Does the White House face an uphill battle garnering ample support among House members for a use-of-force resolution in the House?
You bet it does. And, to be clear, faces a steep climb in convincing its fellow Democrats to authorize even a limited military mission.
Not only did numerous Democratic House members voice concerns about striking Syria during a Wednesday Foreign Affairs Committee hearing, but they’re taking to cable news to do the same.
One can almost picture White House staffers, in between phone calls and shots of heartburn medication, huddled around West Wing televisions with grimmaced faces anytime one of their own is speaking about Syria.
That almost certainly had to have been the case Tuesday evening, when Rep. Rush Holt of New Jersey appeared on MSNBC’s “Hardball” program.
Holt told Host Chris Matthews that he acknowledges a “possibly justifiable reason” exist for the United States to intervene in Syria’s civil war: “To enforce international standards for civilized behavior, to say, ‘Weapons of mass destruction may never be used, or else there will be real consequences.”
/Mental picture: White House staffers fist pumping/
The celebratory gestures likely ended there inside 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Holt was far from done.
HOLT: “But a single nation can`t enforce international standards against a single nation. That`s — and particularly the United States, who — you know, our reputation for having clean hands with respect to chemical weapons is not all that good if you look at the CIA and other things.”
Yikes. But wait, there’s more.
HOLT: “My point is, if you`re going to enforce worldwide standards, it has to be done multi-nationally. It can`t be done international.”
For the White House, it just kept getting worse:
MATTHEWS: “So you`re voting against this resolution when it comes to the House?”
HOLT: “Well, likely. I`ve talked to the White House today and two days ago and given them a long list of questions that they have to answer. And I said that you`ve only got a few days to answer them. And the more they try to answer them, the less satisfied I am.”
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