There are lies that just will not die and the chance a lie will not die increases exponentially if it is a leftist talking point. My gosh, we’re still hearing that Planned Parenthood gives mammograms and that no WMD were found in Iraq. Now that Trump has launched a strike on Syria in retaliation for its use of chemical agents on a civilian target, the Obama fellatistas are out en masse claiming that Obama, too, could have done that if only a dastardly and racist Congress had not forbidden him to do so. This is an example of the claim
What we just did in Syria is the exact same thing President Obama wanted to do. The difference? A Republican Congress said "no" to him then. pic.twitter.com/cfLGBCbDxX
— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) April 7, 2017
This is so untrue that to call it a lie would be to do a disservice to all the hardworking lies out there putting in a solid 40-hour week.
A more coherent but no less untrue version comes from David Corn who knows a thing or two about being a liar:
It will come as no surprise at this point that the Trump White House’s position was hypocritical. First, Obama’s red line at the time was a threat of US military action against Syria should it continue to use chemical weapons. When Obama asked the GOP-led Congress to authorize the potential use of force against Syria, the Republicans, not wanting to take a firm stance, declined to hold a vote. Still, Obama’s move prompted Assad to agree to a Russian-brokered deal to give up his chemical weapons. To a degree, Obama’s threat worked.
Let’s look at the timeline:
August 20, 2012. “We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my calculus. That would change my equation.”
August 21, 2013. Major chemical attack on Ghouta, Syria. Approximately 3,600 people killed or injured.
August 22, 2013. Crickets.
August 31, 2013. Obama says he will ask Congress to authorize him to do nothing in Syria. He says inaction “risks making a mockery of the global prohibition on the use of chemicals weapons” and that it put U.S. regional allies that share a border with Syria in danger.” Pay attention to this:
Yet, while I believe I have the authority to carry out this military action without specific congressional authorization, I know that the country will be stronger if we take this course, and our actions will be even more effective.
September 3, 2013. Senate Foreign Affairs Committee holds a hearing. Committee passes resolution by 10-7. Please note that the Senate was Democrat controlled.
Bob Menendez, New Jersey Chairman – yes
Tom Udall, New Mexico – no
Chris Murphy, Connecticut – no
Ed Markey, Massachusetts – present
Barbara Boxer, California – yes
Ben Cardin, Maryland – yes
Jeanne Shaheen, New Hampshire – yes
Chris Coons, Delaware – yes
Dick Durbin, Illinois – yes
Tim Kaine, Virginia – yes
Bob Corker, Tennessee Ranking Member – yes
John McCain, Arizona – yes
Rand Paul, Kentucky – no
Jim Risch, Idaho – no
Marco Rubio, Florida – no
John Barrasso, Wyoming – no
Ron Johnson, Wisconsin – no
Jeff Flake, Arizona – yes
September 4, 2013. “I didn’t set a red line. The world set a red line when governments representing 98 percent of the world’s population said the use of chemical weapons are abhorrent and passed a treaty forbidding their use even when countries are engaged in war.”
September 6, 2013. Harry Reid files the resolution. Whip counts indicate senators were lukewarm-to-negative about the resolution.
House schedules testimony from John Kerry. Initial whip counts show the resolution is not a huge favorite with anyone. Even among Democrats who had decided on how to vote the resolution would fail by a 2:1 margin.
September 10, 2013. Syria agrees to give up its chemical weapons. Obama does a victory dance. No further action is taken on the resolution.
Let’s review the bidding: Obama waited ten days to decide to punt the decision to the Congress. When he did punt, he said he didn’t need to ask them but he was going to be a nice fella and do it anyway to make the little people feel involved. It was almost as if Obama consciously tried to poison the well with the House. Afterward, how did he react?
Early in the Syrian civil war, Obama publicly drew a red line concerning Assad’s behavior, but later decided to forgo military strikes, even after being presented with near-definitive proof that Assad had crossed the red line in grotesque fashion. Obama was widely criticized at home and abroad—particularly by the leaders of many U.S.-allied nations—for behavior interpreted as feckless and weak, but he later told me, in one of the interviews I conducted with him for a 2016 article on his worldview, that he was “very proud of this moment.”
“The perception was that my credibility was at stake, that America’s credibility was at stake,” Obama explained. “And so for me to press the pause button at that moment, I knew, would cost me politically. And the fact that I was able to pull back from the immediate pressures and think through in my own mind what was in America’s interest, not only with respect to Syria but also with respect to our democracy, was as tough a decision as I’ve made—and I believe ultimately it was the right decision to make.”
The “immediate pressures” he successfully “pull[ed] back from” was the pressure to attack Syria. He never intended to strike Syria and cynically used the US Congress to give him cover for his decision.
So no, Mr. Lefty. Congress never stopped Obama from attacking Syria. Obama had decided he was not going to attack and used Congress as a human shield.