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I understand a general opposition to military intervention.  What I am having trouble with is the naivete on this site about the politics.

You do realize that the same people that have undermined everything Obama has done (i.e. Obamacare implementation) are the same people you are sharing your opposition to action in Syria.

Do you think these hawkish tea-partiers and red-state Dems (Joe Manchin anyone?) are really acting on principle?  No.  They (I won't include Manchin in this) have proven again and again that they are not patriots, they are political opportunists whose first mission is to see Obama fail as President.  GOP Leadership can act "responsible" and maintain the precedent of Congressional leadership universally backing foreign policy choices, knowing full well their rank and file will vote to cripple Obama.

You all do realize that Obama's second term hinges on the Congressional Syria vote?
 If Obama loses this vote, several things happen:

1) He loses credibility around the world.
2) His hands are tied for the next three years on foreign policy.
3) Like his other capitulations, this weakness only encourages his domestic enemies.

More below the squiggly.

Let's take these one at a time:

1) He loses credibility around the world.
We were told by every Republican and many Democrats in the run up to the Iraq war that not backing the President would be disastrous, that it would paint America as weak to our enemies.  So why have the rules changed?  Granted, this is a patently stupid argument.  But I feel a little like "what's good for the goose.." here.  Shouldn't we require the GOP play by the rules Bush set up?  Because the perception around the world is that this is a major shift in U.S. activity, and, Crazy, Uninformed and Idiotic House Republicans are now in charge of U.S. foreign policy.    This is not reassuring to the world and is potentially destabilizing.

2) His hands are tied for the next three years on foreign policy.

Here is the real reason they are interested in opposing military action.  

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) on Tuesday said President Obama could be impeached if he goes ahead with a military strike on Syria if Congress doesn’t approve his war resolution.

“I think he’s breaking the law if he strikes without congressional approval,” Hunter told The Washington Times. “And if he proceeds without Congress providing that authority, it should be considered an impeachable offense.”

Obama's hands will be tied.  A precedent set that no President in the last 50 years has had to follow, that any action, even an air strike, without Congressional approval, risks impeachment.  There could very well be a situation where Obama needs to act immediately (say, what if an Embassy was under attack, lol) without Congressional approval.  Of course he would act, but he would risk impeachment.  Had this Congress been around for the botched hostage rescue in '79, they would have impeached Carter.  Same with black-hawk down incident under Clinton.  That is what they are setting up.  

Do I applaud Obama for restoring the rule of law to the Presidency?  I do.  But the way this works for everyone is for him to get his approval.

3) Like his other capitulations, this weakness only encourages his domestic enemies.
When will Obama/The Left learn that appeasing and playing by the actual rules only emboldens the right?  I understand acting on principle, but those principles will end up electing Chris Christie and a Republican Senate.  Think about it.

My argument, then, is that we should support Obama's request for congressional approval, because not doing so effectively ends his Presidency.  He is a lame duck 2 years early. He shouldn't have drawn the line, he made a mistake - but this is what they have been waiting for.  Obama has been a supremely competent Chief Executive.  There have been no real scandals.  And he misspoke and made a foreign policy blunder, as all Presidents eventually do.  We should rally by his side, get his approval, and then trust him to use it effectively.  

The fact that he followed the rule of law and sought approval sets a precedent.  For his Presidency to survive, he needs Congress to approve - and if you think this 70-30 judgement call is worth sacrificing any additional action on voter suppression, SCOTUS nominations, etc.  go right ahead.  But its the definition of throwing out the baby with the bathwater.



Should Congress approve Obama's request on Syria?

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| 141 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  The NSA and TPP are also blights on his (16+ / 0-)

    reputation.  But they, like Syria, are of his own making.

    Too bad he listens to Wall Street instead of us dirty fusking hippies.

    Obama: self-described Republican; backed up by right-wing policies

    by The Dead Man on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 08:15:42 AM PDT

  •  A few things (35+ / 0-)

    1. The political damage (which I think will be overstated) will be self-inflicted.

    2. To the extent that the damage is real, it may stop him from doing bad things, like nominating Summers.

    3. You want us to support a war we think is wrong & stupid in order to buck up the president?

  •  jgk - I agree with your basic analysis (0+ / 0-)

    If Congress does not pass an AUMF the President will be a wounded lame duck both domestically and internationally.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 08:17:37 AM PDT

    •  So, you guys are asking me to support (16+ / 0-)

      killing people in Syria in a mission that basically lacks any real clarity of productive purpose other than killing people so that President Obama is not embarrassed by his own political miscalculations?  

      No deal.

