7 in 10 Americans Say Trump Must go to Congress for Any More Syria Action
Americans do support the strike. But…
AMERICANS WANT TRUMP TO GO TO CONGRESS: A new CBS poll finds 57 percent of Americans support Trump’s strike, but:
Seven-in-ten Americans think Mr. Trump needs to get authorization from Congress before any further action against Syria; more than half of Republicans agree.
“Trump himself thought going to Congress was essential, back when Barack Obama was president. Maybe he should adopt the popular and correct position now, too.”
I’m not sure I support the strike or not. But I’m sure Trump needs to go to Congress. I’m also sure it should not be a rubber stamp or predetermined result. It’s not to give Trump cover it’s to properly deliberate the issue which, logically, may lead to a no vote. As the GOP said for Obama’s 2013 strike.
WHAT’S NEXT ON SYRIA? E.J. Dionne focuses our attention on what should matter:
When you watch Trump speak on the subject, it’s hard to escape the sense that he has absolutely no idea what he’s doing … What comes next, and will Congress be involved? How do Trump’s approaches to Russia, Iran and Syria fit together? If Trump is moved by the suffering of Syria’s people, how can he keep blocking refugees from our shores? Trump’s opponents should … put their skepticism to work in pressing for a coherence on international matters that Trump has, to this point, been incapable of delivering.
“All the more reason for Congress to hold a debate and vote to authorize any further Trump action.”
Congress had better be involved. And that’s an idea-maybe any further action should be tied to Trump ceasing to block Syrian refugees.
That’s assuming the Dems votes yes at all which should not be presumed. They should all be-preferably everyone in Congress regardless of party-should be prepared to vote no.
Any vote can’t be either a blank check or a rubber stamp. As noted in my last post, Trump must also work with our allies if there is any workable plan.
But this need to work with our allies ill fits with Trump’s policy of trying to drown the State Department in the bath tub.
I have to say in reading E.J. Dionne’s post first hand I disagree with him that the Democrats should not accuse Trump of wag the dog just because Republicans accused Bill Clinton of it in 1998.
“On Aug. 20, 1998, American Tomahawk cruise missiles hit sites in Afghanistan and Sudan in retaliation for attacks on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. The targets of the assault, ordered by President Bill Clinton, were Osama bin Laden and his band of terrorists.”
“In light of what would happen three years later, on Sept. 11, 2001, Madeleine Albright, Clinton’s secretary of state, was prescient. “We are embarked,” she said , “on a venture in which we have to deal over the long run with what is the very serious threat to our way of life at the end of this century and the next one.”
“One might imagine that Clinton’s decision was broadly popular. In fact, his move was met with an explosion of querulous partisanship. It occurred at the height of the controversy over his sexual relationship with a young White House intern that would, later in the year, lead to his impeachment. Many in the GOP charged that Clinton was trying to distract the nation from his scandal.”
“Clinton, as John Harris reported that summer in The Washington Post, was accused of “following a ‘Wag the Dog’ strategy — so-named after the recent movie in which a president tries to draw attention away from a sexual scandal by staging a phony war.”
“Trump’s critics are certainly tempted to pursue a similar line of thinking about the strike he directed against Syria in retaliation for the odious chemical attack on civilians by President Bashar al-Assad’s government. After all, Republicans paid no price when they questioned Clinton’s motives, and Trump would sorely love to divert the public from the disastrous opening weeks of his administration.”
“But the Clinton experience should teach a different lesson. Albright was right to suggest that the threat posed by bin Laden should have been taken more seriously than our inward-looking political system allowed in 1998, and Syria presents humanitarian and foreign policy problems that must be debated on their own merits.”
This idea that you can debate Syria ‘on its own merits’ is a fallacy. We can debate whether we should take a flight to California. But we can’t ignore the fact that the pilot is drunk. It’d be wrong to say ‘Depersonalize this; don’t worry that the pilot is drunk, never went to pilot school, and this is his first day.’
The Democrats should debate Syria. They should keep this is focus:
1. Trump needs Congressional approval. He was wrong to do what he did last Thursday without Congressional approval.
2. Any workable policy in Syria that will actually help those being targeted by Assad will require a coalition not Trump going it alone. But how does this happen when Trump has been trying to drown the State Department in a bathtub?
3. Both Trump’s motives and judgment are of importance. You can’t just ignore that Trump has for five years till last Wednesday been pro Assad and wanted to work with him and Putin to defeat Isis. This 180 degrees needs explanation.
In other words, we must consider if this is just impulse-perhaps a Wag the Dog impulse.
4. Dems must not be either a blank check or a rubber stamp.
But they also have to keep in mind this:
“New wars will always strengthen Trump: as they do for every leader.”
“The instant elevation of Trump into a serious and respected war leader was palpable. Already, the New York Times is gushing that “in launching a military strike just 77 days into his administration, President Trump has the opportunity, but hardly a guarantee, to change the perception of disarray in his administration.”
“Those who instantly fall in line behind Trump as he bombs people are ensuring that he will keep doing it. As the instantly popular post-9/11 George W. Bush showed, those praising Trump for bombing Syria are also building him up in general so that he becomes stronger with everything else he wants to do.”
Think of it this way: Trump’s domestic agenda is a failure. Are the Dems going to breath new life into him by being his rubber stamp on foreign policy?
P.S. As we saw in my poll out last week, the long awaited poll results are in, and right now I’m just 11 points down vs. Peter King (GOP-NY-District 2). And the voters don’t even know who I am yet.
There is nothing more important in getting answers to Trump-Russia collusion than a Democratic House in 2019. Please donate to help me in my part of the effort to fight for a Dem House.
Thank you. We must have a Dem House. And so, we will