Barack Obama has had the worst luck trying to push legislation. The poor guy came in with big ideas of hope and change and has come away with very few successes in this increasingly polarized America. Plagued by scandals such as Benghazi and the NSA dilemma, our president hasn’t caught many breaks in recent memory.
Most recently, Syria saw Obama and John Kerry beating the drums of war after being so adamant about getting troops out of Iraq. It was a strange move on their part. They knew it was an unpopular decision, yet they still stuck with it.
Unpopular is a wild understatement when describing the decision to get involved in Syria. For once, the public seemed to agree with the rhetoric of Congress in their mutual disdain for the idea of another war.
I could sympathize with both sides of the argument. I did not want to see the Syrian government using chemical weapons on their own people, but I also didn’t want to see the US get involved in another seemingly endless war.
What bothers me is that an overwhelming majority would look at these images of people dying from the effects of the chemical weapons and say, “It’s not our problem.” How could it not be our problem? If you have the power to help someone in need, shouldn’t you?
Nonetheless, Obama’s plan of intervention was defeated and there was no executive order issued to do anything. Luckily, the Syrian government was muscled into handing over their chemical weapons to Russia.
Was this all a stroke of luck, or did Obama mastermind a plan to solve the problem in Syria without the need to lift a finger? Did he knowingly threaten intervention, knowing that Congress is always there to give their equal-and-opposite reaction? I would contend that the answer is yes.
One of Obama’s biggest contentions coming into his office was that he wanted to see the troops pulled out of Iraq. Although he swore no boots would ever hit the ground in Syria, the opposition was vehement. I think Obama finally figured out that Congress is going to oppose whatever he says regardless of what he says. He could just as easily have gotten around Congress and issued an executive order, but never did.
Say what you will about Obama. Despite all of his shortcomings in getting his hope and change to work, he seems to have figured out how politics works nowadays. In a nation that is more polarized than it has ever been since the Civil War, I unfortunately believe this is the game Obama will have to play if he is to get anything done in the future.