80 percent (!) want Congress to vote before we go to war in Syria

Written by . Posted in Issue Watch, Polling, War

Published on August 30, 2013

CongressEarlier today, President Obama announced that he had nothing to announce on Syria. It appeared after the British Parliament’s stunning vote against a government war resolution yesterday, Obama had been forced to un-make his mind on the matter — at least for now.

Now, if only we had a legislative body like Parliament that had a say in making war….

Oh, yeah, that’s right! That House chamber isn’t just for Obama to make State of the Union speeches, is it?

A new NBC poll finds more robust (though still minority) support for a U.S. attack on Syria than other polls have found. But the really significant takeaway from this poll is that Congressional leaders would be foolish not to hold a vote on it. It’s not just a good idea or a defense of our Constitution — it’s also good politics because eight in ten Americans want to see it happen.

In this new NBC poll, 50 percent of respondents oppose the United States taking military action in response to Syria’s suspected use of chemical weapons, compared with 42 percent who support it.

And 58 percent agree with the statement that the use of chemical weapons by any country violates a “red line” that requires a significant U.S. response, including the possibility of military action.

Still, a whopping 79 percent of respondents – including nearly seven-in-10 Democrats and 90 percent of Republicans – say the president should be required to receive congressional approval before taking any action.

The same poll shows Obama’s rating on foreign policy at 41 percent — an all-time low — and his rating on Syria at 35 percent. I can’t imagine why.