      •  Hear! Hear! Well said. (10+ / 0-)

        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 Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 08:42:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  inclusiveheart - Not me (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I don't think anyone should support the Syria mission if they don't think it is the right policy. The author and I are just writing about the political fallout of a rebuke by Congress, particularly by the President's own party. In my view the political damage will severely weaken the President and his ability to achieve any of his domestic or international goals for the remainder of his second term.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 08:49:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If you really want to think about the (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          politics of the situation you should consider the Congressional election that is going to start to ramp up in just a few short months.  Being in another Middle Eastern/Central Asian war will not bode well for the Democratic Party.  With that in mind, just how lame do people want this duck to be for the next few years?

          But I will say that if the President does lose this vote - which is highly likely in the House no matter how many diaries anyone writes about supporting him - I do not believe that his chances for recovering from that loss are that bad - assuming the administration plays the follow on with the Syria situation better than they have so far.  There are other options that might actually make more of a difference in Syria than "limited airstrikes" would or ever could.

        •  This won't be a party-line vote though. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          True, there will be some Democrats who vote against this resolution, but I don't think there have been many pieces of legislation that there weren't some Democrats voting against it.

          The real question will be if Boehner can deliver the House. If he can't deliver the Republicans in the House (and Pelosi has already said she doesn't know if she can deliver the Democrats in the House), this could seal his fate (and possibly even Cantor's fate) as his Speakership would be proven to be completely ineffectual.

          This isn't a Parliamentary system. President Obama will still be President. And most of the Democrats will still vote for legislation that he would sign and most Republicans will vote against it.

          Do you believe that Democrats are going to start voting en masse against legislation that the President favors simply because?

          •  chuck - I don't agree with your analysis at all (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            FG, chuckgintn, Pi Li

            This vote will have NO effect on John Boehner and his role as Speaker. He has through his statement that he would vote in favor of the AUMF given the GOP members of the House his permission for them to vote as they please. He made it crystal clear that he would not twist any arms or whip the vote in favor of the legislation and has no obligation whatsoever to "deliver the House". If the GOP keeps the House at the 2014 midterms Boehner will be the Speaker for the 114th Congress.

            If the GOP keeps the House the President was already looking at a difficult rest of his second term, but a rebuke by the House, particularly one led by his own party, will wound the President and make him less effective. It will certainly change the perception of the US at it relates to our international hot spots. The US will appear as a paper tiger. I think the vote will be a critical moment for the President, but only time will tell.

            It would be difficult to imagine how the President could have, from a political perspective, pursued the Syria issue in a manner that made him look less Presidential. I doubt he will do better in the future on this issue. He is a President who leads from behind.


            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 09:47:40 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  But the Republicans were likely to keep the House (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              before this. If there was a faction of Republicans that had been voting for the President's agenda, I could see where this would be a problem for him. But the reality is that the House didn't vote for his legislation before and isn't going to in the future.

              The Democrats are for the most part going to keep voting for the President's agenda. There will be those who do not agree with some of it, and vote against it. I don't think this will be an uprising of the Democrats suddenly sabotaging his agenda. Most will still disagree with the Republicans, and it will be the same entity that has voted to repeal the ACA 40 times.

              If the Senate flips you might have a point, but that was a possibility before this. The Democrats are defending more seats than the Republicans, and this was the class of 2008 which came in with the Obama tide. So there were doubtless some weaker candidates in a non-Presidential year.

              As for Boehner, it depends on the makeup of the Republican caucus. The Tea Party would like to see him out as he is an establishment Republican. The establishment Republicans cannot be happy as there is literally nothing getting done in the House, ceding much legislative power to the Senate.  

              Boehner may not have promised the House, but this split shows the weakness of his leadership and the divisions of his caucus. I don't know that there is anyone waiting in the wings, but depending on the Senate makeup, I could see major changes in the House leadership.

              As for internationally, many see our interventions as purely self-interested anyway. They were not likely to see this any differently. The President has not endeared himself to many foreign powers despite his Nobel Peace Prize.

              In the end, he will still be President. This is not a Parliament. His government will not fall and a general election called. His agenda was already mired in a House that wouldn't vote for anything he wanted.

        •  But your analysis does not make sense (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          President is legislative lame duck already.

    •  He's going to be a lame duck anyway (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Armando, CroneWit, inclusiveheart

      That's probably already making it more difficult for him to round up votes.  He's nearly 3/4 through the first year of his second term and what's he done this year?

    •  He is one now (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      in terms of legislation.

      I do not understand this argument.

    •  yeah, but nothing turns on that (0+ / 0-)

      i mean, people perceive that to the extent they perceive it.  Obama does something else and he's not a wounded lame duck anymore.  And if that were true, it's basically begging republicans to vote no, so the political case -- which is basically immoral -- undermines itself.  It also suggests that "yes" votes are doing it to buy favors, which of course already weakens the President, until they're the ones who need him and not vice versa.

