Sep 10, 2013, 9:33 am
Intra-party disagreement on Syria is good for politics
- By Dawud Walid
Syria’s 100,000-plus deaths, a small percentage caused by chemical weapons, are a tragedy for the entire human family.
Due to recent fatalities caused by chemical armaments, our national discourse has been dominated by President Obama’s proposal to intervene militarily in Syria. The horrible circumstances there, however, have been of benefit to our nation in the sense that it has broken (if only temporarily) obtuse partisanship among Democrats and Republicans.
Many Democratic congressmen are bucking Obama’s call. The rank and file in the party are not covering down on calls from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, to support the administration in this endeavor. Even MoveOn.org, which has always strongly advocated for Obama’s agenda, are opposing military action in Syria with e-mail blasts urging people to protest.
Likewise, Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Senator John McCain, R-Arizona, have vigorously supported armed action in Syria, yet are facing strong resistance from fellow party members – one of the most outspoken being Representative Justin Amash, R-Michigan. Moreover, the conservative Heritage Foundation and libertarian-leaning Cato Institute are also voicing opposition, which is being heard by leaders in the GOP establishment.
These are healthy developments in the American political landscape. Especially during the Obama Era, too much of the national discourse among elected officials has been driven purely by the kings and queens of the two parties. So while I’m deeply concerned about events taking place in Syria, I do see a small silver lining in this tragedy. Hopefully, this renewed spirit of debate will extend to other issues from immigration reform to how we can restore our civil liberties that have slowly eroded since the tragedy of 9/11.