Sometime overnight the ghost of David Cameron's (presumed) blunder visited the White House and whispered, "Follow me."
If Obama lacked religion before, he's surely got it now. There is a God, and He gave up his only British prime minister to save the American president's ass. Proof of modern miracles; that and the miraculous fact that David Cameron is, after all, good for something.
So to Congress our intervention goes, where it's likely to meet a squishy afterlife. Obama's punt will be savaged by Congress' McCains and Grahams, of course, but what the hell. It's what they do. The important thing is that Congress is where difficult decisions go to die, and Obama just kicked this one up the Capitol steps. Good for him, and I mean that.
What I found remarkable, however--quite aside from the chief executive's suddenly discovered Whiggism--was Obama's unconcealed fury at the present "international system." Look, he bellowed in so many words, we either mean this lovely crap about "norms"--or we don't. Let's make up our minds. If we do, then let us unite in action, and if we don't, well, then at least the U.S. will know what hand it's been dealt; and it can proceed accordingly--which, one assumes, would be in alignment with another international system, of every man for himself.
I should add ...
We'll have to see how this plays out, but for now it appears that Obama unstuck himself from what seemed like a hopelessly stuck position, which indeed seemed stuck only because of the Obama administration's repeated vows to see its way through to a punitive strike, no matter what. How the administration's reverse course plays out politically over the next few days and weeks? Who the hell knows.
As for John Kerry, he must be fuming--somewhere, out in the cold, where he was left--having twice made to the world a passionate case for absolutely inescapable action. How humiliating this must be for him. And I mean that, too.