After the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved a limited military strike on Syria, President Obama has not had so much luck lobbying his case to the Republican-ridden House of Representatives; however, the House’s opposition against a strike has been mostly bipartisan.
The House has been bombarded with a surge of outspoken citizens protesting against a strike on Syria by way of “calls, emails, and letters.” The ratio of contacts opposing to those supporting has been over 9 to 1. A vote tracker on the Huffington Post’s most recent tally of the House votes totaled at 44 voting yes or leaning yes and 217 who voted no or who are leaning no, 172 are undecided or unknown.
One House Democrat said “Members on both sides [are] undecided, and most (not all) I’ve talked to feeling extremely uneasy and uncomfortable with this resolution.”
At one point, 34 members who voted in favor of the Iraq war were seeming to oppose the resolution to launch a strike against Syria. Democrats have seen the most divide within their party, and not surprisingly so.
The Democrats are usually the ones that avoid any kind of military action, but there are also the ones “inclined to support the party’s president.” One such Democrat, who has been outspokenly supportive of President Obama, is House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). However, so many politicians outside of the Democrats are also playing party politics.
“President Obama’s request to use military force has caused many Republicans to go from a ‘kick their ass and take their gas’ foreign policy to linking arms and singing ‘Give Peace a Chance,’” Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) said of the Republican opposition to Obama. “Some, maybe a lot, will vote against it just because Obama is for it.”
But not all politicians seem to be simply just playing the party lines, Rep. Trey Radel (R-Fla.) said “We cannot be the police of the world. This is a Syrian civil war among Syrians.”
Another Florida-based House member, Rep. Alan Grayson (D), also noted the futility in America launching a military intervention in Syria. “On the merits, the Assad regime is truly barbaric. . . But it is hard to see what we can do that will be very effective.”
Joshua de Leon is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire.