The Syrian soap opera continues.
President Barack Obama apparently is on the verge at present to be handed an historic defeat from Congress on his request for authorization to attack Syria. Such a vote would make the president an instant lame duck endangering the rest of his presidency.
The resolution to approve an attack on Syrian strongman Bashar Assad for using chemical weapons on his own people more than likely will pass the Democratic-controlled Senate however.
But the House is the fly in Obama’s ointment. Can the White House muster enough votes in the Republican-held House? The answer grows more important by the day as congressmen voice their negative feelings of going it alone in Syria and what the real mission is.
According to various news organizations, Obama could lose the House by a 3-1 majority. It would be a crippling blow to his administration and foreign policy.
The Washington Post did a survey of 371 of 435 members of the House. While not the entire majority, 204 representatives are against authorization or leaning in that direction while only 24 members favor such a resolution and 143 undecided of which 48 are Republicans.
There is always the chance that last-minute lobbying could change the vote count, but with 2014 being an election year, the country already war weary, the Obama administration has found themselves in a hole that looks almost impossible to dig out of.
The growing concern that Congress could vote the way Britain’s House of Commons did would further sink the credibility of Obama’s foreign policy and administration in general.
As the whip counts were tallied on Thursday, the nightmare the White House has dreaded became reality. The president is perilously close to what would be an historic, humiliating international rebuke.
Although the Senate Foreign Relations Committee sent the resolution to the full Senate on a 10-7 vote on Wednesday, by Thursday, there appeared to be a growing groundswell of opinion against the proposal.
Furthermore, many pundits suggest that such a vote in the House and the repercussions of such an historic defeat would be a disaster in the November, 2014 elections. Combined with the anger of continuing high unemployment and the unpopularity of Obamacare, 2014 may make the Republican’s gains in 2010 look small.
These are indeed dark days in the Obama White House.
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