Obama Goes All In on Get-Out-the-War Push

Whitehouse.govWhitehouse.govPresident Obama really, really, really wants Congress to vote for war in Syria.

As Politico's Jonathan Allen notes in a piece titled "President Obama's over-the-top lobbying push," the White House is frequently criticized for being too hands off when it comes to pushing Congress on legislative priorities. In particular, the administration often seems reluctant to deploy the president himself to convince wavering legislators.

But when it comes to Syria, it's an all-hands-on-deck effort, with Obama pitching in personally. Here's Allen: 

Obama and his White House are owning every aspect of this operation. The president himself dropped in — for almost 90 minutes — on Vice President Joe Biden’s Sunday night dinner with a group of Senate Republicans. He’s expected to appeal directly to Senate Democrats at their Tuesday lunch on Capitol Hill. And he’s been making phone calls to individual lawmakers.

At one point early on Monday afternoon, MSNBC ran a trio of video feeds of National Security Adviser Susan Rice delivering a Syria speech to the New American Foundation, Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken briefing reporters at the White House, and State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf discussing the situation with media in Foggy Bottom.

Obama’s also used his bully pulpit to try to move a skeptical public. He has spoken to the nation from the Rose Garden, is giving interviews to six television networks on Monday, and will deliver a primetime address from the White House — a tool of public persuasion he’s been reluctant to use in the past — on Tuesday night.

He has sent out a full complement of administration surrogates, from Vice President Joe Biden to U.N. Rep. Samantha Power, as well as outside validators such as Bob Gates, David Petraeus, and Hillary Clinton — to make the case for military action.

...The only similar campaign that anyone can remember from the Obama White House happened on health care in his first term.

It's quite a push for someone who claims he doesn't believe his own credibility is on the line. 

But remember! Obama is a "reluctant" warrior. 

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  • rts||

    Insanity. Sheer insanity.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Hey Barry? Please don't put your foot on that desk. It doesn't belong to you.

  • John||

    Oh. Obama is going to give a national speech. Yeah. That will change everything. I am not sure what is more sad, the fact that our President is a paddling moron that no one pays attention to or that he thinks he is anything but.

    Prediction, Obama will give a horrendously boring speech that says nothing when it isn't being dishonest and changes no one's mind. The media will immediately hail it as the greatest speech ever and a "real game changer". And we will wake up tomorrow, the polls won't have changed and everyone will have totally forgotten the speech by Wednesday.

  • Pro Libertate||

    What about the Russian offer (and the Syrian government's apparent willingness to accept) of Syria placing their chemical weapons under international control? How is he going to say "Must attack anyway" with that offer on the table?

  • MJGreen||

    I don't know, but you can bet he'll be clear about it.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Let me be clear: I'll send him fifty bucks if he resigns the presidency tomorrow. That's cold, hard cash, and I bet a whole lot of other people would do the same. I'll make it $100 if he makes Biden resign, too.

  • ||

    Sounds like a great use of Kickstarter.

  • db||

    fuckin' A

  • Pro Libertate||

    Obama could be a seriously wealthy man if he resigned tomorrow.

  • Paul.||

    He'd have as much as $100.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I bet he'd make a whole lot more than that if people knew this offer was on the table.

    Come on, Obama, make this offer.

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    Boehner?!? We'd get Mr Orange Tan Man?

  • Pro Libertate||

    It's not what we get. It's the punishment.

  • tarran||

    I swear, every time I see that asshole putting his shoes on that table I want to take a ruler to the offending ankle harder than the nun in Blues Brothers.

    It epitomizes Obama; a stupid, privileged fuck blundering his way through life wrecking fine well-made things.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Truly, we could use a nun like the Penguin in Washington right about now.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    No cowboy boots to go with that six shooter?

  • db||

    You think it's as much as six? The way he acts I'd be surprised at three.

  • Slammer||

    Man, that picture pisses me off.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I know, right? What's Biden doing just sitting there with his dick in his hand? Makes me so mad. Grab a phone, Joe! This is too important to be staring into space. Daylight is burning. The Red Coats are coming.

  • db||

    Someone photoshop a "Mission Accomplished" banner in there.

  • ||

    Is he really going to go to the mat...for bombing Syria? Obamacare I can understand, though it was detestable. But bombing Syria? Is he really such a tiny-dicked loser that he will do anything to bomb Syria because he thinks his image is on the line?

    This guy can't be impeached soon enough. Which is why he will almost assuredly not be impeached.

  • John||

    I honestly don't get it. The Republicans were going to bail him out. He shot his mouth off and felt he had to do something. But then when the Republcians turned, he has an out. Just say "I wanted to do something but the evil Rethuglicans held me back". Hell he could then blame every dead kid in Syria from now on on the Republicans. And God knows liberals love using dead kids.

    I honestly don't get it. I cannot explain why he is doing this. If he just wants to bomb, he could have done that any time. As long as stops bombing within a few weeks, what is anyone going to do about it? Why is going to Congress and begging them to humiliate him? This is reaching the point of just being strange.

