The GOP and Syria: Feckless, and Fecklesser

Speaker John Boehner and his boy, Sherman (aka, Eric Cantor), came out yesterday in support of President Obama's efforts to embroil the U.S. in the Syrian civil war (or proxy war, to some).

Clearly, Boehner and Cantor aren't bucking for Red Badges of Courage, unless, once again, thumbing their noses at grassroots conservatives (and a majority of Americans) counts as courage. Let's chalk up Boehner's and Cantor's support for Mr. Obama to the same timidity and left-footedness that has marked too much of Boehner's tenure.

As frequent American Thinker contributor Pamela Geller wrote at WND yesterday:

And it isn't just McCain. John Boehner Tuesday announced his support for Obama's Syrian plan. And Jeb Bush is going to present an award to Hillary Clinton. Why? Why would the GOP and a potential 2016 candidate sanction this? Remember: Clinton's State Department was told that Benghazi was a "terrorist attack" minutes after it began - and lied about it.

We don't need a third party. We need a second party. Ted Cruz is not enough. The GOP is all but disappearing before our very eyes. They are MIA on Obamacare, Benghazi, the IRS and now Syria.

Quite true, Pamela. As you point out, it isn't just Boehner and Cantor who are in the tank for the president on what would be a military incursion with uncalculated consequences; it's much of the rest of the GOP establishment tagging along with the president's folly.

Watch the speaker's press availability after his confab with Mr. Obama at the White House. Listening to Boehner's remarks, one has the sneaking suspicion that a White House aide handed Boehner the talking points just prior to his exiting the executive mansion.

According to Jonathan Strong at National Review Online, a Syria resolution faces tough sledding.

Minutes after Speaker John Boehner announced his support, in fact, his spokesman called the pending vote an "uphill battle" and put the onus on the president to secure the votes.

So does that mean that Boehner isn't going to twist arms and parcel out favors to secure support for a war resolution? Who knows? What Boehner says and what he does can very well be two different things.

Or Boehner's game may be to publicly support Mr. Obama while allowing congressional conservatives in coalition with left-leaning Democrats to vote down a war resolution. Boehner can then claim that the president had the support of Republican leaders but lost the vote by his failure to secure a majority.
Strong wrote this:

In addition to their policy concerns, Republicans are also eyeing the politics. There is a widespread belief on the Hill that Obama's decision was not related to any qualms he had about his legal authority to shoot missiles at Assad. After all, this is a president who has aggressively stretched the law, at times even going ahead with actions he once publicly declared illegal.

Instead, Obama is seen as wanting to share the political risk of action with Congress, and some Republicans even speculate he would like Congress to shoot down the idea, offering him a way out of a promise he didn't want to keep. (Obama, it should be noted, has said he requested congressional approval because it will make the U.S. "stronger" and its actions "more effective.")

Mr. Obama is surely seeking congressional approval for action in Syria as cover. The president can claim bipartisan support if the resolution passes or, as Strong reports, claim absolution in the face of a congressional defeat.

But now isn't the time for Boehner to muddy the waters. With conservatives coalescing and moving against action in Syria, with many congressional lefties willing to swing against the president, with -- for heaven's sake -- a solid majority of Americans opposed to military action in that war-torn land, now is the time for an unambiguous declaration of opposition by the speaker. Instead, we get the same old-same old, blurring distinctions and playing insider's games.

Boehner, Cantor, and McCarthy need to be jettisoned ("Branded," but with cause) as the GOP's House leaders prior to 114th Congress. Meaningless votes in opposition to ObamaCare, lack of aggressiveness over Benghazi and the IRS scandals, and, ditto, the NSA overreach, is plain gutless.

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