A liberal New York African-American Democratic congressman is now criticizing President Barack Obama’s handling of the Syria situation. Conclusion? The president is losing his base.
Although the leader of the Congressional Black Caucus asked its members to hold their tongue on Syria, Rep. Charles Rangel mocked the very notion that the United States could engage in a “limited” engagement with Syria, according to the Washington Examiner.
Rangel may be a liberal, but he’s also 83 years old and has been a congressman for 42 years. He’s been there, done that, and knows a snow job when he sees one. Unlike the president, he’s also a military veteran.
“There’s no such thing as limited war,” Rangel told MSNBC’s Martin Bashir Thursday afternoon. “You cannot attack a country and then [set] the rules by which he or she may respond.”
When Bashir argued that the United States should respond for humanitarian reasons, citing the hundreds of children killed by the Assad regime, Rangel noted that violence could be found everywhere, including his own district.
“[T]here’s no way that I have to explain why 400 kids are dead, killed by this mad man, and I’m supposed to feel guilty; my kids are killed every darn day in New York,” he responded.
Rather than the United States going it alone, Rangel suggested that foreign aid be used as a leverage to form a coalition.
“How in God’s heaven does anyone want me to believe that we’re the only ones with young kids?” he asked, referring to American soldiers. Rangel served as an infantryman during the Korean War, leaving in 1952 as a Staff Sgt.
In an email, Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, asked CBC members “to limit public comment,” according to The Hill. “The chair believes Congress and the American public need more information, and she awaits more briefings between now and early next week before commenting further.”
According to a recent Gallup poll, support for an attack directed at Syria is lower than that for any military operation the United States has engaged in during the last 20 years.