  • ||

    I also don't get it. But when politicians do strange shit like this, I get nervous. It seems so completely at odds with what you would expect him to do, and at odds with what he could have done, that I just cannot understand why he's doing this. The only possible explanation is to distract from the NSA scandals, but shooting yourself in the foot to distract from shooting yourself in the other foot seems remarkably stupid to me.

  • John||

    It is almost like he is destined to get us into a war over there or something. Like fate is pulling him to do something that makes no sense. It makes me very nervous. Anytime things don't make sense and can't be explained by what is going on in public, I get nervous.

  • ||

    When a politician starts making me think of Greg Stillson, I get very nervous.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Would it be wrong for whoever controls the nuclear football to make it, you know, not actually work? It's not like we're facing a first-strike capability in any other country, anyway.

  • Agammamon||

    Uhm, you know the football doesn't contain anything except attack plans and passphrases and that NorthCom's not going to respond to a launch order out of the blue.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Really, you expect me to know anything from a government that keeps everything secret and lies to me about the stuff I do think I know about?

    That can't have always been true, anyway, even if it is now, because the whole point of letting the president have that kind of power in the first place was to avoid being the victims of a first strike that took out our ability to retaliate.

  • tarran||

    Obama is a narcissist. Narcissists hate losing. Often they will place themselves in incredibly untenable situations to avoid looking stupid.

    Also, I suspect that the Saudis really want Syria to be wracked by civil war; like Iraq they need some place to send disaffected wahabist zealots to be mowed down by the chain-guns without causing problems for the regime. Iraq isn't really doing that anymore. If the U.S. wants to maintain the ersatz petroleum backing of the dollar, they need to avoid pissing of the Saudi monarch.

  • Paul.||

    Wasn't there an adage that every president must pull the military trigger at some point or no one takes him seriously? I mean, Obama held the military trigger down that was handed to him... and he did pull it in Libya which Shrike loved... I dunno.

  • Hyperion||

    I honestly don't get it

    I totally get it.

    How much are we talking about the NSA and IRS now? Not at all, everything is all about Syria now. Obama will keep this distraction going on as long as he can.

  • Pro Libertate||

    If that's what he's doing, he's doing a remarkably poor job of it, because I think this is having the effect of making even more people think he's totally incompetent and dishonest. In other words, this enhances the flavor of the other scandals, like salt.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    That's my take on it too. He needs another George Zimmerman or, in his wildest wet dreams, another Adam Lanza, to distract from the scandals; starting unpopular wars won't help.

  • Invisible Finger||

    I honestly don't get it. I cannot explain why he is doing this.

    He's a fucking sociopath. That certainly cannot be news to you.

  • ||

    Not at all, he's just incredibly incompetent for a sociopath that has managed to become the president of the most powerful country in the world. I also already knew that, but I still find it hard to fathom just how incompetent he is.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Why try to fathom it? Just enjoy the spectacle.

  • AlmightyJB||

    John, if we go into Syria, once it all turns to shit, it will be reported going forward as the republicans war. And college kids everywhere will be protesting it as such. Hell Hillary may cone into power and end this horrible republican war.

  • Invisible Finger||

    I'm reminded of who got us INTO Viet Name, and who got us out.

    The amazing thing is how stupid the under-35 voters are

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    JFK and LBJ escalated, but didn't Ike get us into V-Nam?

  • goneGalt||

    The first financial aid and advisors went in during Truman's presidency in 1950. As the French left in the mid-50's, Ike did escalate the amount of aid and advisors.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Well, taking that "out" would have been a tacit admission that the his power is limited in some way, which BO absolutely will never do -- it's the sole principle I can see in his pitiful excuse for a soul.

    But then he saw how unpopular the war was going to be, so he decided to cover his ass by asking Congress to vote that they agreed with him. More likely, one of his advisors told him to do this, and it was actually a very clever thing to do if they thought they could get the votes.

    Now it looks like they aren't going to get the votes, and he's stuck in no-man's land.

  • Robert||

    He has to prove his cruelty. Cracking down on med mj providers wasn't enough, because it was confined to this country. He has to prove he can reach out and slaughter people anywhere in the world when there's nothing to gain by doing so, because that really, really proves you are cruel and therefore deserving of fear, which is almost as good as respect.

  • Hyperion||

    This guy can't be impeached soon enough

    Because he can't be impeached. It's racist to even think it.

  • tarran||

    This is what it looks like when a diseased institution finally starts to collapse. Its officers do suicidal things, helplessly unable to change course, often unable to conceive of a different path.

    Obama's ideological and cultural blinders prevent him from doing anything else.

    And, I suspect, we are seeing the beginning of his fall. His usefulness to his sponsors is almost at an end. Once he becomes a big liability they will kick his ass back to the projects again.

  • ||

    I certainly hope you're right. Because I really, really want to see him fall.

  • John||

    I have this nagging feeling that he was re-elected because karmic justice demanded that he suffer a fall sufficient to his hubris. I am just sorry to see the country have to suffer to pay his debt.

  • Knarf Yenrab (prev. An0nB0t)||

    And what a fall it already is. Only three years and change to go.

