With remarkably little to show for a week of intensive lobbying, the last bit of leverage that Democrats expect the White House to use is this: Barack Obama’s presidency depends on it.
This isn’t what Americans will hear when Obama addresses the nation Tuesday night. Publicly, the argument is all about the evidence that the Syrian government used chemical weapons and the ramifications if the United States doesn’t retaliate. Senior White House officials are loath to make it a referendum on Obama, saying they remain confident that he can win by sticking to the merits of the case.
“Politics is somebody else’s concern,” White House chief of staff Denis McDonough said on “Fox News Sunday.” “The president is not interested in the politics of this. The president is interested in making sure that our national security is protected. That’s the question, first and foremost, for us.”
Proof and peril of the chemical weapons attack haven’t convinced Congress — at least not yet — and the politics point to defeat. So Obama’s last best hope is to convince conflicted Democrats, even if it’s just implicit in private conversations, that they can’t be the ones who cripple his presidency and his ability to deliver the party’s priorities, according to Democrats on Capitol Hill and close to the White House.
If there is a more specious argument for going to war in Syria, I cannot think of what it is. It is an appeal to the Obama’s cult of personality. It’s not only wrong-headed, it’s just plain wrong.
If all I really cared about was seeing Obama fail I would be praying for him to attack Syria. I think some Republicans are actually hoping he will make the same mistake that LBJ made with Vietnam and start an unpopular war. Obama is crewed either way but he would be better off losing the vote in Congress and moving on to other things. That won’t hurt him as much as starting a war will to his approval ratings.
He should have thought about the consequences before he painted himself into a corner. I am amazed at the efforts of his sycophantic followers to spin this moldy straw into gold. This whole mess is a self-inflicted foot-thrust.
I am adamantly opposed to getting involved militarily in Syria, and that includes providing any kind of aid to the rebels. It is a bad idea, period.
I do not believe the evidence proves Assad used poison gas. Even if it did, I don’t think it justifies our involvement. I do not believe that our involvement will improve the situation in Syria and most likely will make it worse. I think Assad may be the lesser of two evils.
Lobbing a few cruise missiles is worse than doing nothing. Lobbing a bunch of them may tilt the war in the rebels’ favor. But the rebels include al-Qaeda! WTF?
In some respects I agree with Senator McCain – if we were to go to war in Syria we should invade, occupy the place and stay there until a stable and relatively friendly government is in place. But not only is there no justification for us to do that it would be an expensive and long-term mess we don’t need and there is no guarantee it would be successful. If we were to do that we would need the solid support of a large coalition of allies – preferably the United Nations.
We’re basically all alone on this, and for good reason.
Obama is actually making George W. Bush’s misadventure in Iraq look really good by comparison. That alone should be a red flag. And like Iraq, if we go in we’ll get shot at from both sides. It would be a quick war and a long occupation.
I understand the humanitarian concerns that some people have for the plight of innocent civilians. But some problems don’t have solutions. More importantly, I don’t believe that Barack Obama is motivated by humanitarian concerns. I believe that chemical weapons are just a pretext for war based on dubious ulterior motives.
No blood for O!