The debate that's happening now is exactly what he wants.
Obama's proposed ISIS AUMF is ridiculous garbage. It makes no sense in too many ways to count, but Andy McCarthy has a good summary.
Congress has the power to authorize the use of force. It can cut off funding or repeal its authorization of force if the objectives of the war have been achieved or if the president is derelict in prosecuting the war. But the Constitution does not authorize Congress to tell the president and his subordinate military commanders that land, sea, or air power is off the table. If a threat to national interests is serious enough, it is Congress’s job to authorize a war. It is then the president’s job to fight it, using whatever military assets are appropriate, in his judgment, to meet war’s unpredictable twists and turns.
I emphasize the president’s judgment because exercising it is precisely what being commander-in-chief entails. The president, a civilian, does not drive the tanks; but as commander, he does decide whether the tanks are necessary. In authorizing the use of force, Congress cannot require the president to deploy ground forces. Indeed, Congress is powerless to require the president to dispatch any forces whatsoever.
McCain is complaining that Democrats are handcuffing Obama, but if anything Obama is pretending to handcuff himself.
What is Obama after? His basic strategy on issues where his position is unpopular and his competence is lacking, e.g. the economy, is to find a way to dump the blame on an even more unpopular Congress.
The debate that's happening now is exactly what he wants. And either way he wins... in the media.
If Congress gives him exactly what he wants, then he'll blame Congress for limiting his ability to finish the job. And if you think the media won't buy it, remember who got blamed for his sequester. And who still keeps getting blamed for it by Obama.
Obama's only real gift is for telling the craziest lies and defying anyone to call him on it.
But Obama doesn't expect to get his insane AUMF proposal through. Congress will pass something. In the meantime, Obama will hector Congress to pass it instead of arguing so he can... do what he's doing anyway. But his speeches will imply that Congress is somehow obstructing the war on ISIS even though Obama is fighting this war, like all the others, unilaterally.
The media will repeat it though and the part of the public that listens to it will buy it.
Whatever Obama gets will have shortcomings, which he'll use to blame whatever he hasn't done, on. Mission accomplished.
"I wanted to beat ISIS, but Congress wouldn't let me."
Out of office, this is going to be the official liberal historian position. If only Congress had stopped arguing and if only the Republicans had worked with Obama.
We'll spend the next 5 years fact checking this only for every idiot liberal to shout, "Well Congress should have passed it."