During a State Department press briefing, Associated Press reporter Matt Lee struggled to understand how Secretary of State John Kerry could call President Obama’s actions on Syria “courageous.”
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki was conducting the briefing:
Lee: And so what I don’t understand, though, is how he is comfortable with the President’s decision. I understand the President’s commander in chief and that everyone is going to get on board with whatever he decides, but I don’t understand why he is so full-throatedly in favor of this. He over the weekend said the President was acting courageously by taking this to Congress, and I don’t understand what is courageous about asking permission for something that you say you don’t need and to do what you believe to be the right thing not just morally but in general.
Psaki: Well –
Lee: Can you explain why this is a courageous move and — or why the secretary would call it a courageous move?
Psaki: Well, certainly let me first say, of course, the secretary does feel how he did on Friday, how he did on Sunday, that targeted intervention is absolutely the right step, and he does support the President’s decision to bring this to Congress. And –
Lee: Was there some kind of, like, group spine-removal op procedure at the White House over the weekend? I don’t — I don’t understand. How is this — how is this courageous?
Psaki: Well, Matt, obviously the President has the authority to act without the cooperation of Congress. But the President and the secretary strongly agreed that when the administration and the people’s representatives stand together, that that strengthens our case and makes our case even stronger internationally.
Obama’s “courageous” act has deeply divided the Democrats, who are struggling to stand together so they can save the President’s hide.
Score one for the AP.