“Mr. President, I am sorry — with all due respect — that we are in this situation that we’re in, but we got handed this football on Friday night. And I didn’t create this situation. The first thing that baffles me is, from my private-sector experience, the first rule that I’ve always been taught is to have a Plan B. And it is really disheartening that you, that this White House did not have a Plan B.”Now in "Quagmire at Home" James Taranto details how Obama blundered into a fight with Congress without a plan to win authorization:
Several jaws dropped as the Hill staffer blasted the president to his face.
If we take Obama and Kerry at their word, then the president did not even consider the possibility that Congress would reject his request. Given the haste in which he made the decision and the desultoriness of his own effort to make the case for the request, that is a plausible reading of what happened.Emphasis in original. As somebody who subscribes to the Bill Kristol position that a vote against authorization would be terrible for the country, I can't believe how Obama actively sabotages the very goal he claims he wants. His relationship with Congress is famously rocky but for this critical vote of confidence in his own Presidency, he can't deign to make an effort. Instead, he does his "red line" walkback that everybody recognizes as yet another attempt to shift blame.
Failing to consider this contingency would be a stunning failure of planning. Although the resolution may yet pass, it is clear by now that any assumption that it would pass easily was a gross misreading of both public and congressional opinion.
Obama needed Congress to show confidence in the Executive Branch in the face of overwhelming public opinion against an attack in Syria. Instead, this clown did everything under the sun to make it oh-so-easy to vote against him. It's a pity this White House couldn't think about the country before its petulant and ill-advised political ploy.