalias, Lepanto

      Kerry in his capacity of snake oil salesman in chief has already pulled out everything he can think of for his dog and pony show. It doesn't appear to have been very effective,

      •  A lot of them haven't seen the 'classified info' (0+ / 0-)

        yet. Kerry was inviting them backroom yesterday.  I expect with a few more blame transfer sessions, oops I means classified briefings, the greater lot of them will be on board. They know it's good for business. How could they not, the way that the defense industry has imbedded itself into nearly every congressional district?

    •  I would bet on passage (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ronnied, MGross

      if I had to bet one way or the other, lots of the undecideds don't want to commit to soon but I expect most of them will vote for it.

    •  seems like they've been pulling out all the stops (4+ / 0-)

      since they decided to put it to a vote. It doesn't seem to be taking.

      In many past cases when Congress authorized war, there was an incident, usually an attack, that suddenly eliminated all opposition to war. Otherwise it's very hard to get Congress to approve a war.

      For Vietnam, it was the Gulf of Tonkin (which turned out to be spurious). For Iraq, it was 9/11.

      Even with 9/11, it took Bush a full year to get authorization to hit Iraq. That was when he had like 90% approval ratings and he was able to tar any Democrat who opposed the AUMF as soft on terror. Obama hasn't that political capital at the moment, nor can he bring that kind of pressure to bear on the opposition party (in whose hands the fate of this resolution ultimately rests).

      Now that he's put it to Congress, it's partly out of his hands. Boehner may have announced his support but he's not going to risk his leadership position by whipping too hard for this. Pelosi may work a little harder than Boehner to corral Dems, but not that much harder.

      No, Obama's on his own here. And however much he can twist arms and cajole and promise, even he's got limits.

      "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

      by limpidglass on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 11:05:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  White House launches new web site (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mr Robert

    "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

    by Paleo on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 10:30:40 AM PDT

  •  When you call Secretary Kerry... (5+ / 0-)

    ...a "snake oil salesman", you lost me.

    I expect that  kind of behavior on Fox News, not DKos.

  •  even if Congress votes no, (5+ / 0-)

    I still think he will hit Syria.

    The only reason he went to Congress was for the political value of getting their approval, not because he believes himself bound by their decision.

    Even if he loses the vote, he will still have forced many congresspeople to go on record as supporting him, and he can still force them to share the blame if the war goes badly, even if they're not a majority. For the purpose of having plenty of Congressional scapegoats, a large minority is about as good as a tiny majority.

    This is especially true if the Senate approves (which is likely), but the House narrowly votes no. Then he can declare: Congress is too broken to act, acting against Assad is too urgent to dither around waiting for their approval, we need to go into Syria right now. I've got the approval of the Senate and almost a majority of the House, that's all I need.

    This is really the first time he has challenged Congress' authority so openly. I don't know how he will react if they turn him down. He may not even have considered the possibility that they will turn him down.

    Consider also this remarkable statement he gave yesterday in Sweden, in which he basically asserts a new doctrine that the US can go it alone in humanitarian military intervention without any backing from the UNSC. If Congress says him nay, then one can imagine him giving a similar speech saying that the president can bypass Congress if he deems it necessary to engage in humanitarian intervention.

    His body language is not that of a man who is going to back down. He believes he's in the right. And he may just go ahead and do this, whatever Congress thinks, which would make him more unilateral and autocratic than Bush.

    "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

    by limpidglass on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 10:52:47 AM PDT

  •  No way I believe this until I see it. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Richard Lyon, protectspice, VClib, CenPhx

    There will be so much arm-twisting over this that the Congressional pharmacy and all of nearby Washington will run out of BenGay

  •  mark my words.. He will strike with or (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Richard Lyon, limpidglass, MGross

    without approval.  He won't back down.  

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 11:22:40 AM PDT

  •  For what it's worth, the pundits I have seen on TV (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    varii

    think the votes will ultimately be there.

    I think it is likely that Obama will strike even without congressional authorization, however.  He seems to have his testerone up, and is raring for a fight.  He boxed himsel into a corner with all his talk of "red lines"; sort of like a kid who talks tough and then has to back it up.

    I'm not too optimistic for a good outcome on this one.

  •  Political calculus (0+ / 0-)

    This whole episode of watch-me-shoot-myself-in-the-foot theater doesn't make sense. Perhaps it's something entirely different: 2014 House elections

    Consider that the GOP effectively only has one unifying principal remaining: Be against whatever Obama is for. The other principals such as hating brown people, hating Muslims, etc. are a sub-plot:

    Scenario 1:
    Senate passes Syria resolution and it fails in the House
    Result: Obama has cover to not bomb Syria and the bomb-the Muslims GOP primary voters will be so disenchanted w/ the GOP house that they sit out the 2014 elections. Obama gets a short term black eye and the Dems have a real shot at winning the House in '14 and the US avoids a Syrian conflict.

    Scenario 2:
    Senate and House passes the Syria resolution.  
    Result: US lobs some missiles at strategic Syrian targets, which might make a difference, or not. We declare victory and get back to griping about immigrants.
    GOP voters are enraged that the House GOP voted to support Obama and sits out 2014. Hopefully, the US isn't sucked into anything deeper in the middle east, Obama gets a war-bounce and the Dems have a chance at picking up the House in '14.

    With ownership of the Senate (w/ filibuster reform), House and the White House, Obama and the Dems have two years of open seas to push progressive agenda items, which could cement Obama's legacy as a transformational President. You know, the guy I voted for back in 2008.  

    C'mon Dems. Let's get Green and Mean.

    by stork on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 01:07:52 PM PDT

    •  I think that this situation (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sunspots

      has become considerably more complicated than the simple Reps vs Dems script. Both parties have substancial splits in their ranks on the matter. The libertarian faction of the Reps is opposed while the traditionally hawkish faction is in favor. The liberal Democrats are opposed while the leadership is doing the presidential bidding.

  •  A vast majority of Americans (0+ / 0-)

    have no interest in another war.  So, I think Obama sees this as a way out.  The republicans have a dilemma in that they can't vote for war and shut down the government.  The action also exposes the split between repugs with brains (or at least enlightenment for past war approval) with the teabags (who are mental midgets and have no chance what-so-ever of becoming functionally literate).

    It passes the touch to the UN were it belongs.  If the international community is happy with gasings then so be it.  The teashiters have made the UN impotent and UN is the best place for the policing of the world to stem from.

  •  However, it absolutely ain't over till it's over. (0+ / 0-)

    Don't let up.

    The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 02:20:20 PM PDT

  •  The whole "wait till they see the classified info" (0+ / 0-)

    thing is giving me the creeps.

    The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 02:20:47 PM PDT

    •  The classified info (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SouthernLiberalinMD

      might be juicy little tidbits from NSA.

      •  Yeah. That's part of what I'm thinking. (0+ / 0-)

        If we see a sudden collapse from previously anti-war Reps, bet on that possibility.

        The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 10:26:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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