    Given how poorly Romney would've performed and how much it would've cemented the finger-in-the-wind RINO/neocon constituency in the halls of power, it's almost certainly better for the nation if Obama and his band of crony-capitalist vote-buyers, warmongers, and Keynesians have to accept full responsibility in the eyes of the common voter. Party politics will always carry this flavor--the people with real power will ignore putative restrictions on that power and harm who they like when they can get away with it--but classical liberalism is seeing a resurgence as a consequence.

    At the least, we'll gain stronger voices for liberty, peace, and freer markets. And if we're fortunate, enough philosophical capital to create a radically free community at some point in the next generation or two, at which point the world might finally get a taste of what real individualism looks like.

  • tarran||

    He's probably not going to be impeached.

    I expect he'll end up kind of like LBJ, imprisoned in the oval office watching the calendar for his day of release while the country burns around him.

  • John||

    There is probably a lot of truth to this.

  • Hyperion||

    This is what it looks like when a diseased institution finally starts to collapse. Its officers do suicidal things, helplessly unable to change course, often unable to conceive of a different pathThis is what it looks like when a diseased institution finally starts to collapse. Its officers do suicidal things, helplessly unable to change course, often unable to conceive of a different path

    That is actually a very good description of that giant parasitical monster by the Potomac River.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Once he becomes a big liability they will kick his ass back to the projects again.

    BO never lived in the projects...

  • ||

    What a sickening spectacle.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Let me guess...he'll tell Republicans that politics stops at the water's edge and it's time for Americans of all political persuasions to rally around the Commander in Chief, while he'll tell Democrats that this is a key vote of confidence in the administration and if he loses, the Republicans will exploit this sign of weakness to put over their evil agenda.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Oh, good, I don't have to wait until tomorrow.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    WH posts another photo of the Tuff Guy:

    http://iowntheworld.com/blog/w.....Action.jpg

  • DK||

    Wait a second. Is his hand in the finger-gun pose? Doesn't that deserve a suspension?

  • CE||

    It makes you wonder why. He's setting this up as a test of his credibility, when it's clear he's going to lose the vote. He should have started backing down by now.

  • creech||

    Maybe the real end game is to sucker some GOP congressmen into voting "Yes"
    (no matter the vote outcome) and watch them be primaried by weak tea party candidates who, after losing, desert the
    incumbent in the election, throwing the district to a Democrat?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    I don't think so. He'd need Boner's cooperation for that.

    Boner is a scumsucker of the highest order, but he's not going to help get establishment Republicans booted out of office.

  • crashland||

    Sweet let him go all in. I call.
    Now give me your chips and get the fuck out of the game.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Problem is he can always just print more chips.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Let's see what sadfaced Leni Riefenstahl has to say about this:

    Greg Sargent ‏@ThePlumLineGS 5h

    The idea that a No vote on Syria changes calculus for GOP on govt shutdown, debt limit or immigation is pure fantasy.

    Way to stay on the important issues of the day, Greg.

  • ||

    NSA? What NSA?

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    I like too how it apparently doesn't affect the President's popularity.

    So...if Obama is a reluctant warrior, and the polls say it's OK if he doesn't go to war...why is he pressing so hard for war?

    My guess is that he knows it WILL look like weakness if he loses in Congress, whether that's rational or not.

  • ||

    Yes, I'm also leaning towards tarran's explanation: his behavior seems irrational to us, but it's completely rational to him as a narcissist, because he has to save face and will do anything to achieve that.

  • MJGreen||

    a primetime address from the White House — a tool of public persuasion he’s been reluctant to use in the past

    Is this... is this accurate?

  • Hugh Akston||

    The only national address I can really remember him doing is when he spiked the ball in bin Laden's end zone. That wasn't from the Oval Office though. Was it even from the White House?

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    hardly.

  • Invisible Finger||

    I would rather watch the WNBA than suffer another Obama speech.

  • db||

    I did not vote for Obama but I had hopes, based on his pre-election rhetoric, that he would be a uniter, and possibly move the country away from dangerous foreign entanglements. I thought the Republican Congress would put up enough resistance to stop the worst of his socialist tendencies. Instead I got exactly the opposite of what I thought wuld be my worst case. The man is entirely incompetent as an executive and the Congress is happy to delegate all the blame to him.

    I never hoped for much in the way of economic improvement and I at least called that one right though.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    I thought the Republican Congress

    We haven't had a GOP congress since 2006, and there was absolutely no way they were going to take back congress in 2008.

    btw.... the "Republican Congress" is the reason he's having to put his foot in his mouth now. That's gratitude for you or something.

  • db||

    Can anyone here tell my why Steam updates every time I turn on my computer to the tune of 60 - 100 MB? It is really annoying as I have a relatively slow internet connection at home

  • ||

    It's probably trying to update itself and failing, so every time you turn it on it tries again. Because Steam does push out a fair amount of updates, but it's not every day or anything.

  • db||

    that may well be but it never reports a failure.

  • Paul.||

    Peace prizes all around...

  • shortviking||

    "But I waaant my ooowwwn waaaar" *stomps*

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