While Senator John McCain has offered rhetorical support for the president’s position on Syria, it looks like he may actually vote against the resolution to authorize a military strike.
Why? Because the resolution as it is written is not broad enough for John McCain. He wants broader involvement and for the United States to take ownership of Syria’s civil war.
According to Hunt, McCain said that he’s opposed to the resolution because it “doesn’t make any reference to changing the momentum on the ground in Syria” and it also fails to arm the Free Syrian Army, a rebel group fighting the Assad regime there. The Arizona Republican indicated that several other senators share his misgivings about the resolution.
McCain is pushing for language calling for a reversal of the situation on the ground, where the Assad regime is generally considered to be prevailing against the armed opposition. “Without that, there is no policy,” McCain told reporters after the meeting ended.
It may have been lost in the hoopla of the past several days, but this is not what the Obama Administration is asking for. In fact, Secretary of State John Kerry has enunciated quite clearly that taking ownership of Syria’s civil war is not the goal or a desire.
The Obama Administration is seeking congressional approval for a targeted strike on the infrastructure that supports Assad’s chemical weapons program.
John McCain wants more than that, and he may not be alone.
We now have congressmen who want extra war, some want no war, some are preparing to filibuster, some are still asking questions about Benghazi, and some will only vote for a resolution after its been amended to include some pork.
It’s like herding kittens, and the president didn’t have to go this route. He could have authorized action without the extra headaches or heartburn of Congress. That should tell you that he isn’t hellbent on war as some would make it seem. He knew what he was getting into by going to this Congress.