Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Columns

September 6, 2013

LEFFLER: Obama's politics opened up can of worms.

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — President Barack Obama pulled a bit of political genius out of his magic hat when he sought Congressional approval to use military action in Syria, putting the onus on Congress to decide whether we should go all “America” on their … posteriors.

In doing so, he climbed up on his stump and used the bully pulpit to tell Congressional leaders that if they didn’t go along with his plan to use force in the Middle Eastern country, we’d look weak. Congress never likes looking weak and as such will likely approve the measure overwhelmingly.

Right?

Well just hold on a minute there. There’s a large contingent of Congress that is opposed to military action in Syria, mostly for legitimate reason — but some for political purposes of their own.

As of the writing of this column, no less than 14 members of the House of Representatives have said that if Congress disapproves of military action and the president goes through with it anyway — which he has said he may — that they’d consider that to be an impeachable offense.

So would I.

At first I was impressed with the president’s decision to ask Congress for permission to use force. It is, after all, what he’s supposed to do according to the Constitution. I thought, “Wow. How refreshing to see a commander in chief who follows the law.”

Then the politics occurred to me and I realized that he wasn’t so interested strict Constitutionalism as he was in spreading the blame for a military action that we just plain shouldn’t be involved in in the first place. If Congress says yes, then no matter how poorly it goes, he can say, “But you told me to!” If he acted without asking then the blame is completely on the White House.

Text Only
Columns
Featured Ads
Photos


Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Front page
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Seasonal Content
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Seasonal Content
Helium debate
Helium
Section Teases

Seasonal Content
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.