Obama's former political arm votes 'present' on Syria action
September 5th, 2013
04:08 PM ET
10 years ago

Obama's former political arm votes 'present' on Syria action

(CNN) - The awkward position in which progressive allies of President Barack Obama find themselves can be seen clearly in the actions of his former political arm, now called Organizing for Action, which despite the need for activists to lobby Congress to support the president's call for military strikes, is essentially voting "present."

Capitol Hill is all but singularly focused on Obama’s push for congressional authorization to use force in Syria, and the president has canceled a trip to California next week to devote his time and energy to lobbying lawmakers.


Filed under: OFA • President Obama
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Mary

    the british can test for sarin but they don't want to participate in the
    attack on syria. what a joke.

    September 5, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  2. Donna

    There is proof that Assad used chemical weapons on it's people.Just recently UK scientist comfirmed this
    they confirm that gas was used by somebody. they have no proof assad ordered their use or if his forces even used them.

    but the dems and rethugs want to give the President a hard time. why didn't they stand up to bush who had no evidence that Iraq had wmd.
    will it ever be possible to have a debate with the brain dead left without events from 10-20 years ago being dredged up. please stick to the problem and situation we face today. what happened 10 years ago is irrelevant to the decision to be made now.

    i guess lies about wmds are good enough to take us to war but the truth backed up by evidence is not good enough or is it because this president is black.
    here we go again with the race card.... will this tired and lame tactics ever stop? people aren't lining up behind obama for many reasons, all of which are perfectly valid. you need to stop with this nonsense.

    September 5, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  3. just saying

    Obama's former political arm votes 'present' on Syria action

    obama has voted present for two years when it came to syria. i suggest everybody else do the same and not follow obama on some nutty misadventure to save face and that will weaken him and this country even more.

    the rabid far left supporters of obama that want to push this country into another war in the middle east need to get off the obama koolaide and try and get a grip on reality.

    September 5, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  4. Wake up People!

    Rabid... The RWNJ pot calling the kettle black. The most rabid poster on the Ticker.

    September 5, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |

    Our choices for sides to choose from in Syria range from BAD to WORSE. Remember all of those people we sent the military to help out in Somalia, Afghanistan and Iraq? I recall a lot of those people ended up shooting at us. Syria is a civil war and we should limit our involvement to supporting a faction who shares our strategic goals, if there is one. Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of al-Qaeda, Iranian special forces, Hezbollah and other maggots that I would love to drop bombs on...a lot of bombs, but right now that I don't think it is in our interests.

    September 5, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  6. things that make you go hmmmm......

    I wonder how many of you war mongering Democrats were also the in favor of cutting our military budget over $1 trillion dollars over the next 10 years? Were you the very same Democrats that cheered when the sequester cut the military even more? So if we spend $10 billion on attacking Syria, you will all have no problem with taking that money out of the green energy budget right? Or would it come from the exploding food stamp budget?

    Ante up Democrats, how do you plan to pay for this Obama fiasco?

    September 5, 2013 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  7. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Seemingly searching for a silver lining, Carson noted that the response had been "been pretty universal from folks that they are very glad he is taking this issue to Congress."

    If Congress approves, Americans can spend the next 10 years blaming either the Democrats or the Republicans voting "yes" ... depending on which party they support (or don't support).

    If Congress approves, Americans can spend the next 10 years screaming at each other on why they were (a) for intervention or (b) against intervention.

    The media (which has up to this point fed both narratives) will continue to push the ball from one side to the other.

    If Congress votes "no" ... end of story. Until the next time.

    September 5, 2013 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  8. Ron L

    The Syria situation is very complicated but I believe Mr. Assad needs to experience some type of "discomfort" for this latest act of chemical warfare. The "FACTS" are the world has said that chemical weaponry is not to be allowed due to the way they can silently kill many innocent children and women. Now we have President Assad having used them more than once and most of the "world" is being evasive about taking a position. AS USUAL, they are expecting America to carry the load. There is a part of me that despises how often the world does not have the guts to stand up and be counted when things of this nature occur. But, once again AS THE LEADER of the FREE world we have a duty not to ignore what has happened. A lot of people seem to forget, that when you let 'EVIL" people do evil things they become empowered and will do more destructive evil things. The perfect example of this is the fact that their is proof that Assad has done this before at a smaller scale. Since he got away with it, he has now done it on a larger scale. He needs to be put in check, and if it has to be America alone....so be it.
    One other thing, I am a big supporter of the President but he has handled this very badly. The Red Line statement being said before he had thought out the response if it were crossed was just politically and strategically unsound. I hope this experience helps him develop a sounder strategy in the future.

    September 5, 2013 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    "........what happened 10 years ago is irrelevant to the decision to be made now".
    Wrong. What happened 10 years ago, the rush to Iraq, is influencing this decision today. Ask Rumsfeld.
    We can disagree with the President, and still support him. Unlike those who just followed along with
    whatever they were told. We are paying a heavy price for their lies, and will for a very long time.
    Now, it is even more difficult to accept waging a war that maybe we should, because we can't forget
    the lies that took us to an unnecessary war in Iraq. I won't forget "what happened 10 years ago" and it
    is not "irrelevant".

    September 5, 2013 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  10. Data Driven


    In my opinion, you could not be more wrong about events that occurred 10 or 20 years ago being irrelevant to what's happening today. History doesn't happen in a vacuum. Our blunders in the Mideast in the past decade have destroyed our moral authority to act, to the point that even Great Britain is sick of us because of past lies and won't join us in a military coalition.

    I realize conservatives hate to hear this, but our best option is to "lead from behind" and build coalitions. Working with other nations to directly address the appalling refugee crisis would be an excellent way to start.

