After four and a half years of stating that he would work around Congress anytime and in any way that he could in order to achieve his objectives, last weekend Barack Obama finally found religion in what he refers to as an 'inconvenient document', and which everyone else refers to as The Constitution, and stated that he would seek Congressional approval before taking military action in Syria. Now Republicans in Congress should give Obama approval only to make a decision himself and not the approval that Obama wants in order to save face from his 'red line' comments in August 2012.
There are multiple reasons why this is all the Congressional Republicans should do, with the first and foremost reason being because both Obama and his Secretary of State, John Kerry, have stated that the president has the authority to order the strikes with or without Congressional approval. Obama said so himself on August 31st when he stated, "While I believe I have the authority to carry out this military action without specific congressional authorization, I know that the country will be stronger if we take this course."
Second, Obama has tried to shirk responsibility for his asinine 'red line' comments and pass it on to 'the world' and to Congress. Anyone who has been paying attention to Obama's teleprompter readings over the past thirteen months know that what he is saying now is blatantly false. Nobody else mentioned anything about a 'red line' except for Obama. There have been no calls for action against Syria by the world (aka - the international community) and there are no calls for action against Syria in any treaty approved by Congress.
Third, there seems to be no purpose in a military attack against Syria other than to salvage Obama's reputation. His administration has already announced that the goal is not to force regime change but rather is just intended to 'send a message' and 'send a shot across the bow' of the Bashar Assad regime. Obama has also said the strikes would be limited in severity and in duration. There will also be no use of drones. General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, seems confused about what the purpose of the mission is. And Kerry, in his Congressional testimony, seemed to indicate that he was for the option of having boots on the ground before he was against it. And now he seems to want that option to be available again. Note to Kerry, if he ever wants to know how he lost the presidential race in 2004, he should look at the microcosm of his campaign which was illustrated this week in his testimony on Capitol Hill.
So there is nothing to be gained for Congressional Republicans by voting with Obama. The American public does not favor the strikes and the mission is clearly not clear at all. If they vote against giving Obama approval for the military strikes, then the liberal media will go on a rampage about how the Republicans do not care about national security and/or opposed the action only because of their hatred for Obama (or of course due to racism, per all of the hosts and guests at MSNBC (See UPDATE below)). So the best solution is to give Obama what he thinks he has anyway - the right to make a decison on his own. Then they should let him make that decision but require him to accept responsibility for the success or failure of that decision. While doing so, Republicans will be able to stand up for their principles while also reminding Barack Obama that he was not elected to his current office just to be present, but instead was elected to his current office to be president. And they should not stand alongside a president whose credibility crossed past a red line of acceptability well before his 'red line' comments last year.
UPDATE: As predicted above, one of moronic MSNBC hosts is doing exactly as one would expect. Ed Schultz can always be counted on to inject race and politics into an issue where neither belongs.
On his September 6th show, he stated about Republicans, "They are voting against military action in Syria because they despise this is man [Obama] and they do not want to give him any type of foreign policy credibility." Schultz makes that asinine statement as if Obama has any foreign policy credibility left anyway. A clip of his full 'monologue' can be found at RealClearPolitics.com: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2013/09/07/ed_schultz_congress_has_to_decide_if_they_want_to_vote_with_obama_or_against_their_constituents.html
These comments followed those on his September 5th show, when Schultz stated that Republicans opposition to taking actions against Syria was due to the 'hatred' for the nations 'first black president." Again, a clip to the full comments can be found at RealClearPolitics.com: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2013/09/06/schultz_hatred_for_americas_first_black_president_not_a_reason_to_oppose_syria_attack_.html
Keep up the good work, Ed!