      I support the President on this one because I think he's basically right relative to the alternatives.  If people disagree, I cannot possibly conceive that the political fortunes of someone else would be a compelling case.  

      I think the biggest risk to Obama being seen as a lame duck is his Constitutional inability to seek reelection.

      Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

      by Loge on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 11:14:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  No, no, and no (5+ / 0-)

    I would like everyone to support US intervention in Syria, but I don't want anyone to support it because of any of the reasons you've listed.  It would be depraved to support bombing Syria because of talking-head garbage,  If you don't think intervention would help the good and punish the bad in Syria, then don't support it.

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 08:19:02 AM PDT

  •  I completely disagree. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    costello7, CroneWit

    What is going on in Syria is terrible but we do not need to be the ones to intervene.  In fact, we are exactly the wrong country to intervene.  Let the UN do it's work and let the other nations in the area handle things.  The last thing we need to do is go in and kill Syrians as revenge for killing Syrians.  There are so many different factions over there we have no way of knowing what our intervention would do.  Except exacerbate the perception that we are a power-hungry asshole of a country.

    We need to stay out of Syria.  Let the international community decide what is best.  We've done enough in the Middle East. It's time to spend our money domestically - infrastructure, education, food, jobs, healthcare.  Enough is enough.

  •  On #2, remember Kosovo. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    citizenx, Deep Texan

    Clinton kept on the air strikes after the House voted against authorizing them.

    I recognize the politics of the argument, and you've framed them well, but it's so circular: we have to do it because the President said we have to do it, plus they need to authorize it because it's great that he asked them to.  I'd rather we authorize it if it's the right thing to do for the Syrians under siege.

  •  He's responsible for it (7+ / 0-)

    No one put a gun to his head to make this an issue.  If you have a problem, take it up with him.

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

    by Paleo on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 08:21:54 AM PDT

  •  The idea that (10+ / 0-)

    the President won't get anything else done if Congress says "no" to intervention in Syria is a non-starter.

    This assumes that Congress is giving him cooperation on anything to date. Which they aren't. So why would anyone believe that if there's a YES from Congress, that they'll just magically turn around and vote happily on all the other outstanding agenda items afterward?

    I'm sorry to say, that's simply nonsense. Obstruction has been the operative word for this Congress and it will continue to be, regardless of this particular vote.

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

    by lunachickie on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 08:22:47 AM PDT

  •  Self Inflicted wounds (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    polecat, CroneWit, inclusiveheart

    and if he can't see what is right in front of his face with a congress he has dealt with for over 4 years why should anyone feel confident over his Syria wishes?

    Horrible handling of this since the get go and it deserves to fail on political reasons alone.

  •  Disagree. Syria is a wag the dog trope diverting (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    attention from issues that actually effect the US like immigration reform and implementation of ACA. The President is way ahead on this regardless of congressional vote.

    “Well, when the president does it, that means it is not illegal.” Richard Nixon, 1977.

    by Kvetchnrelease on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 08:23:57 AM PDT

    •  I keep suspecting 'Wag the Dog' too (0+ / 0-)

      although I see it (if it's the case) as serving to distract from the NSA Surveillance State issue.  (CIa is, after all, involved in both -- recently-ex-CIA head in NSA 'independent review' group, CIA has already trained people for Syrian work, one of the suggested modifications of Obama's Syrai plan is to send 'trainers' -- which, if history holds, will include CIA.)

      I'm not sold on or invested in this position, but sensitive to history.

      •  I really don't think that this is (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        wag the dog at all.  I think that the President said something very dumb a year ago about a red line and that his words were tested in these chemical attacks either because someone wanted to draw the US into the conflict or because they wanted to say "fuck you" to the US.  Either way, I actually really believe that the Obama White House have been forced into this situation at a time when they actually would like to be dealing with other things on their agenda like making their hideous "Grand Bargain".

        I also believe that by not routing out the worst offenders of the Bush regime in the military command - and in fact by keeping many around - Obama set himself up long ago for this kind of problem to come along during his Presidency.  There are people telling him that "limited strikes" will work as some sort of deterrent.  He believes them.  That's the real problem.

        •  I agree with you about NeoCon military influence (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          and yes, O's 'red line' comment did commit him to action.  But couldn't he have taken the high road for his action, and put in motion the UN inspection & decision process instead of making 'drop bombs' his first choice?

          (That's setting aside my uneasy feeling about possible dog-wagging, and as I said I'm not married to that, or even dating heavily.)

