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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Airstrikes and Politics

Speaker Boehner has announced support for a military strike on Syria.  He is not pandering to public opinion or the GOP base.

President Obama faces an uphill battle in making the case for U.S. military action in Syria. By a 48% to 29% margin, more Americans oppose than support conducting military airstrikes against Syria in response to reports that the Syrian government used chemical weapons.
The new national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted Aug. 29-Sept. 1 among 1,000 adults, finds that Obama has significant ground to make up in his own party. Just 29% of Democrats favor conducting airstrikes against Syria while 48% are opposed. Opinion among independents is similar (29% favor, 50% oppose). Republicans are more divided, with 35% favoring airstrikes and 40% opposed.
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 Overall, just 32% of Americans say Obama has explained clearly why the U.S. should launch military airstrikes against Syria while 48% say he has not explained the reasons clearly enough.
The Washington Post reports:
Americans widely oppose launching missile strikes against the Syrian government for its alleged use of chemical weapons, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News pollthat finds little appetite for military action across the country despite a growing drumbeat in Washington.
Broad opposition in the new poll contrasts with a December Post-ABC poll that found most Americans saying they would be supportive of U.S. action if Syria used chemical weapons. At that time, 63 percent supported U.S. military involvement when it was a hypothetical situation, while 30 percent were opposed.
Politico reports:
“Rarely have I ever witnessed such consensus from my audience that we should stay the heck out of Syria,” nationally-syndicated conservative talker Mike Gallagher told POLITICO. “Even liberal callers who usually challenge and criticize me say we should not intervene. I am delighted that the president has done this about-face and will now turn to congress for approval. Now it’s up to the Congress to do the right thing and deliver a big, fat ‘no.’”
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Rush Limbaugh, meanwhile, told his listeners Tuesday that Obama’s decision was part of the president’s plan to “announce that he’s going to go to Congress to get a use of force authorization and then when the Republicans don’t give it to him, blame them for dead Syrians.” And the Syria question, he said, just comes down to politics for Obama.
“I get into arguments with people about this who still do not understand that no matter what the issue, no matter what day of the week, the either No. 1 or No. 2 objective in the world of Barack Obama is the elimination of any opposition,” Limbaugh said. “You cannot take the 2014 midterm elections out of this equation. You cannot remove from this equation just how desperate the Democrats are to win the House in 2014, anything that can be done to blame the Republicans.”