    September 5, 2013 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  11. truth hurts but reality bites

    It sure would be a sight to behold if OaFA (the Obama Polit Bureau) started bringing out leftist/progressive/communists to demand the USA attack other countries just because Obama wants it done. Why does that scene from Star Wars come to mind where there are thousands and thousands of droids marching in unison?

    September 5, 2013 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  12. Silence DoGood

    As a progressive I was incensed by the Cowboy W lying about WMD. But now we have a president that lied about drone bombs only killing terrorists – now we know that 1000's have died and only a small percent were terrorists.

    Right wing Tea-heads always hated Obama but now he needs to listen to those that voted for him: "Stop the bombing! Or send back the Peace Prize."

    September 5, 2013 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  13. sbubba1

    Congress and the house are Mugwumps, fail at home ,afraid to loose a vote we don't have the funds ,it's a war ,See me read ,I-m from Kentucky and i ate my vitals. i cant, do my job in New york ,so it must be your fault. The United States needs leaders find some.

    September 5, 2013 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  14. tom l

    "In my opinion, you could not be more wrong about events that occurred 10 or 20 years ago being irrelevant to what's happening today. History doesn't happen in a vacuum. Our blunders in the Mideast in the past decade have destroyed our moral authority to act, to the point that even Great Britain is sick of us because of past lies and won't join us in a military coalition."

    I hope you have been well. I always enjoy having a conversation with you because you are one of the more intellectually honest and open liberals here. You actually listen to different points of view and I think it's an admirable quality.

    That being said, I agree that we learn from the past and our past actions are highly relevant. So wouldn't it make sense that many of the repubs that might have been gung-ho during Iraq have learned from that and recognized that we have to be more careful than ever before if we were to go in to Syria? Wouldn't it be reasonable to think that they feel very hesitant after Iraq and are just being more skeptical today of what the military tells us? I really think the bottom line is that the president has bungled the foreign policy to epic levels. This is truly evident in his inability to get a coalition and to clearly outline what our goals are here and just what the heck his definition of a "red line" is and what does he mean when he uses that term (which he clearly did and that line has led us to where we are today).

    As you hopefully remember, I voted for Ron Paul so I can not be clearer that Syria makes absolutely no sense and I find it ironic and hilarious to see your fellow liberal posters twisting and turning to try and back the president. I think Rudy has been the most reasonable and intellectually honest of any of them and I think that's worth noting.

    I am curious to get your reaction.

    September 5, 2013 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  15. Wow!!

    The world has turned upside down. Liberals want to go to war over WMD in the Middle East.
    Wait, didn't we do that about ten years ago?

    September 5, 2013 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  16. don in albuquerque

    Way over reached this time. Try a little ego control Mr. President, and remind yourself what a representative government is. Something about for the people, by the people...whether you like it or not. King George had the same kind of arrogance, and guess what happened.

    September 5, 2013 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  17. Thomas

    Give the President the leverage he needs to make a very difficult decision .

    I trust his judgment to bring a world consensus and involvement into Syria , this will not be the last time atrocities will be committed . So we need to del with a solution to stop them before they cause such devastation. That can only be done with a world community thats wants world stability , justice and law.

    September 5, 2013 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  18. Bill Gates

    "the rabid far left supporters of obama that want to push this country into another war in the middle east need to get off the obama kool aide and try and get a grip on reality." – its not the left who want wars, it is the right. Also, if every time a country does something horrible against its own people the US wants to go and show support. How come they don't support America? Feeding Americans GMO passing the Monsanto Protection act, and to make sure you only eat Monsanto chemically and genetically modified food there has been state laws passed that prevent growing your own food, selling your own food, and even collecting rain water. Maybe Russia can come in and protect us from this police state.

    September 5, 2013 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  19. Name jk. Sfl. GOP conservatives,the garbage of America.

    CNN,they haven't had the vote yet, idiots

    September 5, 2013 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  20. G

    rebels executing soldiers on the battle field –these are the people mccain wants to give guns too–

    September 5, 2013 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  21. Evergreen

    Reading the comments it seems as though no one wants to go to war, including our President. Abu Ghraib images defined our middle east experience. I feel for the innocent and it tears my heart out to say this, but Mr. President I think we should close our eyes like the rest of the world.

    September 5, 2013 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  22. ryche

    i've now read several posts about how Bush rushed to war, but Obama is thinking this through.. I just love how democrats rewrite history.. Bush built a coalition of countries within an 18 month period of time... and you liberals are calling that a "rush to war".. your dear leader is trying to go to war in 4 weeks, but for liberals, that's "thought out and calculated"... Bush built a consences among several nations and spoke to the American people directly in regards to war.. Obama hasn't.. If this doesn't show the average reader liberals are the very definition of hypocrite, nothing will..

    September 5, 2013 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  23. Winston Smith

    It's a crisis in Syria. There has been a crisis here at home. The one big difference in the two stories from the media though, is ones a crisis, the other an inconvenience. We need to pay attention to the inconvenient portion for a while. This nation has it's homeless, unemployed, under employed, and hungry. I don't remember the media ever calling these situations a crisis. Just let some country outside the U.S. get their butt's in a sling, and we're there sticking our noses in.

    September 5, 2013 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  24. Geordie

    Obama has destroyed your country from within , he has divided your country and has not been able to ( or didn't want to ) maintain foreign relations with other western leaders.
    People just don't trust him , not at home or abroad .
    History will not treat him kindly , he has been a weak President and his inexperience is starting to become quite obvious.
    Let us not forget that Syria is a secular state and defeating the current regime would benefit the Muslim Brotherhood and terrorists, something the Syrian people do not want. Look what happened in Egypt.

    September 6, 2013 01:47 am at 1:47 am |