As you probably know by now, President Obama is going to seek the blessing of Congress for military action in Syria.
The reason I think Obama is taking this route is because he’s getting cold feet because of the cold shoulder from the British Parliament, the Arab League and the UN. It’s true that French President Francois Hollande backs military action in Syria, but now he’s hedging his bets and is now awaiting the results of the Congressional vote.
As I have argued previously, I am not convinced Obama is going to attack Syria. If he was then missiles would be falling on Damascus at this hour. Obama felt no need to go to Congress where it concerned Libya. Of course, Obama was leading from behind back then. But with no one prepared to stand in front of him I believe his decision to go to Congress is a face-saving measure.
While I think the Senate will authorize the use of force, I cannot see the House supporting Obama and that is where the face-saving comes into the picture. Should this come to pass, Obama will do what he does best – blame Republicans for his failures. Yes, Obama could still proceed with a military strike against Syria without the authorization of Congress. But those optics wouldn’t look so good especially with a strong majority of the country opposed to a military intervention. Besides it’s easier for Obama to blame the GOP. It’s been working for him for nearly five years. Why should he stop now?
I say all this with the knowledge that Congress does not reconvene until September 9th. As the old adage goes, “A week in politics is a lifetime.” So conditions could change. But assuming they don’t then I think this vote will give Obama a way out of attacking Syria.
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