Pryor: I’m voting no on Syria strike
posted at 12:07 pm on September 7, 2013 by Ed Morrissey
Bad news for Barack Obama, but perhaps good news for Mark Pryor in his 2014 campaign for re-election to the Senate. His opponent, Rep. Tom Cotton, supports military action in Syria despite its deep unpopularity. Pryor’s opposition makes it less likely to happen:
The decision to use military force is one of the gravest responsibilities Members of Congress face, and it is one that I take very seriously. I have heard presentations and testimonies from the Administration on their case for military action, have read and studied the text of the authorization for the use of military force that will come before the Senate next week, and have listened to the concerns of thousands of Arkansans as I have traveled the state.
I have said, before any military action in Syria is taken, the Administration must prove a compelling national security interest, clearly define a mission that has a definitive end-state, and then build a true coalition of allies that would actively participate in any action we take. Based on the information presented to me and the evidence I have gathered, I do not believe these criteria have been met, and I cannot support military action against Syria at this time.
“At this time” is not exactly a categorical statement of opposition, but the conditions Pryor attaches aren’t likely to be met before Wednesday’s cloture vote, either. It’s getting more and more difficult to see how Harry Reid gets a majority for approval, let alone 60 votes to get past cloture.
As for the 2014 Senate race, this will only matter if (a) Obama conducts the military strikes, and (b) Arkansas voters are more angry over that than ObamaCare. I don’t think (b) is a likely outcome, but even if it is, it’s still going to damage the Democrat brand more than Cotton.