          •  The UN question goes back to his (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Kvetchnrelease, CroneWit

            reliance on a lot of bad actors within the military command structure - and, I think, John Kerry, too.  I don't think that Kerry is the brightest bulb.  

            I think that they lack the creativity to imagine and formulate other options outside of the military realm.

            There is a great story that was only told many years after the Carter Administration about how he dealt with Qaddafi.  You probably remember that period when Qaddafi was causing all sorts of problems defiantly funding terrorist operations and was in the headlines everyday.  Then suddenly nothing from him or Libya.  Apparently, Carter got together with the leading nations of Europe and sent a secret letter to Qaddafi that basically said something along the lines of, "Cut the shit our we will all bomb you to oblivion and if you tell anyone that you got this note, we will bomb you into oblivion."  None of that played out on the global stage in part because the objective was to disempower Qaddafi's voice and cause as well as to stop him from killing people.

            Diplomacy happens behind the scenes.  The public displays we are seeing are from the military types who really can't thing outside of their box of military toys.

            Anyway, some of the things that Putin has said provide a glimmer of hope that this situation might cool down, but we shall see.  Obama has made the mistake of putting out a "moral rationale" for an attack which will leave him open to criticism if he ultimately has no visible response.  His best bet would be to focus on humanitarian aid and other strategies that could prove to be productive, but we'll see.

            •  VIP's letter suggests CIA in regime change plans (0+ / 0-)

              (It's the day after our evening interchange here, and first I want to say I found your points cogent.  This morning, in a comment by Tarheel Dem, I found a link that points to an older and deeper source for the dynamics of the current system.  I should note that (in a Buddhist way) I don't see ideological 'chain of causation' in an either-or way, but in a 'multiple causation' way.  So yes, NeoCon ideology is strong in these current events.  But in addition, there's also America's history of the 'covert overthrow'.  Ray McGovern's 'Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity' group has identified the 'covert overthrow' method in play here.  Below is my comment posted in response to Tarheel Dem.)


              We regret to inform you that some of our former co-workers are telling us, categorically, that contrary to the claims of your administration, the most reliable intelligence shows that Bashar al-Assad was NOT responsible for the chemical incident that killed and injured Syrian civilians on August 21, and that British intelligence officials also know this. In writing this brief report, we choose to assume that you have not been fully informed because your advisers decided to afford you the opportunity for what is commonly known as “plausible denial.”


              Our sources confirm that a chemical incident of some sort did cause fatalities and injuries on August 21 in a suburb of Damascus. They insist, however, that the incident was not the result of an attack by the Syrian Army using military-grade chemical weapons from its arsenal. That is the most salient fact, according to CIA officers working on the Syria issue. They tell us that CIA Director John Brennan is perpetrating a pre-Iraq-War-type fraud on members of Congress, the media, the public – and perhaps even you.  

              The VIP's letter goes on to say that the WH's 'Government Assessment' paper is an attempt to 'fix the intelligence to fit the policy'.  The VIPs cite a "growing body of evidence . . . [that the attack] was a pre-planned provocation by the Syrian opposition and its Saudi and Turkish supporters", intended to trigger American intervention.

              The letter continues by describing a chain of events beginning August 13-14 (the chemical incident was on Aug 21).  Meetings of opporions commanders and intelligence officials from Qatar, Turkey and the US were held at the command center of the Free Syrian Army.  Senior opposition commanders told the regional officers to plan for a 'war-changing event' that would result in bombings by America, and were promised weapons by Qatar and Turkey.  They were told to position their forces so that, when the bombing began, they could move quickly to take Damascus and overthrow Assad and his government.  Weapon distribution, "tightly supervised" by American intelligence personnel, took place August 21-23 -- that is, beginning the day of the chemical incident.

              The letter continues with an analysis of 'Who benefits' from this plan, which I will omit here.

              Well, that's a new scenario, isn't it?  Except it's a rather old script.  We now know from other sources that the CIA had people 'training' and 'supporting' the Syrian opposition by August (if not before).  And hey by golly we now have VIPs' sources telling us that a week before the chemical incident, meetings took place about an event that would 'change the war' and preparing regional leaders to prepare to invade Damascus after American bombs started falling, and that 'American intelligence' personnel distributed weapons the very day of the 'war-changing event'.

              As for CIA involvement in regime change, I refer the reader to the last fifty or so years of history.

              It's interesting -- and, I think, heartening -- that the plan revealed by VPs sources was foiled by citizens' voices that delayed the bombing, and that look likely to prevent it.  

