The clock is ticking, with President Obama and Secretary Kerry frantically selling a war that the American people don't want to buy. If Congress goes ahead and approves military action, they -- unlike their British counterparts -- will fail to represent the people who elected them.
We are within reach of doing something unprecedented: stopping a U.S. war before it starts by means of a Congressional vote. We have public opinion our side including a majority of Democrats, a majority of Republicans, and a majority of Independents.
I'm sometimes asked how, as someone who testified 42 years ago against the Vietnam War in which I had fought, I could testify in favor of action to hold the Assad regime accountable today. The answer is, I spoke my conscience in 1971 and I'm speaking my conscience now in 2013.
Even if the president musters enough votes to strike Syria, at what political cost? Any president has a limited amount of political capital to mobilize support for his agenda, in Congress and, more fundamentally, with the American people.
To listen to John Kerry go on and on and on about a surgically defined, internationally sanctioned, proportionately debilitating, consequence free action is to realize there is more than one way to endure a drone attack.
Some have argued that the president's decision to seek Congressional approval has weakened his office and undermined U.S. standing in the world. But with an ambivalent public and a bitterly polarized Congress, there has been very little for him to work with.