When a reporter captured an image of John McCain playing poker on his cell phone yesterday during a serious deliberation about the use of force against Syria, the Arizona senator was quick to make light of the situation by sending out a Tweet claiming that he had lost money on the deal. He also went on CNN and laughed about being caught showing his hand to the world, and suggested that he resorted to playing with his phone because of the long duration of the hearings. Senator McCain might think it's fun to play games during a discussion about war, but the photograph is symbolic in that it reveals McCain's contempt for an open discussion about an issue upon which he has already made up his mind. McCain doesn't want any debate on Syria. He wants to go to war. End of discussion. That's why McCain has already made up his mind about supporting a military response even before the president has come up with a plan.
Looking at this Washington Post piece reveals the breakdown of the votes in Congress regarding the use of force against Syria. The article includes a graphical representation as well as quotes from various senators and representatives. It is interesting to look at some of the quotes from the Democratic members of Congress who are opposed to war (or whatever the administration is calling it today.) Most of those who are "Against Military Action" or "Lean No" do not seem to be convinced that the administration's classified briefings on the situation revealed any information that warrants American involvement in Syria. Iowa Senator Tom Harkin is quoted as saying ""I found the evidence presented by Administration officials to be circumstantial." Others are concerned about the United States becoming involved in yet another war that is not winnable. Some believe that the president's proposal is too broad.
The most outrageous quote from yesterday's hearing came from none other than Secretary of State John Kerry. In a response to a question from Arizona Senator Jeff Flake (R) about why the president is seeking congressional authorization now when the president had previously stated that he didn't need approval to launch strikes against Syria, Kerry responded by saying that "it’s somewhat surprising to me that a member of Congress — particularly one on the Foreign Relations Committee — is going to question the president fulfilling the vision of the Founding Fathers when they wrote the Constitution." One wonders why President Obama was not interested in "fulfilling the vision of the founding fathers" before the British Parliament voted against military action. Remember, this is the same president who often laments the system of government created by the founders with all of its checks and balances that keep him from acting unilaterally. This is the Unilateral president. He wishes that he could do whatever he wants without any opposition. To invoke the founding fathers to cover the president's incompetence is ignoble.