So this afternoon, President Obama called their bluff and said he will do what the American people and Congress want: debate and vote on the measure on Capitol Hill.
In an afternoon appearance in the Rose Garden, Mr. Obama said he had decided that the United States should use force but would wait for a vote from lawmakers, who are not due to return to town until Sept. 9. Mr. Obama said he believed he had the authority to act on his own, but he did not say whether he would if Congress rejects his plan.“I’m prepared to give that order,” Mr. Obama said. “But having made my decision as commander in chief based on what I am convinced is our national security interest, I’m also mindful that I’m president of the world’s oldest constitutional democracy.”Going to war with the support of the people’s representatives, he added, “I know the country will be stronger.”The president’s announcement effectively dared Congress to either stand by him or, as he put it, allow President Bashar al-Assad of Syria to get away with murdering children. By asking lawmakers to weigh in, he is trying to break out of his box of isolation of the last week, in the face of deep skepticism at home and around the world about the strike. His decision indicates he does not want to go forward without Congress and the American public.
So now this becomes Congress's problem, more specifically the GOP's problem. They will have to go on record on Syria and bear responsibility for its future, which is exactly what they were attempting to avoid.
President Obama has outsmarted them yet again...and he's listening to the American people, who want debate before any military action. Now he looks like the reasonable grown-up in the room.
Your move, Republicans.