The First Communicator seizes the Saturday of Labor Day weekend to announce what normally would have been buried on a Friday afternoon - he will seek Congressional authorization to wrist-slap Syria.
The decision to seek congressional authorization is a departure from the administration’s decision to intervene in Libya in 2011. Though the president said he thinks he has the authority to order a military strike, he made clear he will ask Congress to vote on the issue.
“I have decided that the United States should take military action against Syrian regime targets,” the president said. He added: “I’m also mindful that I’m president of the world’s oldest constitutional democracy.”
I am not sure where the votes will come from. This is the anti-war President of the anti-war party, so folks on that side of the aisle won't feel any pressure to get behind this.
And on the right, what is the likely support for yet another foreign adventure led by a guy - OK, with Kerry, make that two guys - who will turn against this if/when the going gets tough? An adventure, let us add, undertaken without the political cover of Democratic votes? And when a majority of House Democrats reject an authorization, will Obama blame the Republicans? (Well, of course he will, but will it make any sense?)
There ought to be some value to the Kosovo analogy, where the House Republicans just couldn't get behind Clinton on the bombing, although funding was never held up. From the CRS:
As the situation in Kosovo turned away from peace talks and toward enforcement action, Congress reviewed proposals that supported or disapproved of the NATO air operation; the Senate, but not the House, endorsed the air strikes. Congress later considered but did not agree to resolutions that invoked the War Powers Resolution in an effort by sponsors to assert Congress’ role in authorizing the military action. Some Members of Congress challenged the President’s authority under the Constitution to engage U.S. armed forces in military operations in the Balkans without congressional approval. A greater number of others, however, abandoned or rejected options that might have dictated a forced removal of U.S. armed forces from Kosovo operations.
In spite of some serious misgivings about the NATO air operation in Kosovo, most Members of Congress strongly supported providing full funding for Department of Defense expenditures in the Balkans, out of concern for perceived budgetary shortfalls in the U.S. military. Thus, even Members who vehemently opposed Operation Allied Force voted to substantially increase funds for U.S. military forces participating in the operation. The same kind of support was not evident for meeting the Clinton Administration’s request for emergency supplemental funds for civilian reconstruction and regional financial stabilization efforts. On these matters, Congress established spending limits and cut back on requested funds for regional stabilization assistance.
LET IT OUT... Here is a vigorous tirade about the utter stupidity of our abandonment of Iraq. To which I say, as I have with Afghanistan, if you elect a guy committed to losing you need to expect to lose.