Friday, September 6, 2013

Sticky & Uncomfortable

We're willing to admit: When our staff members disagree with each other, or with acquaintances that we usually concur with, the feeling is a bit uncomfortable. It's like realizing, after several minutes of hollering, that you've been trying to get the attention of someone with earbud headphones on, who can't hear you.

Like Brer Rabbit screaming at the Tar Baby in the legendary American folktale, both the pro-military action and the anti-interventionist sides of the Syria deabte seem to be stuck on a similar inability to communicate and have their positions recognized as legitimate.

On the pro-interventionist side, the similarities to Brer Rabbit don't end with screaming for recognition. There's also the fact that some members of the media who may have been lumped into the pro-interventionist camp like Greg Sargent, John Harwood, and Steve Kornacki, don't really appear to agree with the idea of involving the American military in action in Syria.

Sargent, Harwood, and Kornacki simply pointed out in open discussions online on Thursday a basic fact: The anti-interventionist side is in danger of losing the overall battle by insisting no sane logical member of Congress would vote us into yet another conflict when so many Americans are against it. As Greg noted, some insiders on Capitol Hill still think there's a decent chance of passing an authorization for use of military force in Syria, even though the "No's" from their constituents keep piling up.

That danger of getting stuck - also like in the tale of Brer Rabbit and the Tar Baby - means that our nation could once again easily get buried in yet another foreign war, just as we got stuck in both Afghanistan and Iraq, and Vietnam before that.

Greg's writeup Thursday afternoon on the Congressional kabuki being choreographed in Washington confirmed that some of our elected "leaders" in Washington are indeed stuck on the idea of intervention. Many more of those in both political media and politics itself seem certain that no matter what the American people say, America's military interests are going to push our political leaders to get us involved in Syria.

We don't believe that's a certainty.

The numbers of people contacting the White House and their Congressmembers' offices right now are off the charts - and as a few sources we have on the Hill have confirmed, the numbers of calls and e-mails are running hundreds of Americans against, to only a handful of Americans in favor of military action.

That kind of reaction historically is like a stick to the head of most members of Congress, that reminds them of who really controls their futures - especially with an election coming in 2014.

Still, what Greg and those like him are saying about the many different 'Whip Count' guesstimates floating around the political media isn't that they agree with intervention in Syria. It's simply that - until the final vote tallies are taken in Congress - intervention is still entirely possible, no matter what some members of Congress have already claimed publicly. If you believe President Obama is willing to risk potential impeachment from both Democrats and Republicans, intervention might even be possible even if Congress votes no.

Until the final votes are held on Capitol Hill next week, if you want your members of Congress to stick to a specific position on Syria, contact them today - loudly, firmly, and politely - and every day until the final vote, to make sure your message is heard.