“Legislators are not arguing between preferred policy options, as they would on issues such as health care or welfare. They are deciding if they will send the chief executive into the world with his hands tied behind his back. This would be more than the repudiation of the current president; it would be the dangerous weakening of the presidency.
“A limited military strike may be symbolic. But for Congress to block that strike would be more than symbolic. It would undermine a tangible element of American influence: the perception that the commander in chief is fully in command.
“The refusal to authorize force would be taken as an ideological pivot point. Nations such as China, Russia and Iran would see this as the triumph of a political coalition between the peace party of the left and the rising isolationists of the right. And they would be correct. The strategic calculations of every American enemy and friend would be adjusted in ways that encourage challenge and instability.
“I would prefer to defend a form of internationalism less conflicted and hesitant than President Obama’s [Me too!]. But even so, it is better than the alternative of seriously compromising the credibility of the presidency itself. And those who claim that this credibility has already reached bottom are lacking in imagination.”
Michael Gerson, “A stand for Syria — and Obama,” WaPo