On Sunday’s “Meet the Press” on NBC, Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol reacted to Secretary of State John Kerry’s “full Ginsburg” appearances on all five of the Sunday morning network public affairs shows.
Kristol suggested the need for congressional authorization was apparent, but reminded viewers that then-Massachusetts Democratic Sen. John Kerry voted against authorization for the first Gulf War in 1990.
“I think practically speaking, it would be hard for the president to act absent and outside use of chemical weapons again without getting Congress on board, having gone to Congress,” Kristol said. “But this is a difficult position. I was in the first Bush White House in 1990. There were people who did not want us to go to Congress to get authorization for the first Gulf War. John Kerry voted against that authorization. We got it through with a Democratic House and a Democratic Senate against the leadership of the Democratic Party. I do think in this case similarly Republicans, and I would even think a majority of Republicans, will end up voting to authorize the use of force. What John Kerry said to you, you mentioned that he made news by mentioning the sarin gas.”
Kristol went on to say that by making the rounds and with that news that blood and hair samples had tested positive for sarin gas, he provided an opening for those promoting a more aggressive tack toward Syria.
“He also made news I think by trying to get Sens. [John] McCain and [Lindsey] Graham and people like me who really want a more aggressive — want Assad to go,” he added. “And the way to deter the future use of chemical weapons in Syria is to get rid of Assad. He’s the one guy who used them. But Sen. Kerry gives a little bit of an opening to the hawks when he said, “Well, the military option’s limited, it’s just to deter and punish the use of chemical weapons. But our political aim remains to get rid of Assad and we will weaken Assad appreciably.” And I do think in fact there will be a way to reconcile the views of the sort of hawks by Sens. McCain and Graham. Maybe give some of the doves in Congress a little bit of something in the authorization resolution saying, ‘No ground troops at least for now, perhaps we should try to end this pretty quickly.’ And people forget, this is now a dynamic process. This authorization’s going to go to the Senate Foreign Relations for the markup next week.”