              As a sidebar that bears consideration, last nights Evening Blues diary had a link to an NPR story about 'Bandar Bush', who has been jetting around to various countries to facilitate the planned regime change.  No surprise; but I was surprised to learn that BB had been deeply involved in Iran-Contra, which at root was all about the CIA as a shadow government/shadow military devoted to regime change in the 80's (as it had been earlier in Africa and in SE Asia).  

              Just food for thought.

  •  I reject this argument. (5+ / 0-)

    The congressional Rethuglicans have already weakened him by their incessant obstructionism and this will make no difference.  

    Furthermore, it is a ridiculous reason to support military action.
    No one should vote to retaliate against the use of chemical weapons in Syria just to maintain Obama's  stature.  

    The vote should be on its own merits and only on its own merits.  

    It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

    by Radiowalla on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 08:24:27 AM PDT

  •  In my view there are more important (11+ / 0-)

    things in the world than Obama's political future. This is not a politically staged squabble over Obamacare or some other strictly domestic controversy that will barely make a footnote in history. It is a critical decision about a central issue in foreign policy.

    I see this as being very much a continuation of the policy trend that has been called neocon, the view that the US has the power and the right to control world events without resort to international bodies such as the UN. I opposed that trend in Iraq and I oppose it in Syria. I think that is more important than any individual political figure.

  •  I do think Manchin is acting on principle on this (0+ / 0-)

    have you seen what he has put forth?

    That guy drives me freaking nutzo a lot but I do think that he is acting on principle, his principle, on this one and to say otherwise is a needless slam.

  •  So we should support (11+ / 0-)

    the President in this mis-adventure because the Republicans don't?

    Bullshit. I wouldn't support it regardless of who the POTUS was.

    "The next time everyone will pay for it equally, and there won't be any more Chosen Nations, or any Others. Poor bastards all." ~The Boomer Bible

    by just another vet on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 08:30:27 AM PDT

  •  Obama will strike if he sense potential danger (0+ / 0-)

    Right now I am conflicted. I am SICK TO DEATH of these freaking wars. I am tired of Afghanistan, Iraq,  I am sick of these terrorist groups in the Middle East who want to do us harm.  If we don't ever see another soldier go to war it won't be too soon.

    BUT do we just not do anything while Assad kill his people with chemical gas? What if he does it again on a larger scale?  I think the International community wants us to get involved with this without helping and that may be a problem. Israel, Turkey and and the rest our allies are sitting ducks if the USA doesn't scare, shame or attack Assad.   Obama is in this predicament because of the lies told by the Bush Admin. These same imbecils who stood lock stock and barrel with Bush to go attack Iraq got the gall to criticize Obama especially these arm chair GOP in the congress . Please spare me.

    What I do know over watching Obama over the last 5.5 years is that he will not listen to me or anyone else when he sees a potential dangerous situation escalating where it affects us down the road. A Dictator gassing his people? I am looking thru his lenses as president and I sense he is afraid that if we USA let this be the norm, you will start to see a cascade of other tyrants using this method of killing in the masses and if that happens the UN needs to step up and help and NATO .

    He has never listened to polls, news organizations, media or the uninformed voter out here when he knows in his gut that he has to make the call that everyone will hate. He did it with Healthcare, He did it with the WallStreet BAILOUTS, GM Bailouts, Going into Libya to help the rebels with Khaddafi, Going into Eqypt to get Mubarack out. He did it with making the call to go after OSAMA BIN LADEN. That is who he is. He has always gone with his GUT and 90% of the time he was right.

    Obama doesn't want to do this and he especially don't want to do this alone, so I think he is playing chess while other are playing checkers. He is either trying to get out of doing this alone and maybe show the international community that the congress is about to vote this down and he will listen to them  OR he is stalling and trying to fool assad because he is about the give the order.

  •  What I'm having trouble with, (9+ / 0-)

    is people on this site who blatantly or latently think Obama should start a violent war to save face.

    The reasons for intervention are BULLSHIT, and the people going along with them are the naïve ones, not I. I'm past caring whether Obama looks bad at this point, because he never should have gotten himself in this position to begin with.

    Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism.

    by Zutroy on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 08:33:55 AM PDT

    •  Obama has painted himself into a corner. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      He is like a kid who talks tough on a playground and then has to back it up.  It looks to me like he's got those testerone war juices flowing and is determined to strike.

      I'd be in favor of doing something in Syria if I thought there was a reasonable chance of a good outcome and less chance of a terrible outcome.

      It always amazes me when people get so preachy about how we have to stop all atrocities all over the world.  It's a nice goal, but we certainly don't try to do it.  Where were we in Darfour and Rwanda?  Those genocides were far worse than anything that is happening in Syria.

  •  Obama's self-inficted credibility problem... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Paleo, tardis10, CroneWit

    is no reason to support a military intervention.

