But having made my decision as Commander-in-Chief based on what I am convinced is our national security interests, I’m also mindful that I’m the President of the world’s oldest constitutional democracy. I’ve long believed that our power is rooted not just in our military might, but in our example as a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. And that’s why I’ve made a second decision: I will seek authorization for the use of force from the American people’s representatives in Congress. – Barack Obama, August 31, 2013
Anyone else have Zapp Brannigan running through their head?
Yesterday, President Obama held a press conference on Syria in the Rose Garden. The Commander-in-Chief reminded us peons several times he is the Commander-in-Chief and there’s that Constitution thingy. Anyone else notice his stern tone throughout? Felt like a scolding. Anyway, the thrust of the remarks centered around his plan to have Congress
take the heat debate and vote on acting in Syria.
SEN. Obama in 2007: Pres doesn’t have power under Constitution to unilaterally authorize mil. attack that’s not imminent threat to nation.
— David Gregory (@davidgregory) August 31, 2013
A few thoughts
First he was 30 minutes late to a speech the world was waiting to hear about. Talk about ego. I called that right up front and didn’t let go of it. The President does this constantly — it’s seriously unprofessional. If you’re going to be showing up regularly 30 minutes late, then try scheduling it 30 minutes later or at least have your staff give an ETA. No none likes showing up for an appointment on time only to sit in the waiting room for 30 minutes. So rude. FORE!
A reason for putting the breaks on is Obama has to have noticed that the polls show only 15% of Americans want military intervention in Syria. Even lower, only 11% want us giving Syria weapons. Too late. Obama’s own numbers have cratered; this has just as much to do with his own self-preservation as the dead Syrian kid he kept emphasizing in his speech.
Another reason is this President loves to blame Congress. He’s going to use this no matter what they vote and he wants it on the record. In the span of a minute, he says he’s going to ask for Congressional approval and says he also doesn’t think he needs it. “Yet, 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, and our actions will be even more effective. ”
This President never asks permission for anything. Why start now? There’s an angle or ten. Obama claims the threat is imminent yet is going to wait for Congress to come back and vote. Congress returns September 9th. That’s just two days before the 9/11 and Benghazi anniversary. Convenient distraction. I checked this morning’s headlines and only saw John Cornyn calling for Congress to return early. I’m sure more will follow today. (Rubio, Cruz) Related:
Obama says he’s decided to take military action against Syrian regime targets, but action is “not time-sensitive.” WTF. — Monica Crowley (@MonicaCrowley) August 31, 2013
— LL1885 (@LadyLiberty1885) August 31, 2013
Text of the speech here.
UPDATE: I forgot to add this little nugget…