From Bryan Preston — Good thing I didn’t waste my time on this stuff earlier today (links are in original; bolds are mine):
Russia is not keen at this stage for a binding U.N. Security Council resolution that would provide a framework to control Syria’s chemical weapons’ stocks, France’s foreign minister said after talks with his Russian counterpart on Tuesday.
“As I understood, the Russians at this stage were not necessarily enthusiastic, and I’m using euphemism, to put all that into the framework of a U.N. binding resolution,” Laurent Fabius told French lawmakers after a telephone conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
Obama is being played. The Russian deal forced him to change course and re-write tonight’s speech at the last minute. Now he has to re-write it again, or pretend that the Russians didn’t just drop a flaming bag of something on the White House doorstep. It will be grimly amusing to see what Obama tells the American people about all this now. …
Harry Reid pretended that the Russia deal drove him to halt a vote on force in the Senate. The reality is that Democrat votes for force were “dropping like flies,” and the prospect of passage in the House was always grim. Obama lost the Congressional Black Caucus today. Sen. Mitch McConnell came out against bombing today, breaking with the House GOP leaders who had supported it, and probably killing off any chance that the Senate would help Obama out by at least giving him a split vote in Congress. The likelihood now is that he gets rejected by both houses with actual “No” votes or implicitly if neither brings the authorization to a vote, and then has to decide if he wants to strike Syria anyway. Does Barry feel lucky?
So Obama is being played by Putin. The question is, does he know or even care that he’s being played? He seemed happy enough to grab Putin’s hand and get out of his jam. Now what’s he going to do?
This is really, really, really embarrassing. The entertainment in all of this will be the press trying to make Barack Obama look heroic and assign all other kinds of noble and positive traits to this rumbling, bumbling, fumbling enterprise.
Chances are that even the mushy, low-information middle will recognize the serious credibility and competence problems on display.