One of the main reasons why I originally signed up to support Barack Obama's candidacy was that I saw in him someone who wanted to reverse that trend. He knows its a long game, but when you really listen to what he's saying, its clearly his overriding concern (especially in this second term).
But we also believe in something called citizenship — citizenship, a word at the very heart of our founding, a word at the very essence of our democracy, the idea that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations...And so it should come as no surprise to us that yesterday the President called on Congress (the people's elected representatives) to take up the question about intervention in Syria.
As citizens, we understand that America is not about what can be done for us. It's about what can be done by us, together through the hard and frustrating but necessary work of self-government. That's what we believe.
Yet, while I believe I have the authority to carry out this military action without specific congressional authorization, I know that the country will be stronger if we take this course, and our actions will be even more effective. We should have this debate, because the issues are too big for business as usual...Those who don't understand the primacy of restoring our democratic processes seem stunned that this morning Secretary of State John Kerry reiterated exactly what President Obama said yesterday...that he has "the authority to carry out this military action without specific congressional authorization," but is choosing not to use that authority. After all, that's not a "manly" thing to do (and is therefore inconceivable) - which is why some on the right are calling the President's position "weak."
So to all members of Congress of both parties, I ask you to take this vote for our national security. I am looking forward to the debate. And in doing so, I ask you, members of Congress, to consider that some things are more important than partisan differences or the politics of the moment.
Ultimately, this is not about who occupies this office at any given time; it’s about who we are as a country. I believe that the people’s representatives must be invested in what America does abroad, and now is the time to show the world that America keeps our commitments. We do what we say. And we lead with the belief that right makes might -- not the other way around...
...our democracy is stronger when the President and the people’s representatives stand together.
But we must never mistake the boldness of what President Obama is doing. He is slowly walking back the imperial presidency. We've seen that lately in his proposals to finally end perpetual war, to provide more oversight and transparency in our intelligence practices, and now on the question of intervention in Syria.
As a believer in the long game, its clear the President isn't making sudden leaps in this process. That would be foolish - especially given the lunatic caucus that currently holds power in the House of Representatives. But he is certainly working to change the course our ship of state has been on lately. That, more than anything else, is why I support him. This Community Organizer-in-Chief is the perfect leader for these times.
America will soon belong to the men and women — white and black and Latino and Asian, Christian and Jew and Muslim and atheist, gay and straight — who can walk into a room and accept with real comfort the sensation that they are in a world of certain difference, that there are no real majorities, only pluralities and coalitions. The America in which it was otherwise is dying, thank god, and those who relied on entitlement and division to command power will either be obliged to accept the changes, or retreat to the gated communities from which they wish to wax nostalgic and brood on political irrelevance.