The PJ Tatler

House Whip Count Shows Syria Resolution in Deep Trouble

WaPo’s blog The Fix has been updating their whip count on the Syria resolution all day and at this point, it looks like the president is heading for a disastrous fall.

In fact, it’s no contest. As of Thursday evening, 204 House members — including 54 Democrats — have come out publicly against taking military action against Syria or are leaning that way. Two hundred seventeen votes are needed for passage. (Note: There are 433 members due to two vacancies.)

Only 24 members are in favor of the resolution.

With so many Republicans in opposition, will Boehner even bother to bring the resolution to a vote?

Regardless, it has become increasingly clear that a significant majority of House Republicans is likely to oppose the resolution. That means we are headed not just for questions about whether it would pass, but also about whether House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) — who supports the use of force — would bring it to a vote in violation of the so-called “Hastert Rule,” which requires a majority of the majority party to support a bill for it to be brought to a vote.

Given the strong demand for congressional input from both advocates and opponents of military action, it seems there’s at least a fair chance he will. Even if Boehner were to bring it to a vote, though, the minority Democrats would need to be pretty close to united, according to our current count. As of now, that’s not that case, with 22 Democrats expressing opposition and 24 more expressing skepticism.

All of it adds up to a very difficult path for the use of force resolution in the House.

How bad is it? President Obama has cancelled a Hollywood fundraising trip next week in order to stay in Washington, trying to salvage what’s left of his presidency:

President Obama has scrapped a planned two-day trip to Los Angeles early next week ahead of a congressional vote on a military strike against Syria.

The cancellation of the trip suggests the urgency with which Obama needs to press his case to win approval from Congress for military action.

“The president’s trip to California has been canceled,” a White House official said. “He will remain in Washington to work on the Syrian resolution before Congress.”

While prospects for passage of a resolution in the Senate look positive, the White House does not appear to have the votes in the lower chamber to win — at least not yet.

The president had been scheduled to speak to an AFL-CIO convention while in California, in what the White House had billed as a continuation of his middle class jobs tour.

He was also scheduled to attend a $32,400 per plate dinner at the home of Marta Kauffman, the co-creator of the sitcom “Friends.”

According to an email obtained by T

There were indications that Obama could be readying a national address to make his case for military action, which remains unpopular among lawmakers and the American public.

Can he pull it out? Never underestimate any president’s ability to get what he wants, but he needs a turnaround of epic proportions to succeed. And he will have to find a way to convince the GOP hawks that he will increase his efforts to topple Assad. With a mostly united Democratic party and 40 or 50 national security Republicans, Obama just might pull it off. But liberal Democrats are genetically leery of military action of any kind and Republicans simply don’t trust him.

If Obama fails, it will have been a disaster 4 years in the making. His arrogance, his inability to work effectively and consult with Congress, his sneering condescension toward his opponents, and a glaring lack of leadership have all combined to set him up for a bi-partisan fall on Syria.