President Obama decided at the last moment that while he had the “right” to order an attack on Syria, he would ask Congress to authorize an attack. However, in the same breath that he announced he would be seeking authorization, he hinted that he might still attack if Congress says “no.” Is President Obama confused or simply being insincere when he asks Congress to get involved? Either way, it's not a good start to a very serious debate.
Asked what he would do if Congress does not authorize a strike in Syria, President Obama said, "As commander in chief I always preserve the right and the responsibility to act on behalf of America's national security. I don't believe that I was required to take this to Congress. But I did not take this to Congress because I think it's an empty exercise."
Really? Let’s remind ourselves of what the President said way back in 2007 on the same topic. Speaking about the possibility of President Bush attacking Iran, then Senator Obama said, “The president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation."
It’s precisely this issue that Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) engaged Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday September 3rd.
Knowing now that the administration fully believes it can authorize an attack on Syria without Congressional authorization, Senator Paul is preparing to propose a resolution to Congress. His resolution states that if Congress votes to not authorize war with Syria and President Obama chooses to carry out his plans – then the President would be in violation of the Constitution.
It would all be moot if Congress does authorize the use of force against the Syrian regime, though. The Senate seems likely to bow to the President’s whim with most Senate Democrats on board and a handful of Hawkish Republicans as well. But in the House the President has a tougher row to hoe. Things look about 50/50 among the representatives in the House with the parties split. We must remind the President he’d not have this problem had he never drawn that darn “red line.”
Wait. What? Did President Obama just say he didn’t draw the red line, but the world did? Um, my English is pretty good and I’m fairly certain that you did draw the “red line,” Mr. President. In fact, I am fairly certain that in today’s advanced technological age we can find some evidence of what you said.
Charlie Daniels was right when he said, "I have never seen a president as confused, befuddled, impotent, insincere and as out of his depth as Barack Obama has become in dealing with the Syrian issue."
When I was growing up, my dad ingrained in my mind the old adage: “Say what you mean and mean what you say.” I’m sure it means different things depending on the context, but for my dad it meant you should be honest, forthright, and think about what you say before you say it.It was something he thought was an important part of being a man. My father has kind of a cowboy mentality -- perhaps from watching one too many “spaghetti Westerns”--but he knows it’s imperative for a man to be understood and to honor his word. If you say you are going to do something, you better do it.
Apparently President Obama never got that lesson in school. He trampled all over my father’s pithy saying with his “red line” remarks. He couldn’t follow through. He didn’t mean it. He meant something he didn’t say. However, this situation is nothing new to the President. In fact, it’s downright emblematic of his Presidency. Say one thing and mean something completely different… or just pretend you never said it.
Who voted for this guy?