Obama Shrinks

A week ago Saturday, the President announced that rather than strike Syria that weekend, as we all expected, he was turning the whole thing over to Congress, even though he claimed he had the power to act without their consent.  So he shrank as Commander in Chief.

Last night, he took the ball from Congress and handed it to Vladimir Putin, shrinking even more and basically out-sourcing Syria from another branch of his government to our enemy.

This is both pathetic and scary.

The original purpose of the speech had been to rally public support on the eve of a scheduled Senate vote on the Syria strike.  Once that vote got postponed, the speech should have been postponed as well.

You don’t ask all the networks for prime time to announce that you are postponing a vote in Congress so you can follow Putin down the primrose path.


This Sounds More Like Putin

So now Putin is saying that for Syria to give up its chemical weapons, the U. S. has to renounce the use of force first.  Okay, this makes a little more sense, this sounds more like the Vlad I know.

Aside from that ridiculous, DOA demand, the thing is already falling apart at the U. N.  The Russians have told the French that a Security Council resolution must be toothless — it can’t contain any threat of military action if Syria doesn’t follow through on transferring its chemical weapons to international authorities.

We don’t have a potential solution here, people, just an ever-expanding mess.

What’s Russian for rope-a-dope?

Senate Postpones Vote

Using the hope that Syria will agree to give up its chemical weapons (because you know what stand-up guys Putin and Assad are), the Senate has postponed its vote on the resolution for a military strike.  The vote had been scheduled for Wednesday.

And I woke up this morning thinking this thing couldn’t be an even bigger mess.  I seriously misunderestimated how much John Kerry’s chronic “thinking out loud” could throw even more sand in the gears of this strike that Obama should have done the weekend before last.

About That Syria Vote…

So here’s the latest on the voting, and it’s not putting any smiles on West Wing faces.

In the Senate, Obama has 31 yes, 20 no, and 49 undecided.  He needs 60 yes votes for cloture.

In the House, Obama has 47 yes votes, 232 no votes, and 153 undecided.  So he’s lost the House.

Meanwhile, Kerry may promise there won’t be boots on the ground, but we definitely will have more of Kerry inserting his boot into his own mouth.  Apparently “thinking out loud” yet again and going off script, he suggested that Syria put its chemical weapons under international control, which led Putin and then the Syrians to chime in that that was a fantastic idea.  Ain’t gonna happen, of course, but it certainly muddies the waters for a strike.  Can’t anybody in the executive branch play this game?

I can’t see Russia from my house, but I certainly can hear Putin laughing.

Senate Foreign Relations Approves Syria Resolution

The vote was 10-7.

Dems voting for — Bob Menendez of New Jersey, Barbara Boxer of California, Benjamin Cardin of Maryland, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, Christopher Coons of Delaware, Dick Dubin of Illinois, Tim Kaine of Virginia.

Dems voting against — Tom Udall of New Mexico, Christopher Murphy of Connecticut.  That profile in courage from Massachusetts, Ed Markey, voted Present.

GOP/Tea Party voting for — John McCain of Arizona, Jeff Flake of Arizona, and Bob Corker of Tennessee

GOP/Tea Party voting against — Rand Paul of Kentucky, James Risch of Idaho, Marco Rubio of Florida, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, and John Barrasso of Wyoming.

The resolution gives the president up to 90 days to act against Syria and prohibits ground troops, except for a small rescue mission in case of emergency.

“Utter Revulsion” Is an Emotion, Not a Policy

“I accept that Britain can’t be part, and won’t be part, of any military action on that front but we must not in any degree give up our utter revulsion at the chemical weapons attacks that we have seen and we must press this point in every forum that we are a member.”

British P. M. David Chamberlain Cameron

You’ve gone all wobbly, David.  What would Maggie say?

GOP Leaders Not on Same Page

So far, House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor have come out in support of the President’s proposed Syria missile strike, but Senate  Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, dealing with a Tea Party challenge in his re-election campaign, has not.

McConnell is obviously afraid of straying from Rand Paul.  I think we know who is really the senior senator from Kentucky!

We Could Have Been Done Here

Instead of just beginning an unnecessary fight at home, the President could have finished up his piddling, slap-on-the-wrist strikes on Syria today and headed off to Sweden and Petersburg tomorrow.

The country could have started to focus on the fast-approaching budget and debt ceiling deadlines.

If the President believed he had the authority to strike Syria (and he clearly does), he should have used it.  Especially because this Congress is the worst in my memory in terms of being jam packed with the crazy and the ignorant.  I mean, you have Tea Party congressmen arguing that a default would improve the credit rating of the United State.

You don’t rush to this Congress expecting a rational response, you do end runs around it.  The Tea Party these reps evoke isn’t Boston Harbor, it’s Alice in Wonderland.

I don’t feel sorry for Obama — he knows where the rabbit hole is, but instead of taking care not to fall down it, he’s jumped right into it.  And taken all of us with him.


The Magic Red Line Reappears

Remember when Obama said that if Syria’s President Assad used chemical weapons against his own people, it would be a “red line” and the U. S. would do, um, something?  Remember when Assad used those forbidden chemical weapons, and O went all Emily Litella on us and said “never mind”?

Well, the red line is back.  The White House says that Assad used sarin gas, and we are now going to give weapons to the rebels, but just the good rebels, not the radical Islamist rebels.  Good luck with that.

We’ve been getting them some arms unofficially, so now it will be done openly and on a larger scale.

And we’re at war with Russia and Iran, by proxy.