    I agree with your analysis, however. He will lose credibility and the lame duck session will begin in earnest right now. Its a shame that his bungled response to this and sequestration makes him appear politically impotent, but the administration seems disorganized and making decisions on the fly. Hardly confidence inspiring.

  •  Obviously, Obama and his administration have not (0+ / 0-)

    ... done a very good job convincing folks here or in the general population of the need to strike Syria. Telling people here at Daily Kos that we'll be neutering Obama if we don't help him gain Congressional backing for an attack seems like the least of his problems at this point.

    Calling other DKos members "weenies" is a personal insult and therefore against site rules.

    by Bob Johnson on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 08:38:17 AM PDT

  •  Has anyone considered (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Love Me Slender

    The possibility that, even if Congress votes down use of force, if Assad does not use chem weapons again, it is a strategic victory for the President

  •  ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Paleo, CroneWit
    "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?”
    ― John F. Kerry
  •  And to that I say,... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "So be it."

    I just called both my senators Nelson and Rubio. Nelson's office did not pick up live a forced leaving a message; Rubio's number was answered by a live staffer who registered my comment.

    This middle-aged white male veteran is a no vote.

    I'm just Double Tapped the hell out.

    by pajoly on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 08:46:05 AM PDT

  •  Embassies are US soil. An attack on a US embassy (0+ / 0-)

    would be an act of war against the US.

    He is authorized through the War Powers Act to make decisions to defend the United States. Sorry, your argument in that case is incorrect.

    The only way that the President could be impeached would be if he went ahead with bombing a foreign nation which had not attacked us or an ally first after Congress said "no."

  •  the man is a lame duck already (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Nothing will pass the GOP House.

    Reid has not killed then filibuster in the Senate.

    Obama's 2nd term is already over, and bombing Syria will not resuscitate it.

  •  Uh, no (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    If he loses the vote, he loses the vote.  If anything, if he loses the vote and does not intervene, he is upholding the political process and everything is fine.

    Perhaps the most interesting thing about this debate is that for the first time in 6 years, it appears that we have a genuinely non-partisan vote coming in congress.  It ain't gonna break down on partisan lines...and that is very interesting.

    "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

    by Empty Vessel on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 08:52:15 AM PDT

  •  Tipped because you're right, BUT (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    as much as I like President Obama, I'm not going to support yet another military action in the Middle East just because President Obama stepped in a big pile of doggy doo-doo. It's his mistake, let the chips fall where they may.

    Obama has already lost this battle, no way will Congress ever approve this. Progressives opposing yet another military intervention combining with Republicans who cheered Dubya on in Afghanistan & Iraq suddenly becoming anti-war activist just to bring Obama down? I saw this one coming a mile away, too bad the President and his advisers couldn't see the obvious.

    Now, let's get behind a better idea - Manchin and Hietkamp's proposal to give Assad a chance to renounce chemical weapons is a good start.

    David Koch, a teacher and a Tea Partier sit down a table with a plate of a dozen cookies. Koch quickly stuffs 11 cookies in his pockets, leans to the bagger and says "watch out, the union thug will try to steal your cookie".

    by Dave in AZ on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 08:52:37 AM PDT

  •  4) His Nobel Peace Prize will be taken away. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CroneWit, Dump Terry McAuliffe, PhilK


    Telling me to STFU because it might hurt Obama when the next campaign is about his successor is pretty lame.

    HE chose this fight.  Bad move.  Can't make me defend it.

    Now let's find a better candidate for 2016, shall we?

    Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
    I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
    —Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 08:56:11 AM PDT

  •  Huh? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Richard Lyon, tardis10, 4kedtongue

    You do realize that this is incoherent right?

  •  Obama should have thought of this BEFORE (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PhilJD, allenjo

    he started pushing this stupid idea of military intervention in Syria..  He's the one who put himself out there to twist in the wind; he's earned his consequences.

  •  We should support war for what? (5+ / 0-)

    This is a good one man, got to hand it to you.  Hey everybody, let's support more war to save Obama.   Ya baby.

  •  Howard Dean's opinion (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10, NedSparks
    Howard Dean On Syria: Obama Won't Be Damaged If Congress Votes No

    While I agree with the president -- I support the president, I hope we do have a very limited intervention that is designed to reduce the possibility of chemical weapons being used in the future ... But if the Congress says no, I don’t think that is in any way a reflection on Barack Obama. I think that is a positive reflection on him for upholding the system and listening when he was told no by the people he works for, which is the American people."

    As a leading opponent of the war in Iraq, Dean's position on the conflict in Syria and what the U.S. government should do about it can carry weight for congressional Democrats debating the merits of an AUMF.

