I know things are looking good for us right now. Meteor Blades just wrote a diary that says the Nay votes on Syria are gaining in the House: Nays gaining But as MB said himself in that diary:
But a lot of those purported stances are soft. After House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and the White House get through cranking the vise, a portion of those "leaning nay" among Democrats could easily be bent into the "lean aye" category—and vote that way.Although Politico is not always the greatest source for political journalism, they're not bad on whip counts and such, and they agree with Meteor Blades. On the one hand, if the vote were today, the AUMF would probably be defeated:
If the House voted today on a resolution to attack Syria, President Barack Obama would lose — and lose big.Read more: http://www.politico.com/...
That’s the private assessment of House Republican and Democratic lawmakers and aides who are closely involved in the process.
But as that article goes on to say, some serious pressure to vote yes is coming our way--or rather, our Congresscritters' way--next week:
POLITICO reported on Thursday that Obama administration officials have reached out directly to one-third of Congress in the last two weeks — at least 60 senators and 125 House members — with more contacts to come, according to a White House aide.Read more: http://www.politico.com/...
And AIPAC, the powerful pro-Israel lobbying group, is poised to mount a major blitz next week in support of the Syria resolution, officials with the group said. AIPAC lobbyists and their supporters have been speaking directly to a number of lawmakers, especially senators, said House and Senate aides.(Also on POLITICO: AIPAC to go all-out on Syria)
And here's the rub, for those who care about the future of the Democratic party. If this passes, and a war with Syria ensues, it's going to be the Democrats' war. Support from the Republican Caucus for this war is incredibly low. Some analysts are predicting that at most, 60 Republicans will stand with Cantor and Boehner at the end of the day. Obama is going to have to turn to the Democratic Caucus to push it through. And there's some indication that, through a typical fear of making the President appear weak, a lot of leaner Democrats are going to come around to an AYE vote.
“At the end of the day, a lot of these Democrats are going to be with the president,” said a House Democratic aide close to the issue. “Because the choice is to vote against [the Syria resolution] and turn the president into a lame duck and destroy his credibility, or swallow it and vote for something that you’re not wild about. When you’re faced with that kind of decision, most of these fence-sitters are going to come aboard.”Read more: http://www.politico.com/...
A united Democratic Caucus supporting the President and keeping him from being a lame duck? Why isn't that a wonderful thing for those who love the Democratic party?
Because the people of this country despise the idea of going to war in Syria. Tallies of those calling Congress are running in the 100s to 1 against. A recent poll shows around 2/3 of Americans opposed, including an overwhelming number of independents. HuffPo has a good collection of the most recent polls None shows good news for the supporters of intervention.
If we break it, we've bought it. If this war passes the House, we own it. It will do absolutely no good to try and tell voters that we thought we'd be out by Christmas, or tell them stories of how evil it is to use poison gas. It will do absolutely no good to tell people we never imagined the war would spread to Iran, or perhaps even to Russia (God and the saner diplomats in both countries forbid). If we support this war and it isn't over by Christmas with minor casualties and no further involvement, it will be the major issue in the 2014 election. And that means losing the independents and swing voters big (they have the highest levels of opposition to intervention in Syria). And it also means opening the door to a Tea Party surge of historic proportions. Because Michelle Bachmann notwithstanding, the Tea Party is taking a strong stand against this war. If Democrats, joined by Republican leadership, are all seen by the American people to be supporting an unbelievably unpopular war, while the Tea Party very visibly opposes it, what do you think is going to happen amongst a populace that already has record levels of distrust against its government?
First, there's this diary, from day before yesterday, in which I summarize the potential actions we came up with when we held our Caucus earlier this week.This list of possible actions can provide a starting point for people organizing in their districts around the country. I think our work on messaging is particularly good, especially given you could see at the Senate hearing that Kerry, Hagel, and the beleaguered Dempsey were trying to answer both the Powell Doctrine criticism and the how-the-hell-are-we-going-to-pay-for-this criticism.
Having created the list, I think it would benefit us to set up two things: One, a coordinated action in as many districts as possible, and two, a way to network, record, and share the actions we do take.
For the first, we basically have to pick a date and time (like next Monday from 12-2) to synchronize actions across the country. We should have actions both for those who can get away from work and those who can't. (Those who can't might simply flood their rep's office with calls). We could, if necessary, repeat these actions every lunchtime until the vote. (Lunchpail Democrats Against the War?) I suggest especially targeting lean-yes Democrats and undecided Democrats, but everyone who can should organize something. We should make it clear that primary challenges are in the works for any Democrat who votes AYE.
For the second, I need some help. I am not the most digitally skilled person in the world. All I know how to do, for tracking and sharing our actions, is to put up a diary and say "Hey! Report in!" I'm sure somebody here could offer better than that.
I would also strongly suggest taking up Deep Harm's idea and targeting the donors of the undecided and lean-aye Democrats. Say we will institute boycotts of companies that support pro-war Congressional Reps, until and unless they withdraw their donations and give them to a better candidate. That'll get everybody's attention.
I need someone to help with the networking of the actions--and I need someone to set up a web page which we will use to target the donors of pro-war reps. I also need people to help with Twitter pushes on the donor boycott, and other ideas for how to publicize it. A Youtube video recommending to Americans that they join in such a boycott, with names of companies to target and the primary products we want people NOT to buy, would be great.
But I can't do all this myself. I can't even take the lead on all of it. So a lot depends on whether others are willing to put in the time.
What are you willing to do?