Remainder of Obama Presidency dependent on Syria war vote?
The White House, of course, denies it, but the ultimate argument the President might make with members of his own party, particularly in the U.S. House of Representatives: 'Vote for my Syrian intervention, or the remainder of my Presidency is toast! And that means your domestic priorities, gone..."
One suspects the President and his people wouldn't put it that crudely, of course. But that, in essence, is the final argument.
No matter that it is a morally corrosive argument. So the United States drops bombs - with inevitable civilian casualties - and risks a wider war in the Middle-East... just to keep a second-term Presidency relevant. Ponder that.
But, as POLITICO reports below, the President's reserve of "political capital" is running dry. Once again, we learn how the President's failure to develop personal relationships - even within his OWN party in the House - is costing him dearly. (This President is no disciple of Dale Carnegie!) To make things worse, many House Dems fear the Administration will ultimately seek language allowing an EXPANDED military effort, precisely to placate G.O.P. hawks - Senators John McCain & Lindsey Graham. That would be anathema to many House members on BOTH sides of the political aisle...
If you are motivated to contact a member of Delaware's Congressional delegation (Or if you're outside Delaware, your respective Congressional delegation) to express opposition to a U.S. military intervention, you might want to keep this article handy about the source of the Syria chemical weapons intelligence summary document.
From Gareth Porter at the INTER PRESS SERVICE News Agency: "Obama's Case for Syria Didn't Reflect Intel Analysis"...
Allan says the Administration denies the Prez is putting pressure on Congressional leaders to vote in favor of the Syrian intervention just to save his Presidency. That is probably true, but the idea that the Administration is NOT pressuring Congressional leaders is malarkey.
Actually, I could envision even stronger language being said to the leadership of both Houses [DEM leaders, that is] behind closed doors where no cellphone is turned on [checked at the gate] to record those words [they probably check them for wires too].
The Prez has mistakenly drawn a red line in the sand, and now has to put up or shut up. How difficult is that for the so-called "leader of the free world"? Watch The West Wing and see how powerful these folks and their minions that serve them are, and you'll better understand how power goes to these folks' heads, of both parties. He's not going to step back, IF he can bully the Congress into doing his will. He doesn't want egg on his face.
He miscalculated his political capital. He didn't win a landslide in 2012. He's gone out on a limb that is not holding his weight and he may end up falling on his face.
The rest of his 2nd term is not going to be a cakewalk for him. The public, and more importantly, the GOP and Moderate/Conservative DEMS seem to be distancing themselves from him, probably in anticipation of the 2014 Congressional Elections.
His three claims to fame will be: Being the First Black Prez; getting a national health-care system up and running in the U.S., and lastly getting a Nobel Peace Prize he didn't earn or deserve. The first two things are worthy accomplishments. The third, well history will have its say on that one.
My guess is that Mr. Obama probably hasn't read the Dale Carnegie book, "How to Win Friends and Infleuence People". He certainly hasn't adapted its tenents.
An update on polling info:
"The New York Times/CBS News poll showed that though just 1 in 4 Americans believe that the United States has a responsibility to intervene in the Syrian conflict, more than 90 percent of the public is convinced that putting all 535 representatives of the United States Congress on the ground in Syria is the best course of action at this time."
I think Syria is all about the "credibility" of our Nobel prize winner prez.
If our leaders were really concerned about "the world's red line" being crossed they should let our ally in the neighborhood enforce the World Red Line rules.
Israel will get hit by Syria & Iran anyway.
Israel already has "boots on the ground" and supplies/
Israel supports the strikes.
Israel's intel is probably more reliable than ours.
So, why can't we stay out of this mess in somebody else's neighborhood/Civil War? Our only role should be to support our ally Israel.
Mon, Sep 9, 2013 11:55am
...or, is this another war about oil rather than "red lines" or credibility?
"...Assad pursued negotiations for an alternative $10 billion pipeline plan with Iran, across Iraq to Syria, that would also potentially allow Iran to supply gas to Europe from its South Pars field shared with Qatar. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the project was signed in July 2012 - just as Syria's civil war was spreading to Damascus and Aleppo - and earlier this year Iraq signed a framework agreement for construction of the gas pipelines.
The Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline plan was a "direct slap in the face" to Qatar's plans. No wonder Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan, in a failed attempt to bribe Russia to switch sides, told President Vladmir Putin that "whatever regime comes after" Assad, it will be "completely" in Saudi Arabia's hands and will "not sign any agreement allowing any Gulf country to transport its gas across Syria to Europe and compete with Russian gas exports", according to diplomatic sources. When Putin refused, the Prince vowed military action.
It would seem that contradictory self-serving Saudi and Qatari oil interests are pulling the strings of an equally self-serving oil-focused US policy in Syria, if not the wider region. It is this - the problem of establishing a pliable opposition which the US and its oil allies feel confident will play ball, pipeline-style, in a post-Assad Syria - that will determine the nature of any prospective intervention: not concern for Syrian life."
Allan there is a distinction. I don't think the American people will care who gets us out of war, as long as we don't go into it. Losing the vote in Congress would be the best for Democrats, and it wouldn't help Republicans.
Some may say that losing the vote shows the President is too weak to control Congress... Answer simply put: Since when did we elect our Congress to be controlled by the Executive?
America will be glad it didn't go to war, and will reward all the incumbents for not making it happen.
Unless they make the mistake - as Senator Coons seems to be headed towards - and vote for war... That, among Democrats and Republicans, could make him lose even to a witch the second time around.
Mon, Sep 9, 2013 2:32pm
That was an amazing news hour btw... if you could only keep that format without a crisis...
(I actually called and pushed an appointment back past one just so I would hear the full hour.) You should podcast the whole hour, perhaps cutting out the traffic, weather, and local news..
From beginning to end, one was hanging off every word.
Mon, Sep 9, 2013 2:35pm
In answer to Allan's original question, about whether Democrats voting for the President would help or hurt one's chances in the next election...
.... the answer can be properly assessed by how many Republicans were elected to Congress in 2008... after the last second-termed president had to make similar appeals...
Point is: If someone throws a rock off the cliff and you are tied to it... You are going down.
Mon, Sep 9, 2013 3:04pm
Thanks, and see interviews now posted above...
Mike from Delaware
Mon, Sep 9, 2013 8:21pm
Allan, sitting in my living room listening to your podcasts on my IPod that did earlier today. Thanks for putting them up as podcasts. I see what Kavips meant, you had a bunch of really interesting interviews today. Good stuff, thanks.
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