Having been mostly away from the internet these past two days, I’ve watched from afar how quickly things have turned on Syria.

It’s amazing how Obama has gone from being backed into a corner to being on a ledge where his presidency is just a vote away from being over all but in name.

It’s not that Obama was wrong to want to react to the use of chemical weapons.

I was willing, at the outset, to give Obama the benefit of the doubt because the stakes were so high if the large-scale use by the Assad government of chemical weapons was proven.

This goes far beyond the usual bloodletting when Syria, one of if not the largest stockpilers of chemical weapons, uses chemical weapons strategically. That Syria is in the heart of the Middle East, bordering three of our friends, and a puppet of Iran and Hezbollah, made the situation more dire and in our national interest to address.

I guess I stand almost alone in that assessment, but not completely alone:

But with each passing day, the real Obama — the one conservatives and the Tea party always saw — has emerged in full force, while the Obama liberals thought they knew disappeared before their own eyes. Victor Davis Hanson observes:

How did Obama get himself into this mess? It was bound to happen, given his past habits. All we are seeing now is the melodramatic fulfillment of vero possumus, lowering the rising seas, faux Corinthian columns, hope and change, the bows, the Cairo speech, and the audacity of hope. Hubris does earn Nemesis.

The embarrassing and sometimes shrill performances by John Kerry weakened the case. And now Obama is staking everything on convincing the public next Tuesday night in a speech to the nation.

The matter has been so mishandled it’s almost hard to know where to begin. But the end is becoming clear.

Walter Russell Mead (via Leather Penguin) poses the problem for our country of being without a President internationally for three more years:

We hate to say it, but that is so dangerous that there’s a strong argument for Congress to back the Syria resolution simply to avoid trashing the credibility of the only President we’ve got.

Hanson similarly observed:

In our new Vienna-summit-to-Cuban-missile-crisis era of danger, I fear our enemies and rivals are digesting the Syrian misadventure and calibrating to what degree they might soon turn our present psychodrama into a real American tragedy.

I would not be surprised if Obama, when he accepts that he will lose a vote in the House, pulls the political equivalent of Styrofoam Greek Columns. Maybe some diplomatic fig leaf, a tribunal. Or some half-measure in Congress. Or an announcement that we will finally really will arm the non-al-Qaeda rebels.

Even if Obama finds his way out of the corner or off the ledge, we have lost as a country because we will spend the next three years facing emboldened enemies internationally without a President


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