Originally Appeared in National Review Online
British prime minister David Cameron has recalled Parliament from summer vacation for a special session on Thursday, where there will be “a clear government motion and vote on the United Kingdom’s response to chemical weapons attacks,” Cameron promised on Twitter.
President Obama has a different view. The U.S. government’s Voice of America reports: “Pressed about calls for congressional authorization, White House spokesman Jay Carney Tuesday indicated the president believes consulting with congressional leaders is enough.”
Oh my, how liberals have learned to love the imperial presidency they used to so scorn when Richard Nixon or George W. Bush was in office. Last night, I appeared on Lou Dobbs Tonight with Mary Anne Marsh, a Democratic consultant whose clients have included the late Ted Kennedy and John Kerry, our current secretary of state. Armed with the latest Democratic talking points, she dismissed any need for Obama to consult with what she dismissed as “a special Congress.”
Marsh is worth quoting at length:
There is a special Congress that we’re dealing with right now that has the lowest popularity rating in history and Republicans who overwhelmingly would oppose taking any action. The president of the United States cannot be handcuffed by the same Republicans that are holding the rest of the country hostage on every other issue. That is wrong.
She then dismissed the fact that President Bush sought a vote authorizing combat operations in Iraq in 2002. He won approval from both houses, including a hostile Senate controlled by obstructionist Democrats. That was clearly “a special Congress.” But Marsh was unimpressed with that argument: “President Bush was clearly looking for political cover — he got it. And so many of the people who voted for those wars now regret it.”
That makes no sense. What if we wind up regretting the intervention in Syria should its terrorist ally Hezbollah or the Iranian government react to the strike by attacking the U.S. or Israel? A cruise-missile strike that makes us feel good and restores President Obama’s credibility could soon lead to all-out war. Former House speaker Newt Gingrich notes:
“There is no victory to be had there. Syria is not the greatest threat in the Middle East to the U.S. or world security. The Iranian regime is working every day to get a nuclear weapon. It poses a direct threat to Israel’s survival and a long-term threat to America.