    "I opposed Iraq because I thought we were being lied to by our own government, which turned out to be true," he said, in explaining why the parallels being drawn between Iraq and Syria are so poor. "So that was pretty open and shut…. So far there is no evidence of that [with respect to Syria] whatsoever. I do think there is a credibility problem for the United States government."

    In part because of the history of the Iraq war, many U.S. lawmakers are on the fence when it comes to Syria. They're weary of getting involved in another Middle East-based, largely sectarian conflict that has few obvious implications for America's national security.

    "I am not interested in picking up crumbs of compassion thrown from the table of someone who considers himself my master. I want the full menu of rights." (From "You Said a Mouthful" by Bishop Desmond Tutu - South African bishop & activist, b.1931)

    by FiredUpInCA on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 09:08:09 AM PDT

  •  A "no" vote hurts Obama's prestige and America's (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NedSparks, FiredUpInCA

    future ability to use military deterrence against bad actors. The thing is though Congress would "own" any further chemcial usage by Assad and would end up looking weak if things get so bad in Syria the U.N or other allies call upon us to intervene militarily.

     Politically (not morally) this isn't the kind of slam dunk no vote alot of people on this site think it is.

  •  Tweety... (0+ / 0-)

    Come on, dude.  You can use your real name on this blog.  We won't tell anybody.

    “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” - John Steinbeck

    by RichM on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 09:17:00 AM PDT

  •  Obama will only be... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10, FiredUpInCA

    damaged by this if he acts damaged by this. It's not as if Republicans will now feel enboldened to obstruct what the wants to do; they already have been for years. It's virtually impossible to do it "more".

    "It's almost as if we're watching Mitt Romney on Safari in his own country." -- Jonathan Capeheart

    by JackND on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 09:24:06 AM PDT

  •  I've heard this argument. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PhilJD, allenjo

    What it basically says is that we should all be good sheeple and do what President Obama wants no matter what because, POLiTICS.

    The idea that party is more important than country... so anyone disagreeing needs to just suck it up and like it anyway BS.

    It all says, "You should be hypocritical because it's OK when the Obama Administration does what you objected to under a Republican President/Administration.

    President Obama lost credibility with many when he pushed for this intervention. 99K people dead. la la la la - Uh Oh, Chemical weapons may have been / were used and there are still unanswered questions - ATTACK and kill more Syrians, because...CHEMS and FREEDOM! Goals? We'll figure it out...just trust them. No.

    Or maybe it's 11th dimensional chess and he is actually trying to bring the office back down to being adherent to approval from congress. Sure, 11th dimensional chess, that's the ticket...yawn.

    The Republicans were not going to stop obstructing, so domestic issues will still be difficult.

    Blind trust and support in any scenario? No.

    -6.38, -6.21: Lamented and assured to the lights and towns below, Faster than the speed of sound, Faster than we thought we'd go, Beneath the sound of hope...

    by Vayle on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 09:38:04 AM PDT

  •  Mr. Obama has been all about bipartisanship (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vayle, allenjo

    from day one of his first term.

    He should welcome bipartisan repudiation of war with Syria.

    When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

    by PhilJD on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 09:40:57 AM PDT

  •  Since when (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3) Like his other capitulations, this weakness only encourages his domestic enemies.

    When will Obama/The Left learn that appeasing and playing by the actual rules only emboldens the right?

    Is following the Constitution considered capitulation and weak?

    "I am not interested in picking up crumbs of compassion thrown from the table of someone who considers himself my master. I want the full menu of rights." (From "You Said a Mouthful" by Bishop Desmond Tutu - South African bishop & activist, b.1931)

    by FiredUpInCA on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 09:52:04 AM PDT

  •  Your 3 points (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vayle, koNko, allenjo

    illustrate what is wrong with American politics today: support your "team" regardless of the damage to the country as a whole, or the damage to the international community.

    I think we need to go back to Constitutional basics in this regard: only Congress may declare war. Any act of war is too much to be left to one man's decision.

    Whether or not I think we should get involved in Syria, I sure as hell don't think we should just to support our political "team." Hell no.

    Dum Spiro Spero - While I Breathe, I Hope (SC's state motto)

    by SCVeteran on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 09:56:01 AM PDT

  •  Incredible Diary (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    allenjo, jbou, PhilK, Jazzenterprises

    Even more incredible reasoning.

    Yeah, got to support another pointless war because, otherwise, it would set a bad precedent and prevent future presidents from starting pointless wars.

    You convinced me.

