This is not a column about what America should do in Syria. That is an exceedingly complex problem, and certainly beyond my pay grade. I see the humanitarian issues at stake. I also see the entanglements and escalation issues. This is a toughie!
What I notice about this issue that might be insightful is about Obama’s behavior. The debate has been enjoined by everyone for the last week or more. Hardly any news program or even coffee pot has not been preoccupied with this story and national discussion. Every member of Congress has voiced in. The cliché about opinions are like belly buttons (or other orifices); everyone has one applies here. Still, Obama has the toughest job: He cannot act as just a commentator as Commander in Chief, this is the real thing.
Triangulating, as I present it here, means to stand at one corner of a triangle in order to see how the other two corners interact. Historically, one of the few ways to assemble any sort of public unity is to get the country to debate about war. Obama has achieved some national public involvement despite the public climate of epic partisanship and division. This debate could force Congress to realize its first job is to actually govern, and to talk with the President, rather than to fuss, threaten and obfuscate. And all this while the budget lies ahead, and the next phase of implementing Obamacare looms.
I mean, he and we have delayed involvement for two years; what’s another month or so? Furthermore, one should enter in to complex and uncertain situations alone. he has managed to force the wide variety of points of view to identify themselves and weigh in on this critical issue. And where those opinions lie is not as simple as along party lines. Obama has re-framed and reclaimed the national debate. I say, “Brilliant!”