Saturday, August 31, 2013


President Obama is now asking Congress for approval before taking military action in Syria. I like Kalli Joy Gray's response to Josh Greenman's tweet:

She's right -- it won't.

I hope somebody does a word cloud of the debate, especially in the House, and I hope it's broken down by party. I'm betting that, among House members, and among Republicans in both houses, "Benghazi" will be uttered more frequently than "Assad." Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if "Obamacare" is uttered more frequently than "Assad." (Ted Cruz has already told us that Obamacare and Syria are "tied together by an arrogance of this administration." In fact, "arrogance" will probably be a big, bold word in that word cloud.)

A few folks are going to make serious points. A lot more are just going to segue from Syria into every grievance against Obama they've saved up for four-plus years.

No, it is not going to be an ennobling debate for the nation. It should be, but it won't. It may sound highfalutin -- Republicans will, after all, use the word "Constitution" a lot. But they don't actually give a crap about the Constitution, and it will show. They just think it's a good stick to beat Obama with. They won't reveal any particular insight into the Constitution. They'll just yammer about it a lot.

Do I think Obama will win the vote? In the Senate, probably, with a few liberal Democrats and many but not all Republicans voting against him. (Lindsay and Johnny Mac will have his back, in Lindsay's case to the detriment of his reelection chances. Mitch will vote no.)

In the House, I'm guessing Obama will lose, or win a squeaker -- the Republicans want to hurt Obama, and they'll all be facing reelection next year. Boehner will probably vote yes, but he won't carry very many of his fellow Republicans with him. I think a few white progressive Democrats will vote against Obama, but I'm guessing the Black Caucus will close ranks and have his back (I don't see any of the Caucus's members among the Democratic signers of Congressman Scott Rigell's letter demanding a congressional vote).

If Obama loses in the House and bombs Syria anyway, I wonder if that will set off the impeachment. Hey, something's got to, right? Imagine Obama being impeached on foreign policy grounds after Nixon, Reagan, and Bush weren't. That would be crazy -- and yeah, I could imagine it.


Never Ben Better said...

I suspect that, whichever way the votes goes, Obama will accept it -- and that means that Congress then owns Syria, and all the consequences of whatever (in)action they vote for.

"Why didn't the President do this instead of that?"

"Because you guys in Congress told him not to."

The GOP can and will still try to demagogue Syria, but this will help to puncture whatever balloons they try to float.

Ten Bears said...

It has occured to me that this could be Star Trek chess. When it comes down to it, the regressives have never met a war they didn't like. Except now, like everything else "now", when there is a half black guy running the show. Pretty good demonstration, and the white dogs are about half sucked in.

No fear.

Victor said...

It's pretty much a sure thing.

No matter what he does here.

The Republican base is frantic and desperate for an impeachment.
Their politicians risk being primaried if they don't seek it.

Will this be the cause - either way?

Does it matter?
I doubt it.

Even if President Obama keeps his pants on, they'll find something to try to impeach him.

The Republicans right now, are stupid, evil, AND, insane!

And, sadly, I don't see that passing anytime soon.

Kathy said...

Thanks, Steve. Good, if depressing, analysis. If Congress votes NO and Obama respects that vote, how long will it take Republicans to start calling him "weak" for doing so? I'm guessing a week or two.

Victor said...

When they vote no, since he said he wanted to go, set a egg-timer.

But for FSM's sake, don't put any eggs in the water - unless you like your egg raw, and only slightly warm.