I’ve been around Washington for a long time. It’s a plus and a minus. It lets me give you some insight into what’s going on around here, but it forces me to wage a battle not to become part of the groupthink. It’s not that difficult really – in many ways, I don’t fit in here. And you, with your comments emanating mostly from outside the Beltway, help me out too.
This is one time where my Washington experience really helps us out. Because, knowing Washington and understanding its subtle maneuverings and the workings of its hidden hands, I can reveal to you the real reason why members of Congress will not vote before we go into a possible war in Syria:
They’re on vacation.
They’ve been out all month, and they’re not scheduled to come back until September 9, a full week after Labor Day.
Do not underestimate the power of this. I once had a senior Republican senator, someone you all know, lament to me off the floor of the Senate during one of the budget battles, “Obama is ruining Christmas!”
Our elected representatives today are on Caribbean Islands and rolling green golf courses, or wandering about delightfully quaint European cities. They have no intention of breaking it off to come back and vote on some silly war. That’s why you don’t hear their leaders clamoring for Obama to stage a vote – they’d be jeopardizing their positions as leaders.
But you are probably aware anyway that public service often looks more like public serve us.
Witness the recent White House move, at the insistence of Democrats and with the full cooperation of Republicans, to exempt lawmakers and their staffs from Obamacare.
That Britain – from whom we staged a rebellion to be granted the pleasure of a representative democracy – voted on the war and we didn’t is a towering disgrace.
And it is a vote on a war. Once the missiles start flying, there’s no telling what will happen. We can’t predict the response.
Congress is acting disgracefully by not returning to vote. Obama is acting disgracefully for not insisting they do, though we all saw that one coming.
When they return, no doubt Republicans will be grumbling about Obama’s determination, on many fronts, to usurp the power of the legislative branch. This, even though they themselves are too lazy to exercise their most basic power – the decision to send America to war.