President Obama might not win if a vote in Congress on his plan to bomb Syria were held today, but, if House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., whips her caucus for war, then he is all but assured to get his resolution passed next Tuesday.
Getting the amnesty band back together
Obama will have a very easy time getting his resolution for attacking Syria passed the Senate, and the final vote will look almost identical to the Senate vote approving immigration amnesty earlier this year. On Monday, Obama personally met with the Republicans who have been pushing for amnesty the longest, Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., in the White House. Both senators typically favor use of American military power, and all it took was some sweet talk from Obama promising more efforts "degrade Assad's capabilities and upgrade" the rebel forces to get McCain and Graham on board.
And just as Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., eventually signed on to amnesty after he was allowed to attach his "border surge" amendment to the bill, Corker is already working with Democrats to add meaningless "limits" to the use of force authorization Obama still insists he doesn't even need to begin bombing Syria. Once Corker can say he modified the outcome of the final wording, his vote will be in the bag, too. Other moderate Republicans who supported amnesty (like Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., Jeff Chisea, R-N.J., and Marco Rubio, R-Fla.) will also fall in line for the Syria vote.
Circling the wagons in the House
Obama faces a much steeper climb in the House where Republicans have the majority and there is deep skepticism among Obama's Democratic base about the efficacy of American military power.Ultimately however, that distrust of U.S. military might will be overcome by pure naked partisanship. Pelosi knows that a failed Syria vote, after the administration guaranteed victory, would be catastrophic for Obama's presidency, especially as he heads into crucial showdowns on the debt limit and government funding debates.
About 30 Republicans will vote with Democrats to support bombing Syria, and Pelosi's expert whip operation will find just enough votes to secure Obama victory in the House.
From The Washington Examiner
Editorial: The price of Obama's vacillation over Syria
Ashe Schow: US workers still worried about their jobs
Monday Meme: Syria
Byron York: When all else failed, Obama went to Congress
Conn Carroll: Obama’s bombing resolution seeks blank check from Congress
David Drucker: Distrust of Obama motivating GOP opposition to Syria resolution
Byron York: Why many Republicans won't support Obama on Syria attack
Paul Bedard: Issa questions Obama's 'arbitrary focus' on chemical weapons
In Other News
NBC News, Kerry, Hagel to testify at Senate committee hearing on Syria
The Wall Street Journal, U.S. Still Hasn't Armed Syrian Rebels
The New York Times, President Gains McCain’s Backing on Syria Attack
McClatchy Newspapers, To some, US case for Syrian gas attack and need for strike has too many holes
The Think Progress War on Syria Whip Count.
Ezra Klein says Obama’s proposed Syria strikes are largely divorced from the interests of the Syrian people.
Jeffrey Rosen warns that Eric Holder's suit against Texas could lead to the Supreme Court further "gutting" the Voting Rights Act.
James Caesar says Republicans should vote for war with Syria, "even if they think that the President’s policy will prove ineffective, do no good, waste money, or entail unforeseen risks."
Eugene Volokh says, "It’s not illegal to sell anti-NSA shirts bearing the NSA logo."
The Heritage Foundation on the Syria resolution.