For five-plus years, President Obama has talked about working with Republicans in Congress, but there is little evidence he has been sincere in this nice-sounding campaign pledge.
The record shows he has given a cold shoulder to Republicans and has been highly partisan in his dealings with Congress.
Now, as he faces an extremely dangerous and complex situation in Syria, he is calling in top GOP leaders and asking, some say begging, for their support of his limited strike,” “shot over the bow” plan of action against Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Obama, his senior aides an advisers must have been shocked when our nation’s closest ally, Great Britain, refused to back his action plan. Growing numbers of Democrat and GOP members of Congress seem to be backing away from a quick endorsement of the Obama blueprint. Now, Obama is denying he set the so-called “red line,” which, if crossed by Syrian leaders, would trigger a strong response by U.S. military forces. He claims the “world,” not he, set this red line. He said his credibility is not being questioned.
Regardless, the red line first was crossed almost a year ago and again several weeks ago, when poison gas was used against rebel forces and Syrian civilians. Obama’s bluff was called, and now he is asking Congress to cover him by authorizing “limited action” against Assad.
The current debate over the effectiveness of a cosmetic “pinprick” limited attack, along with questions about the final objectives and goals of a military strike or the possible engagement of neighboring countries has caused wavering among many in Congress. Various observers have said that, right now, it is a toss-up whether Congress will give the green light for action against Syria.
Unfortunately, a majority of Americans do not have confidence in the abilities of Obama to handle the complex and dangerous situation that he has allowed to grow in Syria over the past several years. He claims it is not his reputation, but rather the reputation of America and the world, that is on the line if the U.S. does not take strong action against Assad.
The current situation and how it is handled or resolved represents a huge fork in the road for Obama and his level of effectiveness for the remaining years of his presidency. Likewise, in many ways, his inaction over past years also had placed this country at a fork in the road as to its reputation throughout the world among both allies and enemies.