- After Obama surprisingly announced he would seek Congressional approval for war in Syria (which is altogether different than announcing your intent to honor a Congressional rejection of war authority), all the King's men did their best to put Humpty Dumpty back together again.
First up, we have Chuck Todd. You nailed it, Chuck: the president, not the Constitution, magically granted to Congress the right to declare and fund wars. Top notch analysis there.
- Next up, we have New York Times reporter John J. Harwood. When he's not at home writing "John J. Obama" in his journal, you can find him hard at work, ignoring history. Remember that time Bush received congressional authorization for not one, but TWO wars? Well, neither does John. But cut him some slack, it's not like it's his job to know that kind of stuff.
- Nothing says arc-bending and "reluctant warrior" like starting a war in Libya without Congressional approval, amirite, John?
Next up we have Susan Page of USA Today. Bulls-eye, Susan: Nothing risks the power of the "presidency itself" like honoring Article I of the Constitution. Collectively, the Bushes risked it three times, which makes them three times as awesome, apparently.
- For these next two tweets, keep in mind that according to an NBC News poll, 80% of the public thinks Obama has to defer to Congress on war authorization.
- Riiiiight. It's Congress that's in a real pickle right now. Not the guy who went off script and declared an impromptu red line, thus setting in motion a completely unnecessary yet entirely predictable foreign policy snafu.
Now that we've established how utterly brilliant and historic the president's non-decision was, it's time to demonstrate how brave he was in not making it. Over to you, Laura Rozen of Politico.
- If there's one thing we know about political staffers in Washington, D.C., it's that they love being slapped down. In fact, they love it so much, that they immediately broadcast their internal irrelevance to every reporter they can find. "Bob," they say, "I've got a big scoop for you. I don't have any pull in this building. I'm completely irrelevant. The president just ignored every single thing I recommended. And you know what? He was right. He is so brave. So, so brave."
Yeah, that's exactly what happens. When staff get overruled, they immediately leak in such a way that their leaks just happen to sync perfectly with the existing White House talking points. That's the ticket.
With war potentially on its way, we can only assume that Obama will immediately head back to work to start cajoling lawmakers to support his military plans.
Marc Ambinder of The Atlantic felt left out, so Ambinder did his best to let His Majesty know he was on board, too.
- Ambinder should be embarrassed for that nonsense, but it's tough to be embarrassed when you have no self-awareness and no shame.
Robert Draper took offense to his inclusion in this list. To prove that he wasn't singing from Obama's song sheet...he repeated Axelrod's car-chasing dog line nearly word for word. Exit question: When you say you're not an Obama apologist "on this," you're pretty much admitting you're an apologist on most other issues, no?