When you’ve lost Nancy Pelosi, there’s no one else left to lose.
The Syria deliberations will not fall along the normal ideological fault lines. Obama cannot count on the near-universal support he usually has among the 201 House Democrats, a caucus in which doubts are plentiful.
Aware of the growing bloc of Republican isolationists, senior GOP aides warned Sunday that a large number of Democrats will have to support the use-of-force resolution for it to have any chance. Advisers in both parties described the measure as a “vote of conscience” that House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will not be lobbying lawmakers to support.
It’s not entirely surprising that Boehner will sit this one out. Slightly more surprising is that Nancy Pelosi will be sitting it out too. Granted the strikes are unpopular in general and especially unpopular on her home turf.
Still Pelosi has issued a statement in support of military action. The Democrats in Congress need support from the left in 2014 and a lot of the wealthier left-wing donors also lean really left. But it’s still hard to believe that Pelosi wouldn’t be reporting for duty unless Obama is not really interested in winning the vote in Congress.
And as I discussed in my article, Obama’s Plan to Blame Syria on Congress, that’s entirely possible. Obama may want to use Congress as an excuse and be deliberately throwing the vote.