  •  Sometimes I just don't give a darn about (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    allenjo, FiredUpInCA

    the politics - not when children are being kicked out of head start and seniors are going without meals on wheels and families are getting kicked out of the food stamp program and so many of us are sick and uninsured.  We have our own problems right here right now.  Kids graduate from college and can't find work.  Household budgets are strained to the breaking point thanks to the idiots that are calling the shots right now.  I'm sick of being the police of the world and I'm sick of footing the bill, personally.  And I'm sick of not taking care of our own first.  If the rest of the world isn't on board with us, maybe we should rethink our position.  Why do we have to go it alone?  And should we?  I don't think so.  I don't care whose side that puts me on.

    The GOP will destroy anything they can't own.

    by AnnieR on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 10:23:44 AM PDT

    •  Why do we have to do it at all? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Why do we have to go it alone?  And should we?
      We are all over the globe with our military, the world's most expensive, front and center in every "global police force" action.

      Let's take a break, some time out, concentrate on the "homeland", and ending that 12 year long war in Afghanistan.

      As other countries are pulling out, we still have almost 70,000 troops. Let's get them home and get the hell out of Afghanistan.

      "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand?" David Crosby

      by allenjo on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 10:35:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  fuck that (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    it's a bad idea to get involved with sectarian civil wars. Obama is wrong and that's really it.  

    I sing praises in the church of nonsense, but in my heart I'm still an atheist, demanding sense of all things.

    by jbou on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 11:06:14 AM PDT

  •  Every reason given here is wrong or irrelevant (0+ / 0-)

    Okay, let's take this from the top...
    (1) The President loses credibility.  Irrelevant.  You do NOT go to war to protect anyone's credibility.  Why does this even need to be said?  You go to war if and only if you believe there is some national interest or security issue (or issues) at stake that are so compelling that you believe the death and destruction and cost of war is worth it.  Very, very few things meet that standard, in my opinion.  Civil war in Syria is not one of them.
    And please don't tell me it's just a 'limited strike' and not really a 'war.' Bulls**t.  When you bomb the bases and facilities of another government, it is an act of war and you are at war with that government, period.  If someone lobbed a few missiles at the U.S. and then said 'hey, we don't want a war, we're just sending a message,' what do you think we would do?  Even if Syria has very limited capacity to strike back at any U.S. interest, it is way too easy for such an action to erupt into larger conflict.  What if Syria strikes at Israel?  What if Iran strikes oil facilities, in support of Syria?  Neither we nor President Obama can predict or control such events.
    (2) His hands are then tied on foreign policy.  No, they're not.  The President has more discretion and control over foreign policy than any other aspect of governance.  But the President does NOT have unilateral discretion or control over matters of war.  Doesn't anyone read the Constitution anymore?  And the example of not being able to defend an embassy without fear of impeachment is so absurd, you should be embarrassed to write it.  An embassy is American territory and defending it in case of attack requires no declaration of war or authorization of force by Congress.  It's self-defense.  Syria is NOT self-defense.  No Syrian forces are attacking us.
    Right now there are Republicans who want to impeach President Obama because they believe he DIDN'T defend a U.S. diplomatic post.  Maybe you heard of it - Benghazi.
    (3) Perceived weakness will encourage his domestic enemies.  Oh, jgkojak - did you really write that?  President Obama already faces the most obstructionist Congress in history.  This has actually been documented by political scientists.  His domestic enemies cannot be any worse than they are already, no matter what 'encouragement' he gives them.
    President Obama essentially became a lame duck after the 2010 takeover of the House by Republicans, jg - that train has already left the station.  And I'm a guy who voted for him twice, because it was obvious that what the Republicans had to offer was simply disastrous for this nation.  What Obama can do now is focus on defending his signature accomplishment, Obamacare, and taking what actions he can with domestic coalitions of convenience to accomplish small goals around the margins.  dangerous and unpredictable military aggression against a nation that has not attacked us, and that might easily spread into a wider war, will no tbenefit his legacy or this nation.

  •  It doesn't hinge on this (0+ / 0-)

    But I agree most have bought into this pack mentality about shitting on everything he does on Syria. Face it When Freedomworks comes out with a position, you should probably be on the other side of the issue. But when the dust settles and everybody realizes what has happened I think the fact that he did stand for what's right on this, history will judge him well.

  •  I disagree (0+ / 0-)

    He drew his line in the sand and they crossed it. He had to respond, but he really didn't want to.

    Congress is giving him an out.

    Personally, I think it's damn brilliant.

    He is putting the GOP in a tough spot. They can vote for something Obama suggested which gets them in hot water with their nutcase base, or they can vote against Obama and piss off their military industrial base. Lose-lose for the GOP.

    Obama isn't running for anything ever again, so he doesn't have to worry about anything.

    UID:21352 Joined:Sep 29, 2004

    by pucklady on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 01:16:58 PM PDT

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