John Kerry just finished his remarks. Here we go, it looks like.
Boy, I don't know. When writing the column that appears below, which I wrote yesterday evening right after the UK vote, I was equivocal on whether Obama should go to Congress. As I wrote in that column, the House will certainly say no. My mind hasn't changed on that. I think you'd see 25, maybe 30 liberal Democrats vote against the president, which means he'd need 45 or 50 Republican votes. You can laugh now. That ain't happening.
Thinking it over today, though, I have reluctantly (everything about this requires reluctance) come around to the view that maybe Obama should seek congressional authorization. A, it's the law. B, there's that quote from him as a senator, making him a clear hypocrite here. C, if Congress says no, he has an out, which one suspects he might want. D, if Congress says yes somehow or another, then at least he has constitional sanction. E, if he acts without Congress at this point, he's handing the House R's an impeachment excuse on a silver platter. It doesn't help that he apparently did not get on the conference call yesterday evening with members of Congress (although at least he apparently did call John Boehner yesterday).
But my thinking doesn't matter. Obama's does, and based on what Kerry said, it looks like we're going to start bombing pretty soon, tomorrow night or Sunday. It also may end soon, in two or three days. We'll see what it will accomplish. If it really destroys chem weapons stores and sends the desired deterrent message to Tehran and Hezbollah and others, then good.
But it's going to come at a high political price for Obama. I mentioned his political foes above. On the topic of his friends--rank-and-file liberals--a unilateral strike is most definitely going to lose him some.